Well, that was a crazy game. It didn’t mean a whole lot, but here are ten random things you should know following all the chaos:
1. The Vikings are currently slotted to have the 4th overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Houston, St. Louis (via Washington), and Atlanta are the only teams currently slotted to pick in front of the Vikings. Assuming the Vikings lose to the Eagles this week, they should end up with the third slot a week from now, because Atlanta and Washington play each other this week. Houston will play Indianapolis.
2. The Ravens and Vikings saw six lead changes in the fourth quarter on Sunday. That is an NFL record, officially making it one of the craziest endings in history.
3. As if the double fist pump by the official upon announcing the Ravens final touchdown on Sunday wasn’t enough, the refs’ performances from Sunday are under heavy scrutiny. Almost every Vikings coach, player, fan, and media member have stated publically that the game was handled in ridiculous fashion. Leslie Frazier said he got a call from the NFL on Monday, and that it was unsolicited, so it wouldn’t be too big of a surprise to hear that others higher up the chain also felt our team was at an artificial disadvantage.
4. Adrian Peterson immediately took to Twitter following the game to call out the refs and said Ravens fans are a no-good snowball-throwing fanbase. Both Peterson and Frazier have mentioned getting hit by snowballs in Baltimore. I’m not sure that calling out an entire city was Peterson’s smartest move, especially after a loss, but I could certainly understand the frustration. Hey, at least these next two years playing outdoors in Minnesota are sure to be void of drunken fans that think it is acceptable to throw… umm, uh oh.
5. Peterson gave us all a scare when he went to the ground on Sunday and didn’t get up, but instead lay on the ground flailing around in obvious agony. Peterson will see a foot specialist soon, but the good news is that they have yet to find any major breaks, tears, or other horrible things. The team, in my opinion, should still consider shutting him down for the season, but it seems unlikely that this foot injury will have any impact on the 2014 season.
6. The crazy day didn’t end at the stadium. Vikings players took to Twitter to complain that their team plane was sitting on the runway when a catering truck struck the plane, causing them to seek an alternate aircraft. A plane had to come in from Detroit to pick them, delaying their takeoff by about three hours, and it just seemed like a fitting end to the day. Somewhere, regarding caterers, Randy Moss is saying “Told Ya’ll.”
7. Peterson is big news, but he isn’t the only injury plaguing this team right now, and the list is actually quite lengthy. The Vikings have officially placed tight end Kyle Rudolph on injured reserve and wide out Greg Childs on the PUP list. Tight end John Carlson will have to pass concussion tests this week in order to continue filling in for Rudolph. Toby Gerhart has filled in nicely for Adrian Peterson at times this season, but a strained hamstring suffered in Baltimore could slow him up a bit. Xavier Rhodes has really started to look like a top-tier cornerback in recent weeks, but he is also hobbled from a sprained ankle.
8. While the injuries are stacking up, at least one promising young player is on the mend and appears close to returning. Safety Harrison Smith is rumored to be set to return this week. The big-hitting safety could breath some life into this defense upon his return, but it is too little too late, and one has to wonder if the Vikings shouldn’t just keep him out and focus on being more successful next year.
9. This team is discovering some of it’s less experienced talent is looking to be quite talented as the get more experience (got that? good.). Cordarrelle Patterson had the best overall performance of his young career and is looking like one of the best rookie wide outs in the NFL, and is certainly the most versatile. Andrew Sendejo got his first career interception on Sunday, had a second called back on that Chad Greenway interference call, and should easily be a starting safety on this team moving forward even after Smith returns. Xavier Rhodes may have been hurt on Sunday, but not before he broke the record of Orlando Thomas for passes defended by a rookie with 20. Audie Cole led the Vikings with 13 tackles and had another decent showing in his third consecutive start.
10. The Vikings are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Just in case you were still holding out hope.