I've been begging for it all year. The Vikings have constantly found themselves in close games, and they evened those out to be .500. To believe this team could turn things around, we needed to see the Vikings control a game, winning by 2+ touchdowns. And now they did it.
(Of course, they did it right before Kevin Williams and Pat Williams may be suspended, which would really, really, really hurt the Vikings. Really, really, really. Truly. Really and truly. But we move on.).
Of course luck played a role. When Jacksonville center Brad Meester snapped the ball directly to his own ass, the Vikings got the luck of the fumble and Napoleon Harris ran it in for a touchdown. Then Cedric Griffin forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff (how often do you think the phrase "on the ensuing kickoff" gets used? Google finds 123,000 hits), the Vikings had some effective runs (including a nice end-around to Bernard Berrian), and the Vikes were up 14-0 quite quickly. For the rest of the half, the Viking offense struggled, and the Viking pass defense was getting exploiting for David Garrard.
But the Vikings outscored Jacksonville 13-2 in the second half. Considering last week Tampa Bay outscored the Vikings 13-0 in the second half, we have to appreciate the Vikings' ability to come out in the second half successfully today. It was the defense that most controlled the second half, but Gus Frerotte (who mostly stinks) and Chester Taylor were able to pick up some 3rd down conversions on the game-clinching touchdown drive.
So we got treated to garbage time.
I am surprised how frustrated I occasionally got during an 18 point road win for the Vikings (short passes to the likes of Tahi and Kleinsasser: pointless. And I don't like creativity on 1st and goal at the 2: I like plowing it up the middle three times). But after it is all over, it's an 18 point road win, the Vikings are 6-5, and they're still in good shape in the NFC North (though the parenthetical reminder is always about Pat Williams' and Kevin Williams' looming suspensions).
The Vikings next host the Bears in Thunderdome next Sunday night. It's obviously a big, big game. But let today's worries be sufficient for today. Today, the Vikings played a road game, outdoors, on natural grass, and won 30-12. Let's feel good.