The Vikings may be losers but at least they’re entertaining losers. For the second straight week they hung with a playoff team and had a chance to win it late, only to watch a turnover end their hopes for a thrilling upset. Things got crazy for the Vikings in the second half, starting with Christian Ponder being benched (maybe to protect his injured hip, maybe to protect Leslie Frazier from having to watch him throw any more interceptions). Enter Joe Webb, who promptly ran for a 66-yard touchdown.
The Lions’ offense should’ve come out after that and shut the door on the Vikings, but they didn’t. Their play calling may have been too conservative, or maybe it’s just that they have a really terrible offensive line. Whatever the reasons behind the listless second half performance, the Lions let the Vikings hang around and hang around.
The Vikings’ offense didn’t exactly look crisp with Joe Webb in there but it was able to move down the field and score a TD to get it to 34-28. The Lions had one more shot to slam the door but failed, and gave the Vikings back the ball with 3:30 remaining. A seemingly sleepwalking Lions defense let the Vikings work the ball down the field all the way to the 1. The Vikes snapped it with 9 seconds left, and finally the Lions defense rose up and made a play, forcing Joe Webb to fumble (the refs missed a face mask on the play).
The Vikings lost again, falling to 2-11, but for the second straight week it was a highly entertaining loss with lots of crazy plays. The big issue lingering from this game however is Christian Ponder. Is there a QB controversy after his benching? No. Ponder is the man. But it was fun watching Joe Webb get out there and run around. With the season in the toilet, the best we can ask for is yuks. We got them today.