There’s no getting around it – tonight’s tilt with the Saints is a must-win for the Vikings. Dropping to 1-4 would be a disaster this team would be unable to recover from, especially now that the Bears appear to have gotten their gear in order. You can pretty much forget about a Wild Card berth in the NFC – those two slots will be going to NFC East teams. This means, for the Vikings, it’s a division title or no playoffs. If they lose tonight, they will be a full 2 games behind Chicago. True, they still have two games to play against the Bears – but do you like our chances against that team the way we’ve played so far this year? Especially now that Kyle Orton has blossomed into a legitimate NFL quarterback?
It sucks to feel like the whole season is already on the line in just the fifth game, but that’s the situation. A win puts the Vikings at 2-3 – still in dire straits, but at least alive. A loss and the behind-the-scenes turmoil that must be brewing will only get worse.
Winning means not shooting ourselves in the foot like we did against Tennessee. It means protecting Gus Frerotte, so that we don’t end up with Tarvaris Jackson back at QB. It means opening some holes so Adrian Peterson can show Reggie Bush and everyone else who the most exciting running back in the NFL is. It means Jared Allen earning his money. It means Cedric Griffin manning up. It means Visanthe Shiancoe holding onto the ball (he did it last week – let’s see if he can do it again). It means Bernard Berrian shaking off whatever is ailing his lower body this week and making some plays. It means Brad Childress and Darrell Bevell coming up with a game plan that could at least stump a 15-year-old Madden freak. It means a lot of things going right against a Saints team that can put points on the board in a hurry. It means not losing track of the clock or forgetting where you’re supposed to line up. It means finally looking like a professional football team.
Tags: Adrian Peterson Bernard Berrian Brad Childress Cedric Griffin Chicago Bears Darrell Bevell Gus Frerotte Jared Allen Kyle Orton Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints Reggie Bush Tarvaris Jackson Tennessee Titans Visanthe Shiancoe