Matthew Stafford v. Vikings week 3 2011

Thoughts from a Vikings Fan on the Match-up against the Chiefs

You know, this should be a big game. It really should be. And there should be everything that comes with it- the insulting nicknames for the other teams, the vitriolic amongst fans, the bad jokes, the ritual slaughtering of goats… oh wait, only Packers fans do that last part. Anyways, it’s the return of Jared Allen to Kansas City, it’s the meeting of two perennial powerhouses in our respective divisions, it’s the rematch for Super Bowl IV. (We haven’t forgotten, dammit.)

But instead… no. Really, I think Viking fans and Chiefs fans just all want to get together, huddle over a beer, and share a good, long, therapeutic crying session. (It is cool around here if a guy cries, right? Cuz that’s been happening a lot on my end over the past three weeks.) We could all glance up at the game on a TV every once in a while, alternating our wails of agony. Eventually, one side has to come away with a win (well, there is theoretically the chance of a tie… hopefully Donovan McNabb is aware of that…), but I wouldn’t even suspect there would be gloating at the end- it’s just that one side would no longer fear joining Detroit in its 0-16 record, and then that side would probably go ahead and spend a little time consoling the other side.

Chiefs and Vikings share a lot in common (Jared Allen and Super Bowl IV aside). We’ve both made moves for quarterbacks recently (well,
our move a bit more recently than yours… of course, we’ve made about 12 moves for quarterback since your move for Matt Cassel), and we’re both gnashing our teeth over those decisions this season. We both have awesome running backs… and we both have serious issue with said backs. (Now granted, your issue is far larger than ours… but if we don’t start using AP in the, ya know, second half of a football game…) And we both entered this season with high hopes and chins upright, and have stared in confusion as our records have both slipped to 0-3.

So, OK, I’ve been remiss. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kyle Segall, and I am a contributing editor over at the Daily Norseman,
a blogging site for the Minnesota Vikings. (My handle over in those parts is KJSegall.) I’ve been a fan of the Vikings since 1998- yes, I originally started as a Randy Moss bandwagon jumper, because prior to that, I really didn’t watch NFL (it was all college ball for me). But mind you, I’ve earned my fandom via all the bruises and licks I’ve taken ever since, having remained faithfully devoted since that year. (Do not ask me why. I don’t have an answer. Masochism?) Your founder, Travis Pflanz, graciously extended an invitation for me to come over and give a guest post on your site, and so here I am.

Now, I’d love to give you 28 reasons why the Minnesota Vikings are going to win on Sunday. (In alphabetical order, those reasons would be 1.) Adrian Peterson…. 28.) Peterson, Adrian.) However, if you’re not aware, the Vikings seem to have developed a lovely little habit recently. See, we’re a team all about breaking NFL records. Most recently, we became the first team in the NFL’s 91 years of existence (yep, we’re
including pre-merger here) to lose its first three games… with a double-digit lead going into halftime. Those leads? First game- 10 point lead. Second game- 17 point lead. Last game? …20 point lead. Yep, not only are we doing it over and over… we’re actually getting better at throwing away halftime leads. When I did some math*, I figured that the Vikings would end the season with a 87 point lead at halftime,
before losing the game, 88-87.

*When I say I did some “math”, take that always with a grain of salt.

Many a football fan, analyst, player, coach, and some people who have never heard of the NFL in Australia’s outback wilderness have asked ‘why’. Let me tell you- the first 30 minutes of our games, we have played absolutely lights-out, looking like true contenders all around: contenders to take the division championship, contenders to get into the playoffs, contenders I would say to win the damn Super Bowl. The teams we have played are no slouches- San Diego, Tampa Bay, Detroit. (As an aside, Matthew Stafford entered the last game as the only NFL quarterback to not have been sacked. Come game’s end, we had sacked him five times- three for Jared Allen, two for Brian Robison.) We took Detroit, ranked #1 offensively in the NFL going into that game, and for the first half, held them completely off the board while racking up that 20 point lead.

The hell if I know what keeps happening come second half, cuz then Detroit went ahead and outscored us that half 23-3, before beating us in OT.

Seriously, we really aren’t fully sure what’s going on. Biggest reason we seem to figure is Adrian Peterson not getting quite the same amount of focus in the second half. But in all truth, it has to be more than that. We just don’t know.

Now, you guys (sorry if this ruffles feathers, I’m just speakin’ the truth here) did get… well, beaten pretty badly your first two games. However, last time against the Chargers, you fellows held your own. And let me tell you- I was ticked, because Phillip Rivers was my starting QB on my FFB team. Good G-d if the other guy hadn’t moronically chosen ‘auto-draft’ and then never adjusted, I would have been slaughtered. Moving on…

But in all seriousness, you guys looked pretty decent out there last week. I know your team has been hit- hard- by the injury bug. Still, you guys
held the Chargers down, and they essentially ‘escaped’ that game with a victory- it was no blowout as was much predicted. Not yanking any chains here when I say ‘good on y’all’.

So what’s going to happen this game? I’d love to say that the Vikings are going to win (of course). It seems like we’re soooo close… just a little
tweaking come second half and we’re a dangerous team. But I can’t say that with a faithful heart or a straight face, because, I tell you, I don’t care if we go into halftime with a 200-point lead. (Oh, the mathematical possibility? Uh… we’ll get one hundred safeties?) I will be sweating bullets the second third quarter starts. And so will every other Minnesota Viking fan out there.

This is absolutely one of those ‘anybody’s games’. The way you guys played against the Chargers shows that. And the way we’ve melted in the second half… three times in a row… shows that. Honestly, watch the entire game, fellas. Do not get depressed if we have a huge halftime lead
and switch channels or leave the game (should you be attending) to beat traffic. Honestly, the Vikings are the Jekyll and Hyde of NFL teams. We will, in all likelihood (and seriously not bragging here), dominate you in the first half. We’ve shown it against quality opponents- there’s no topping us in the first thirty minutes. The New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers could merge their teams into some freakish hybrid team, and we would dominate them in the first thirty minutes of a football game. They could play both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady at the same time, line up four extra men each down (both offensively and defensively), and we would still dominate them the first thirty minutes.

But when playing us… it’s all about the second half, ladies and gents. We very much are a beatable team coming out of the half. We could be playing a freakish hybrid merger team of the 2008 Detroit Lions and the 2007 Miami Dolphins… and we very much could be beaten in the second half bad enough to lose the game.

So that’s how I’m going to conclude this. Good luck out there guys, I hope you don’t suffer a single ‘nother injury this season. Thanks for the invite- and again, remember… watch the entire game. Do not give up on your team after the first half… no matter what.

Follow me for more info on Twitter: KJSegall, or check me out on the Daily Norseman, where we’ve got plenty of articles looking at this upcoming matchup. Skol Vikings, and since I’m a guest, a celebratory Tomahawk Chop for y’all.

1 Comments Say Something
  • Kyle, Thanks for the guest post. Sorry it took me so long to get it up… Hope your pals over at the Daily Norseman aren’t too pissed at you for my delay…

    If the Vikes have 20 point lead in the second half, there is NO chance the Chiefs comeback.

    Matt Cassel has NEVER brought his team back to a win when trailing by a TD or less with 2 minutes or less remaining in the game…

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