The Vikings won in dramatic fashion against the Saints last night. Here's a couple of things I noticed.
1. I already sort of knew this, but Tony Kornheiser is an excitable jackass. He uses hyperbole to the point where everything he says loses meaning, and still manages to sound like he doesn't know what he's talking about. He's almost impossibly adverse to criticism, and manages to sniff it out where none exists. Ron Jaworski made a decent point about owners not paying attention to talk radio, and Mr. Kornheiser decided to make it into an issue for a fair while afterwards. At least he didn't threaten to wring his neck and hang him over the back of a shower rod like a duck (what in the hell does that even mean?). Just another just another example of how the spastic cockflickery of sports talk radio doesn't translate so well into play-by-play/color commentary in an actual football game.
2. Even a blind squirrel is right twice a day, and Kornheiser was absolutely right about the Vikings towards the end of the first half. The Saints were doing their best to give the game to us, and our offensive playcalling was just incredibly passive. It turned out okay in the end, but at some point, this unspoken "play for a field goal", hope for a touchdown" mentality is going to be the death of us.
3. Antoine Winfield had an unbelievable game. He got a lucky snare of the blocked field goal, then had a great play with the improvised sack/forced fumble/fumble recovery. They showed a stat later in the game that mentioned that he's only been thrown at 16 times, and the opposing receiver has only caught 5 passes. That both shows two things. Number one is that Winfield is an elite level cornerback that is vastly underrated because of relatively low interception numbers. Number two is that the remainder of our defensive backs are exceedingly easy to complete passes against.
4. Reggie Bush is a monster and an amazing athlete, but I'm not convinced he'll ever be a dominating running back. If he gets open field in front of him, he's a beast to take down (though the Vikes did make it easier for him than they should have on his 2 punt returns), but for whatever reason, he can't get around the corner on running routes that well.
5. Adrian Peterson will probably break 300 yards in a game someday, but for every superstar amazing game he has, he'll have one like he did last night. When a defense has his number, it doesn't seem as if any number of touches gets him anywhere. In his defense, though, the O-Line didn't really open many holes up for him. Part of that is because the Saints D-Line played their best game of the season, and part of that seemed to be our "for God's sake don't lose this ball game" passive mentality that I described earlier.
6. I'll admit it, Gus Frerotte may not be the QB that the Vikings need, but he's closer to being that quarterback than Tavaris Jackson is. He has the ability to throw the ball deep, and doesn't make very many mistakes. This doesn't help us win Super Bowls, and sort of delays whatever future the Vikings may have for the position, but at this point, he's the best we can put on the field.
7. I really miss Twins baseball (speaking of which, how awesome is it that the Rays beat the Sox? The answer - really awesome.)
All in all, that was a tense, enjoyable football game that turned out in our favor.