What do the Vikings need worse than anything else? Well, yes, a win. But more than that, the Vikings need a good, solid, convincing win. Yes it was nice to get the victory against New Orleans, but did that win really calm the dyspepsia currently running rampant in Viking land? That game was anything but a stomach-settler. In fact, the firestorm around the team actually seemed to get stronger, mostly thanks to Brad Childress and his intemperate remarks about Chris Kluwe, which he followed up by pulling one of the bigger weasel moves in recent NFL history with his trying out four punters stunt. The Vikings, as they say, can’t win for losing.
But a lot of that bad feeling will go away if the Vikings not only beat the Lions today, but soundly thrash them. A 30-10 score with Adrian Peterson running for 150 and Gus Frerotte throwing 2 touchdowns sounds about right to me. And Jared Allen getting a couple of sacks and the team overall looking calm and collected and professional. If the Vikes play their best game, this one will not be close. The Lions are a mess, especially on defense. And Jon Kitna is probably not going to play, meaning they will have to start a green quarterback named Dan Orlovsky. It all sets up for a big Vikings rout. And if they don’t manage it? If this game ends up another nailbiter like the Saints game and the Vikings need fluky plays and blown calls to bail them out? Then the heat will not die down. Childress has lost the fans’ faith almost entirely – even victories can’t save him. The entire aura of the team has to turn around – it has to lose its jittery vibe and look like a real pro football team that can go somewhere. It has to develop real confidence. I think Gus Frerotte can help the offense in this regard. He seemed to take on a greater leadership role during that touchdown scoring drive ending in the crazy Bernard Berrian/Aundrae Allison double-post play. His getting knocked out of the game and coming back and throwing that touchdown while standing in against the pressure impressed his teammates (Matt Birk raved about him during our interview on Tuesday). Tarvaris Jackson may have had the potential to be a quarterback, but he never had the potential to be a real leader. Frerotte is one, and maybe this will be enough to counteract some of Childress’s nitpicky, confidence-killing influence.
Tags: Adrian Peterson Aundrae Allison Bernard Berrian Brad Childress Chris Kluwe Dan Orlovsky Detroit Lions Gus Frerotte Jared Allen Jon Kitna Matt Birk Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints Tarvaris Jackson