Being a lifelong diehard Minnesota Vikings fan it is a hard pill to swallow what happened last night. In case you were on mars during the game last night the Vikings had their season come to an end in the most cruel and tortuous way possible. The Vikings committed five turnovers and put the ball on the turn eight times including six fumbles to go down 31-28 in New Orleans to the Saints. Before I get too far I want to congratulate the city of New Orleans as they went from hell with Katrina to zenith with last nights victory. However, I can't help but wonder if the Vikings gave them the game as the Vikings outgained the Saints 2-1 by a total of 475-257 and in first downs by 31-15. When you dominate that totally you are going to win 9 times out of 10. There were a few reasons why Saints fans are waking up totally happy and Vikings fans are waking up totally miserable.
One word Turnovers: You are not going to win very many games when you turn the ball over five times. It could have been much worse as they put the ball on the turf an amazing eight times including 6 fumbles and 2 interceptions. The fact that the Vikings got to overtime with 5 turnovers just says how totally the Vikings dominated the game. The main culprit was Adrian Peterson who was the epitomy of feast or famine in this game. Adrian Peterson had 122 yards on 25 carries along with 3 touchdowns. Just looking at those stats you would have to say he had a wonderful game well nothing could be further from the truth as Peterson put the ball on the turf 3 times. The Vikings lost one of those fumbles and it was a big one as it was inside the Saints 10 yard line in a tie game. There came a time in the game where he was on the sidelines because the Vikings could not trust him to hang onto the ball. The bottom line no matter how talented he is if he doesn't get this fumbling under control he is no good to the Vikings and could see him going elsewhere. I really hope he can figure it out because he has the ability to be the best the game has ever seen. Hope yesterday is the wake up call that he needs to get that taken care of.
I have to admit that when the Vikings put all their chips in the middle of the table to get Brett Favre I was somewhat skeptical. I didn't believe all the hype that number four was getting and didn't think we needed him. On the field he was awesome because including playoffs he had 38 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions. However, to me his legacy was enhanced on this night. Favre took a beating on this night after late hit after late hit were being thrust on him. However, he just kept getting up and completing the next pass to move the Vikings down the field. Then he took what I feel was a dirty hit as a Saint defender dove after his leg and made contact with his ankle. There was a new rule in effect this year called the Tom Brady rule where when a defender dives at the QB's legs it should be a penalty, but no penalty was called. Favre could barely get to his feet and had to be helped to the sidelines so you felt he was done and would see Tavarais Jackson finish the game. However, Brett Favre would not be denied and hobbled back into the huddle the next time out after having his ankle retaped. In the end it was not enough, but at the end of the day all the hype was not hype it was the truth. Brett Favre will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and definately the toughest quarterback I have ever seen. Some will say he should of run on that interception and I say he could barely walk and you thought he would of been able to run away from defenders I don't think so. If he would have thrown it earlier it would have been a completion and we are probably looking at a different result. No matter what we wish last night was Brett Favre's last game as you could see from him and his family's faces during the game. So here is one fan's thank you to Brett Favre for coming to the Vikings and giving me a very enjoyable season even though it didn't end like I wish it would have I still enjoyed it. The thing that I can't get over is how bad the officiating was last night. That is not an excuse and who knows how the game would of went if some calls had gone our way. However some of those calls were brutal. Brett Favre was getting drilled well after he got rid of the ball and no roughing the passer penalties were being called. Then a guy dove at Favre's knee on his first interception and there was no penalty. There was a new rule this year that said that if a defensive player dives at the quarterbacks knees it is a penalty. That was done for Tom Brady who had his 2008 season end on a hit just like that. Then you got overtime where I still don't think it should have been a first down after Pierre Thomas lost control of the ball. That was questionable so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. The last two calls though were atrocious and can't be explained. First was the phantom pass interference on Ben Leber. First off he didn''t touch the receiver and also the ball was uncatchable. Then the worst was that phantom catch by Robert Meachem that obviously hit the ground. I would have taken my chances on a 52 yard field goal compared to a 40 yard field goal. I don't think the refs showed favortism towards the Saints, but I do think they were intimidated by the crowd. They knew if they overturned some of those calls the crowd would of went nuts. Enough negatives about the game I just want to say it was an awesome year to be a Vikings fan as they brought more enjoyment to me than I could have imagined. Vikings fans the way you feel today is why we all enjoy sports so much. If you didn't feel the way you do today you wouldn't be able to enjoy when they get a big win. I remember how good I felt last Monday after their loss to the Cowboys and if you didn't put all the chips in the middle of the table you would not get to feel each emotion. This won't last forever because before you know it we will be talking about the Twins and enjoying another summer in the sun. By the way Spring Training begins in 27 more days.