Sunday, December 23, 2012

Trailing Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 23, Texans 6

Vikings-Texans Box Score (Yahoo!)

Today was the Vikings' biggest road win since at least the '09 win at Lambeau Field (the '10 win at Philadelphia was terrific, but the Vikes were already out of it). If the Vikings had beaten the Texans so handily in Thunderdome, we might not have been shocked: this team plays well at home, even against good competition (we beat the 49ers this year, after all). But today a competitive, contending, playoff-chasing Viking team went on the road and utterly shut down a 12 win opponent that had something to play for. In fact, they held a team that was averaging 28.1 points per game to 187 total offensive yards and no touchdowns. In fact, they held that team to 1-11 on 3rd down.  In fact, the Vikings won consecutive road games by double-digits.

And the Vikings are 9-6! Whatever else happens, the 2012 Vikings will have a winning record, and Leslie Frazier, despite being completely wrong about the quarterback position during his tenure, has earned the right to return to coach this team next year, in my view (let's hope they don't talk themselves into another year of Christian Ponder without an immediately viable backup, though). This is progress.  This is competitive, well-played football. This is a prepared football team.

I'll leave it to others to analyze the details and assign individual credit. I'm just walking away with ecstasy. When you are rooting for a sports team, you want to see them able to win games like that: on the road, against a good opponent, in dominant fashion. You hope that the people running your favorite team are building the team to be able to do just the sort of thing that the Vikings did today. The 2012 Vikings will have a winning record, and they have signature victories against 10+ win opponents early in the season and late in the season. I think we're in a good place right now.

Skol, friends.


  1. Amazing game: Ponder needs to get married every week!!! Peterson better get 210 yds or so nxt week... can't wait!

  2. Totally agreed. There are warts to be found but I'm focusing on the good stuff too. I *love* the number of good young players on defense right now!

  3. PV:

    How would this road win rate (except for the win @ Lambeau in 2009) of rare Vikings road wins of recent vintage? To me, this is the most satisfying since they smashed the Giants at the Meadowlands in 2007.

  4. There's also the '08 win at Arizona (the Cards were good that year: they eventually went to the Super Bowl), when the Vikes crushed them.

    Maybe these late season road blowouts against good teams don't bode as much as we'd like them to. But teams that reach the Super Bowl in recent years are often 9-7 or 10-6 teams that get hot, or have one unit (offensive or defensive) get hot. And right now, the Viking defense is hot.

    1. You're right. The '08 road win against the Cards was a sweet demolition as well.

  5. Defense baby! That was a game changer when they stopped the Texans from the one foot line. The defensive lineman obviously did not appreciate your recent draft posts. It is going to be a wild one next week!

  6. ETR:

    I'm happy to take credit for lighting a fire under their asses. Makes me think I should ship up a post on draft-eligible college QBs this week. (Ponder did play well yesterday – for Ponder.)