About that Guarantee in the Motor City..
The Minnesota Vikings fell to the upstart Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday, losing an entertaining NFC North bout, 34-23. Minnesota didn’t force any turnovers on defense, and based on how the defense is structured, wins are difficult to accrue without takeaways.
Before the showdown, Vikings WR4 and punt returner Jalen Reagor was cornered into a prediction for the Week 14 contest. And the ex-Eagle didn’t shy away, confidently boasting the Vikings would be triumphant.
“We’re going to win,” Reagor told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
Reagor was even given an outlet to dance away from the prognostication, asked if the win statement was a ‘guarantee,’ and he replied, “Yes.”
The 23-year-old was only targeted once on offense — when the game was effectively decided late in the 4th Quarter. As the team’s punt returner, Reagor also had a nifty nine-yard return and a touchdown-saving tackle on a Lions fake punt. Aside from those items, though, it was a quiet day at the office for the guarantee-bearer.
The Vikings, a 10-2 team before the date with Detroit, were curiously 2.5-point underdogs venturing into the tryst with the Lions. The point spread felt funky because 10-2 teams facing 5-7 squads generally have the inverse spread, favoring the playoff-bound team, not the 5-7 gang. But Vegas knew as the Lions stymied the Vikings at every step of the way in Week 14.
On the whole, Reagor’s bogus assurance of victory was meaningless — before and after the game — but it can be viewed as a cautionary tale. This brand of Vikings, under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell, hasn’t beaten a team by more than eight points in over three months, racking up countless squeaker wins at home and on the road. They’re probably not good enough for various players to serve up Vince McMahon or Joe Namath-like guarantees.
Otherwise, they’d probably beat the pants off an opponent every now and then, and that has emphatically not occurred since a Week 1 toppling of the Green Bay Packers.
Minnesota is still a shoo-in to reach the postseason, needing only one win or one Lions loss to lock up the NFC North. That’s a safer guarantee than Reagor’s Detroit proclamation.
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Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
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