SANSEVERE: VIKINGS BLOW ANOTHER GAME

JACKSON IN WIN VIKINGS
Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws in over time against the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good teams have a credo similar to the Marines. They improvise, adapt, overcome. And then there are teams like the Vikings. They implode, self-destruct, succumb.

It happened Sunday in Baltimore. 

After building 14-point leads twice, including at the outset of the third quarter, the Vikings imploded, self-destructed, succumbed.

Clocks changed over the weekend. The Vikings didn’t.

They lost 34-31 in overtime to the Ravens, tailspinning two games below .500 at 3-5.

Now, you can say the Vikings showed grit, battling back to force overtime. That’s the most positive spin possible. 

Then there is the realistic look at what went down: The Vikings blew a two-touchdown lead in the second half.

The game ended with Justin Tucker, the best there ever was at kicking field goals, sailing through a 36 yarder.

It was another nail jack hammered into Mike Zimmer’s coaching coffin.

The next coach, who absolutely should be an offensive guru type, will not find the talent cupboard bare next season. His big job will be taking that talent and figuring a way to teach it how to win close games, how to handle success, how to become a good team.

There are fans who would like to see Zimmer fired now. Nah, make him suffer with everyone else and give him the heave ho after the final game. Rick Spielman, too. This team needs a fresh start.

It sure needs something to take the stink off this season, and to eradicate a remarkable inability to show even a modicum of killer instinct.

Show of hands: Who actually believed the Vikings would win after they returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown and built a 24-10 lead?

We’ve seen them blow leads way too many times. In all five of their losses, the Vikings have frittered away leads of seven or more points. And in three of the last four games, they have blown leads of 10 or more points. Good thing they have a defensive coach running things, eh?

After the Ravens ran off 21 straight points to take a 31-24 lead, the Vikings went 75 yards in 10 plays to tie the score 31-31 with 1:05 to play. The Ravens couldn’t get close enough for a field goal so the game headed to overtime.

The Vikings had the ball for one possession in OT, after an interception by Anthony Barr, and did absolutely nothing.

It would have been an entertaining game if it wasn’t for all the pain and suffering endured by Vikings fans.

These current Vikings will tease you for a while into thinking maybe, just maybe they can win, and then they’ll rip out your heart.

Heading into Baltimore, nobody believed the game would be close. The Vikings knew when they left Minnesota they didn’t have Patrick Peterson or Danielle Hunter, both lost to injuries. They learned in Baltimore they wouldn’t have Harrison Smith, taken out by COVID-19 protocols.

That meant three of their four best defensive players wouldn’t be on the field; the only one out there was Eric Kendricks.

The Vikings looked decent early, something they often do. It helped that Lamar Jackson struggled in the first half to find a passing rhythm.

After the Vikings went up 24-10, Jackson went back to looking like one of the league’s most dynamic players and led the Ravens’ 21-0 run.

Kudos to the Vikings for that late touchdown to force overtime. Unfortunately for them, they needed a lot more kudo-worthy plays to pull this one out.

Bob Sansevere can be heard on “The BS Show,” a daily podcast that also is broadcast on radio stations in Duluth (WDSM), Hibbing (WDSM), St. Cloud (WBHR) and Worthington (The RadioWorks Network).