There, now that that's out of my system...last night's 36 - 30 overtime loss to the previously awful 2009 Chicago Bears was particularly painful, and I'm begining to think the muscle pain on my lower left side of my back is stress-related to the Vikings' woeful performance these past few weeks. Losing 3 straight on the road (and 3 out of 4 overall) is no way for a team to be peaking heading into the playoffs. It wasn't that long ago that the media and pundits were talking about Minnesota as the # 1 seed in the NFC--oh, that's right, it was just last night, since the Saints' recent 2-game slide from the rarified air of the undefeated left the door wide open for the Vikes to capitalize. But after a totally inept first half against Chicago and brilliant offensive second half (especially by Favre), they just couldn't get over the hump and find themselves in the precarious situation of losing the 2nd seed and a bye week and having to play an extra game by hosting a Wild Card against either Green Bay or Dallas (who are both playing much better than Minnesota these days).
Incredibly, it seems like they've had the # 2 seed locked up for weeks and the only question was whether or not they could overtake New Orleans for # 1 in the NFC. And now, after a whole lot of uninspired play on the road this month, they must beat the Giants and pray that the Cowboys can continue their winning ways against the Eagles in Dallas. Or else the meltdown will be complete...
All of this may be moot of course, since the Vikes can easily be a one and done team in the playoffs the way their offensive line, kick return coverage, and pass defense have been stinkin' up the joint. Even the refs were catching the poor performance bug last night, with two blown pass interference calls that weren't whistled on Chicago, and worst of all, completely missing the facemask on Adrian Peterson which occurred right before he fumbled the ball in OT (Chicago won the game on the next play). Inexcusable, but then so is the way this Super Bowl contender (supposedly) has been playing lately.