History Doesn’t Paint a Pretty Picture for Vikings-Giants
Man, it feels good to be a Vikings fan right now, doesn’t it? The team just clinched the division and a playoff berth thanks to their gaudy 11-3 record on the season. We’re still reveling in the reality that this squad just pulled off the most fantastic comeback in the history of the NFL. And we’ve got the Giants on the horizon this weekend. You want to talk about frauds, take a peek at that New York Football team and their 8-5-1 record!
Unfortunately, none of this bodes well for the Minnesota Vikings who have proven time and time again that they haven’t been able to move on from the high of an amazing, fantastic, against all odds finish and perform up to a certain standard just one week later.
Fortunately it’s not just a Vikings Problem but more like a league wide issues with teams struggling to get up for a game after all of their energy was put out to pull off a fantastic, overtime finish the week before.
Just within the organization, there are a handful of examples in the recent memory of most Vikings fans. We like to set the 41-Donut game aside from most of the other follies in Minnesota Vikings history, but coming off the heals of a dominating victory over the Saints and finding themselves favored against the Giants in the 2000 NFC Championship Game, a 41-0 finish was more than disappointing, it was down right shocking.
Then there was the 2019 NFC Championship game. One week removed from the “Minneapolis Miracle”, one of the most dramatic and fantastic plays in the history of the league. In that game, the Vikings found themselves down to the Saints in the waning moments after once holding a large lead. Hope was lost, the magical season had hit a brick wall and it was time to just chuck it up and see what happens. So with only :10 left on the game clock and trailing by a point, that’s what Case Keenum did. Gun Buffalo Right Key Left Seven Heaven, was the call and the outcome blew the roof off of U.S. Bank Stadium. Stefon Diggs breaks free, struts into the end zone untouched and the Vikings move on to the NFC Championship in Philly.
It was the top play on SportsCenter, the talk of the town and led to Case Keenum, Stefon Diggs and any other Vikings player who still had a voice getting booked on every talk show in the nation…meanwhile they were prepping for the next biggest game of their life. Well apparently the excitement got the better of the prep that week and one week later, The “Minneapolis Miracle” was followed up by the “Philly Folly”, a 38-7 loss to the Eagles on national television.
But those were old squads, with players and coaches who don’t have much if anything to do with this year’s team…right?
Well yes, that’s right. But this year’s group has also proven that they are not exempt from the curse of the fantastical follow up.
It was November 13th, just a little over a month ago when the Vikings faced off against the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills on the road. Finding themselves locked into a good game, but in an impossible situation, the Vikings turned the ball over on downs at the one yard line. Needing only to give themselves a little breathing room and then kneel out the clock, Buffalo put the ball in the hands of their dominant, beheamoth QB Josh Allen to run for a few yards…only on this day those hands were a little extra slippery and Allen fumbled in the endzone only to have the Vikings recover for the touchdown giving Minnesota a 3-point lead. The game would eventually go to overtime and the Vikings would win and “Kirko Chains” debuted.
While we loved seeing the attention that the team and Kirk were getting, the memories of national distractions kept pulling us down from the peak of excitement. And it did so for a just cause.
The next week, again on national television, the Vikings played their worst game of the season losing 40-3 to the Dallas Cowboys at home. “It was unacceptable” the players told us after the game. This game, paired up with the team’s late game heroics each and every week only bolstered the national opinion that the Vikings and their impressive record were in fact fraudulent.
But now you have a chance to prove them wrong. Another dramatic victory this past weekend, the largest comeback in NFL history, with lots of attention, lots of national interviews and lots of praise. But you have another game this weekend, this time against the New York Giants. Daniel Jones can still do some things, Saquon Barkely is still a stud, and Kayvon Thibodeaux continues to turn heads as he’s coming into his own.
The Vikings simply cannot continue this trend of laying eggs after dramatic late game heroics the week before. The trend needs to end here if there are any hopes for this team to be taken seriously come the playoffs.
Buckle down, don’t look back to revel in what happened last week. Remove yourself from the public eye. Do whatever you need to do to ensure that this winnable game against the Giants doesn’t turn into the next in this long list of regrets that follow rejoicing.
Aj Mansour is a member of The Power Trip Morning Show on KFAN and works for iHeartMedia and the Vikings Radio Network. He’s also a senior writer for VikingsTerritory.com. Be sure to follow him on social media for the latest Vikings news and big opinions – @AjKFAN