Purple Pain

Minnesota Vikings v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s never been easy to be a Vikings fan but this year is more agonizing than most. We have plenty of talent but when they get on the field, they are often underwhelming.

Last week was a perfect example. Through nearly the entire first half against the Buccaneers, the Vikings appeared to have the game well in hand. Adrian Peterson was running the ball well and the defense was shutting Tampa Bay down.

But when the Vikings got the ball back with 47 seconds remaining in the half, they ran the ball. They didn’t even try to seize the opportunity. Still, they headed to the locker room with a 10-3 lead.

But the second half of the game was all Buccaneers; as so often happens, the opponent had clearly made adjustments while we hadn’t.

The Vikes had no answer to the tight end seam pass and they did not utilize Adrian Peterson. You’ve got the most talented running back in the league and you’re down in the fourth quarter and you don’t have Peterson on the field when you need him most? WTF?!?

Having only a handful of plays in the final quarter is no excuse for sitting Peterson. He should be on the field if for no other reason than seizing the attention of the defense. If you’re not going to actually use Peterson, at least use him as a diversion.

Yet again, this was a game the Vikings should have won.

And it is for that reason why this year has been an especially painful one for Vikings fans who have long ago learned pain management techniques.

If only…

If only the Vikings were more a bit creative offensively. If only the Vikings had started the season with Gus Frerrote at the helm. If only the Vikes made the most of the considerable talent they have. If only the Vikings displayed the killer instinct that good teams possess. If only the Vikings wouldn’t be timid when presented with an opportunity to put a dagger through the heart of their opponent.

So, yes, the Vikings are tied for first place in a weak division and despite uninspiring play, are poised to make a run at a division title. Being the true Vikings fan (read masochist), I will watch every game and enjoy what I can but it is so hard to get excited about this team.

This team does just enough to give you hope but not enough inspire confidence. One thing is sure, coach Brad Childress‘ future starts today against the Jacksonville Jaguars.