Initial Reactions to Vikings vs. Cowboys
The defense. Down the stretch of the regular season the defense faltered. Today, the defense took over. Leslie Frazier’s defense forced 3 fumbles, intercepted a pass, and sacked Tony Romo 6 times. That’s a quality day at the office.
Sidney Rice. Remember during after training camp when Chilly chauffeured Favre to Winter Park and everyone wondered who would be the recipient of Brett Favre’s passes? Today Rice had 6 catches for 141 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sidney Rice is the real deal.
Brett Favre. 40 years old and the guy still has it is playing the best football of his career.
Ray Edwards. The least known of the front four played a heck of a game. The fourth year defensive end out of Purdue had 3 sacks and put pressure on Romo all day. He went out with an apparent knee injury, but should be okay for next week’s NFC Championship in New Orleans.
Brad Childress. When an offense comes out of the tunnel and starts the game slowly, blame can be placed on a coach’s ability to properly motivate his players. Today Chilly’s lack of luster was glaringly apparent. Not only did the offense fail to gain a first down on their first possession, but they came out after halftime and looked even worse; they were penalized for false starts twice on their initial possession of the second half. That, my friends, is poor coaching.
Since we’re on the subject of Chilly, let’s talk about the play call on Favre’s last touchdown pass. With less than two minutes left in the game, the Vikings were leading 27-3 and on their way to the NFC Championship game. After starting on their own 37-yard line, the Vikings’ drive stalled at the Cowboy’s 11, and the Vikes were faced with a 4th and 3. What does Chilly do? Kick a field goal? No. Run the ball up the middle? Nope. He called a pass, and Favre found Visanthe Shiancoe for a touchdown. That play call shows a complete lack of respect for your opponent. You are simply running up the score and taunting karma. Keith Brooking had some words for Favre after the touchdown pass, and I doubt Keith was inviting Favre on a hunting trip. Furthermore, I have no idea why Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and the rest of the starters were even in the game at that point, but the brain of Brad Childress continues to baffle me.
There isn’t much to else to write. The Vikings dominated both sides of the ball and won in a blow out.
The NFC Championship should be a great game. The safe pick is the Saints, but a lot of people were burned by picking against the Vikings this week. My bet hinges on the Vikings’ defense. If they played how they did today, they will be tough to beat. If Drew Brees has time in the pocket, it will be a long day.
I don’t know who will win next week, but I have to repeat what I’ve said before: The only one that will beat the Vikings will be Brad Childress.
**UPDATE** Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com has post-game comments from Vikings’ players regarding Brooking’s “classless comment.”