To the dismay of many in Viking Nation, Brad Childress‘ job appears to be safe for one more week. This after the Vikings rallied from 24-10 down to record a stunning 27-24 overtime win over the Arizona Cardinals.
For a moment, it really looked like we had seen the last of Chilly as Vikings coach. After looking totally flat in the first half, the Vikings started the second half by watching Percy Harvin fumble the opening kickoff to the Cardinals’ Michael Adams who returned it for the touchdown, giving Arizona a 21-10 lead. Those who had already given up on the Vikes assumed this was the end of Minnesota’s season. And if they didn’t think it then, they surely thought it after Brett Favre threw a red zone pick to Rashad Johnson, on a play where Bryant McKinnie whiffed on a block and allowed the pressure to alter Favre’s pass. At that moment, the Vikings’ 2010 campaign truly seemed lost.
A team that had completely given up on its season would’ve surely packed it in there. But, the Vikings didn’t – a strong indication that, despite the week’s alarming developments, the Vikings locker room is still together. Over the last 4:39 over regulation plus overtime, the Vikings played their most brilliant ball of the year, scoring two touchdowns, stuffing the Cardinals on defense and, in the overtime period, setting up Ryan Longwell for a game-winning field goal.
The game’s heroes included Jared Allen, who shook off his season-wide slumber to almost single-handedly blow up the Cardinals’ defense on its last two possessions. Offensively, it was all about Brett Favre, Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shiancoe and Adrian Peterson. The cynics out there will surely point out that, with the season on the line, Childress had no choice but to put the game in the hands of his players, who then went out and played with the kind of free-wheeling abandon that has been missing all year thanks in part to Chilly’s overly-conservative style of offense. I don’t know if this is true or not…I just know that the Vikings scored 17 unanswered points today from late in the fourth quarter on, and a team that can do that has not given up on its coach or its season.
Now we’ll see if this emotional victory carries over to next week.