There is nothing to love about the Minnesota Vikings losing to the Green Bay Packers. Not ever.
There are, however, plenty of things to hate on days like these.
That is why it can be a dangerous combination to let a passionate fan own his own platform, such as a website like this one, without implementing a waiting period for content publishing following a horrible, terrible, awful loss.
If you are a Vikings fan like me, however, you are currently filled with hate. For you, I present the five things to help feed your hate following the 30-13 debacle that unfolded at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday:
5. Joe Buck Can’t Help Himself
The Packers have the best travelling fan base in the NFL? Really, Joe? Do we need to buy you a map? They live here!
Plenty of Vikings fans live in Wisconsin, and even more Wisconsinites have reversed that phenomenon to flee their native state, almost certainly due to an assortment of pending charges.
Calling Packers fans the best travelling fan base because of their presence at Sunday’s game is ridiculous. By the same standards that led Mr. Buck to this astute “observation,” the New York Giants are quite easily the best travelling team in football… they have to cross a border to get to every home game.
In Joe “Disgusting Act” Buck’s defense, one Packers fan did come a really long distance to attend Sunday’s game.
I’m not sure he counts, however, as FOX paid that guy’s way and he got to sit on Troy Aikman’s knee in first class for the entire flight.
2. Adrian Peterson Is Hard To Defend
I love that Adrian Peterson crossed the thousand yard mark. I love that he runs hard and can help this team mask the poor play along the offensive line. I love that the off-field issues are (hopefully) behind him. I love watching as he chases the history books through what is now the twilight of his career.
He is hard to defend.
Of course, defensive coordinators would agree with me, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about his sudden regression back to 2009 form where he protects the football about as well as Joe Buck protects his secret Packer fandom.
The fumbles had previously ceased to be a major problem for Peterson, but he has to again figure this thing out, especially if he wants to see his team do some damage in the postseason before Father Time catches him from behind.
Until then, it is getting harder and harder to defend Peterson from those that think he is hurting this Vikings team more than he is helping them.
3. Mobile Quarterbacks Are A Problem For Us
This was the worst loss of Minnesota’s season. Yes, I’m saying this was even worse than the Week One nonsense that allowed San Francisco to beat us 20-3.
Mike Zimmer has a great defense on his hands, one that is a strong safety away from being in the “elite” category, and Rick Spielman has added a lot of speed to a roster that looked like it was constantly running in pudding just two years ago.
Still, they don’t have a solution for these mobile quarterbacks, such as Aaron Rodgers and Colin Kaepernick. Neither played particularly great against us, but both beat us with their feet and ability to sidestep the pass rush. The Vikings do best against statue passers, guys that stay put in the pocket, but Aaron Rodgers isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and it sure would be nice to see this defense come into a game looking like they are at least aware the quarterback is capable of walking at brisk pace.
We’ll face Russell Wilson in two weeks and it would sure make me feel better about our chances to be the NFC North champions if they close in and him and finish plays in the backfield.
2. I’m Going There: That Game Was Poorly Officiated
When you lose by 17 points, the referees were not the problem. Still, they were one of the problems on Sunday, and it was obvious to everyone watching.
Walt Coleman’s crew drew all sorts of criticisms throughout the game as they threw flag after flag against the NFL’s least penalized team, the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings ended being penalized eight times for a ridiculous 110 yards, but a truthful fan will admit they deserved most of those flags, and that it was the inconsistencies that seemed clear as day.
A head butt from Cordarrelle Patterson gave the Packers 15 yards. A head butt from Mike Daniels, though? Nothing.
A slightly over-aggressive shove from Linval Joseph? Give the Packers new life in the red zone. A clubbing to the head of Teddy Bridgewater, though? Nothing.
Matt Kalil clearly holding on a quick throw to Stefon Diggs? 10 yards. Green Bay’s entire offensive line clearly holding on 95% of their plays (unverified stat)? Nothing.
The Packers took four penalties for 19 yards on the day, but managed to get most of those back through incredibly generous spots of the football by Coleman and his fellow zebras.
Actual impact on the outcome aside, that lopsided tally of flags in this game is not a fair representation of how it was actually played, but rather it is a fair representation of how the cards were stacked against Zimmer and his squad on this particular day.
1. This Offensive Line Makes Us Pretenders
I’m not sure how an NFL team fixes their offensive line between Week Eleven and the playoffs, but unless the Vikings figure out a way to do that then they are simply pretenders when it comes to making a Super Bowl bid.
Any heroics that Teddy Bridgewater, Stefon Diggs, Adrian Peterson or even this defense put on display are only mere distractions from the Achilles heel that is this offensive line.
Against some defenses, Norv Turner is able to successfully mask the fact that they are completely terrible, but they’ve been exposed multiple times this season and it is very likely other teams on our schedule will overwhelm them in a similar fashion.
I can’t even be mad at Matt Kalil, who struggled mightily against the Packers, as he was clearly impacted by his toe injury and has far exceeded his expectations this season. In fact, I can’t blame any single player, but the sum of all five parts just does not equal an NFL-quality offensive line.
This weakness is fatal and it likely cannot be fixed until the offseason. That’s an unfortunate truth, but it is a truth none-the-less.
And I hate to have to admit that.