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Viking View (10/08/2008)
By John Edstrom

Vikes 2-3

...highly competitive in the old black and blue division

Well fans, the Purple came away with a win Monday night in a game they should have lost 40-6. The astute reader of this column will remember that it concluded last week by hoping that maybe the Vikes would catch a few breaks against the 2-2 New Orleans. Ha – they caught all the breaks their fans can hope to witness until 2010! The Purple good luck well has nothing left in it but pure mud.

And speaking of another black and tarry substance, that is what the Vikes looked like for most of Monday night. They started by giving up a long kickoff return, and then displayed the same old pass defense that has ranked them at the bottom of the league these many years. They were down seven-zip before all but the thirstiest fan could down half a beer.

Once again old “give-’em-whatever-they-need” Cedric Griffin was in vintage form. I was wondering how he hangs on to his first team role until he made that incredible hit in the fourth quarter, where it looked like the New Orleans guy might lose the ball and his head. Cedric is one nasty little man. Maybe Antoine Winfield can teach him a little tighter pass coverage somewhere down the road.

And meanwhile, the offense looked like it had taken about a two-year step back. Adrian Peterson was throttled behind a line that disappeared. Did someone say that at last “this-night-life-ain’t-no-good-life” Bryant McKinnie made the scene once again? You couldn’t tell by any uptick in run or pass blocking. Gus Frerotte will not withstand this type of pounding much longer, and what happened to the Saints defense that couldn’t stop the run?

At the outset of the second half, it was apparent the Vikes couldn’t win unless they fielded a totally different team than the bunch of mutts (leaving Winfield aside) that ran barking in the first. Then came the total collapse on special teams, with Kluwe, the punter, unable to avoid kicking to Reggie Bush, who the Purple were unable to tackle. And isn’t this just like a Childress team to collapse on kick coverage after they have been the recipients of good fortune? What explains this? Then, of course, was the usual plethora of penalties, parsed in exhaustive, nincompoop detail by Ed Hochuli and his crew of zanies. But hallelujah! Apparently many Vikings slept through the team meeting in which the game plan for this week, to lose by special teams collapse, was laid out.

In the end it was the Saints who made the dumbest, most inept play of the evening by far, pass interfering with Bernard Berrian, instead of hanging back and letting him make the drop, and the Purple is 2-3, highly competitive in the old black-and-blue division.



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