The Vikings have been competitive in most of their games this year. The three glaring exceptions have been the blow out losses to the Bears and Packers, and today’s game against the Saints. Everyone expected Drew Brees to shred the under-manned Vikings secondary and he didn’t disappoint. Brees finished with 412 yards and 5 TDs on 32-of-40 passing. Brees and the Saints’ offense vs. the Vikings looked like varsity vs. JV. Had Sean Payton not pulled Brees he probably could’ve challenged the all-time single-game passing record of 554 yards. But the Saints had no reason to leave Brees in – they have bigger goals than annihilating a terrible football team in a meaningless late-season game.
Offensively, the Vikings looked utterly inept. Christian Ponder seemed befuddled for most of the day, and got little help from his offensive line, receivers and offensive coordinator. Is it fair to say Ponder took another step back today? Maybe not. But he certainly didn’t play well and people who want to let him off the hook because he’s a rookie are simply blinding themselves to reality. Ponder may one day prove to be a good player but on this day he looked a long way from realizing his potential. There’s nothing wrong with pointing out that obvious truth.
There’s not a whole lot to say about a loss like this. A really good team crushed a really bad team. A really good veteran quarterback thoroughly outplayed a really young quarterback. A solid offensive line held up against a good defensive line. A really talented receiver corps made mincemeat of a terrible secondary. The game pretty much went the way everyone expected. Is there reason to be disappointed? Not really. But there’s not a whole lot of reason to be encouraged either.
So, the march of futility goes on. The Vikings fall to 2-12. The off-season beckons. But hey, look on the bright side…the Packers lost. No undefeated season for the Cheeseheads. Yay?