Super Bowl is Set and the Vikings aren’t In It

Vikings Territory Breakdown

The Super Bowl teams are set—and Lions fans are upset. In the AFC, the home team Baltimore Ravens showed impatience, inexperience and lack of discipline in their 17-10 loss to the hot and rolling road warriors from Kansas City. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions built a 17-point halftime lead over the San Francisco 49ers on the road and then promptly fumbled and bumbled their way to a 34-31 loss to fall one score short of their first Super Bowl. Set aside that the young and talented Lions will be back to this stage again, this loss will sting for a while, as their fans think about what could have been and some of them think about what maybe should have been.

It could be said of the Lions: “Those that live by the kneecap, die by the kneecap,” as their coach, Dan Campbell (who famously said his players would bite off opponents’ kneecaps off, like the Black Knight from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”) passed up two field goal tries to go for it on fourth down (as he has done all season). The team failed to convert and ended up losing the game by three points. Would either of those field goals have made a difference? You never know, but it sure seems like the second field goal attempt that was eschewed late in the game could have. But Lions fans will debate that long into the offseason. 

Vikings fans and observers are left to deliberate what the Purple plans to do during this offseason to catch up with these Lions and the young and improving Green Bay Packers and the young and draft-pick loaded Chicago Bears. The NFC North division teams are finally out of the playoffs, but the league isn’t going to keep them down long. The Vikings have to start finding ways to join them: to paraphrase Andy Dufresne from “Shawshank Redemption,” “It’s time get busy winning or get busy losin’.”

So, we here at the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast (Joe Oberle, senior writer at and and Mark Craig, NFL and Vikings writer for the Star Tribune and are on hand to investigate that. As always, it starts with the quarterback, Kirk Cousins, and after seeing Brock Purdy bring the Niners back from oblivion, chances are slimmer than ever that Kirk is heading to San Fran for a coach-and-QB reunion. So, let’s talk about it. Tune in to the VT Breakdown podcast and check it out.

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