Sunday, November 07, 2010

Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 27, Cardinals 24 (OT)

Box Score (ESPN)

What fun! A wild game featuring plays that could have made for four total return touchdowns, but two of those plays (a magnificent chase-down-strip by Greg Camarillo, a dropped interception in wide open field by Chad Greenway). A game the Vikings might have won something like 19-10 if not for terrible coverage against a kick return and a fumble on a kick return (not that I discount those things: special teams is part of the game). A dramatic fourth quarter comeback. Great performances from all sorts of individual Vikings. Let's assign individual credit.

Greg Camarillo
four catches for 66 yards, seven punt returns for 86 yards, and a forced fumble that absolutely saved the Vikings seven points. Is anything more fun than seeing a player chase down a runner all the way down the field and stripping him right at the end, saving a touchdown? A special day for Camarillo.

Bernard Berrian/Percy Harvin
Both players kept regularly making chain-moving plays. Both players had the slant working. Both players ran with the ball well after the catch.

Jared Allen/Ray Edwards
The pass rush finally came on late in the game, and Allen and Edwards combined for 4.5 sacks. The Dome got loud at late, and the pass rush came on.

Brett Favre
It's not just a career high 446 passing yards. It's that the Vikings kept needing scoring drives in the fourth quarter for any chance to win, and Favre kept giving the Vikings scoring drives to give them a chance to win. The Vikes were down by 14 late in the fourth but won the game. Favre made some mistakes earlier in the game, but he was a brilliant quarterback at the end. A player like Tarvaris Jackson can't bring the Vikings back from 14 down late; I don't think Tarvaris Jackson will ever be able to do that. But sometimes to win a game, you need a QB to do that.

Adrian Peterson
144 yards from scrimmage plus two touchdowns, Peterson made the big catch-and-run on a screen leading the Vikings' game-tying drive, and in overtime he made the big run leading the Vikings' game-winning drive. I love seeing the Vikings throw to Peterson: giving the ball to your best player in space seems like an obviously good idea. Peterson is the team's MVP so far.

With the exception of one bad touchdown drive allowed at the end of the first half, what did the defense do wrong today? Sure, account for the opponent, but that was what I want to see from the Minnesota D.

Fire Childress Now!?!
I was way calmer during a close Viking game than I should have been: I figured either the Vikings get a great comeback win, or they fire Childress, and either way, there's something to smile about.

And going into the game, I thought even if the Vikings win today, they should still fire Childress. Obviously things are crashing all around, and after today's win, let's give Frazier a chance to save it when the team can (probably) afford two more losses, rather than waiting until the next loss when they'll only be able to afford one (and even now, they might only be able to afford one).

But it's hard to fire a coach mid-season after a dramatic, emotional comeback win. It might be necessary anyway, but it's hard. Maybe, just maybe, the Vikings can use this game to turn it around.


  1. Anonymous4:32 PM

    I feel like every week they get closer to what we expected they'd be. All the guys we've been waiting to emerge finally emerged. Let's keep it going!


  2. The Favre of 2009 is emerging!!! Our future lives or dies on it! Oh and the defense needs to get OT pressure like that during the beginning of the game!

  3. Anonymous6:47 PM

    AP is a beast! I would love to see his stats on a team with an offensive coordinator.
    Give the secondary some credit for the sacks and Anderson deserves some of the blame.
    Better, but not sure they are for real.

  4. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Dig the purple pants.


  5. Nice article.
    What a great win by the vikes.
    Big comeback.
    Vikings showed heart, courage and pride.
    What a ripper.

    Check out my NFC West blog at

  6. Plinthy the Middling9:07 PM

    Whoa, Nellies: So much irrational exuberance here; and all of it based on the sound, reliable evidence of a desperately contrived win against a team that came in already near drowned in the shallow end of the NFL equivalent of the wading pool for escorted toddlers.

    Reality: The Norske are at the halfway point, having to win the division to ensure making the playoffs, having spotted 3 wins to a team that has spent two thirds of its season with serious deficiencies at key positions (and so is very likely to resume its cruising speed), and 2 to another that is better than Buffalo by no more than the difference between two defensive stars and their marginal replacements.

    So - they need 8 wins and cannot afford a single loss; and from a team coached by Chilly. Right.

    The remainder of the season will be played under the business end of a guillotine whirling at the outer edge of a roulette wheel; and avoiding even a paper cut might STILL not be enough.

    If it happens, none will dare mention the Miracle Mets, ever again; if not, then the moment -- the very instant -- the blade drops, dump the Chilly body and have Brett spend the rest of this team's investment in his hubris as Professor old Farvte to the new guy ... and no, I do NOT mean Tavaris.

  7. I don't have that much faith in this team; I'll believe in them when they win A road game.

  8. If they win in the windy city (at least slightly dominantly), I may start to believe, yet it will save Chilly's job. Maybe he realizes he needs to let Favre and Bevell take over the Offensive game planning.

  9. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Football Outsiders had Arizona rated as the worst team in the league coming into this week. You can disagree with that all you want, but it's indisputable that Arizona has played really bad football at times this season. So yeah...needing a big 4th quarter comeback to beat a subpar opponent at home is not enough to convince me this team has turned the corner.

    Yesterday I made the observation that I can't believe the Vikings beat the Lions, and I stand by it. I think the Lions are better. If Jason Hanson doesn't get injured yesterday, they probably beat the Jets. The Lions play with heart, like they have something to prove...the Vikings played with zero emotion for 3 1/2 quarters yesterday, and only turned it on when they were staring into the abyss of a 2-6 start. And even then, they had a 4th down attempt batted down that would have ended the game had Arizona been able to pick up one more first down.

    "A player like Tarvaris Jackson can't bring the Vikings back from 14 down late; I don't think Tarvaris Jackson will ever be able to do that."

    Week 17, 2007, at Denver, the Vikings came back from down 19-3 to force overtime. They lost in overtime, but that still counts as coming back from down 14 late.

  10. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Totally agree with "A player like Tarvaris Jackson can't bring the Vikings back from 14 down late; I don't think Tarvaris Jackson will ever be able to do that.", facts be damned. At least with Favre, as much as I curse the stupid throws, I still feel like there's always a chance.

    Also agree the big test is next week in Chicago. Win that one, and Uncle Mo could start taking over.

  11. Maybe you are right, but if I were a Vikinbgs fan I would prefer a QB who improves my chance of not being down 14 late, instead of one, who improves my chance once I am. Because honestly, even with BF its no more the 10% you are looking at.

  12. Anonymous9:46 AM

    is Chilly the new Les Steckel?
    Will the team quit playing as they for Les "is more" Steckel?