Minnesota Vikings End Incredible Season with a Terrible Loss
How much of a difference can seven days make? Last week all of us Vikings fans were on cloud nine, while this week we're all trying to figure out what team showed up on Sunday.
Prior to Sunday, I watched the Vikings go into an NFC Championship game three times and lose them all. Two times it happened on game-winning field goals against NFC South opponents, while the other was a 41-0 blowout against the New York Giants.
4th time was the charm....Right? I thought so.
The only thing I was correct on was the fact that I was getting on a 4 hour rollercoaster. This rollercoaster had a lot of unexpected twists.
There were no "phantom penalties." There wasn't one play here, or one specific interception there, that caused them to lose.
The Philadelphia Eagles simply dominated the Vikings 38-7.
Minnesota got as far as they did this season with their defense being the best in the league and the offense not turning the ball over. The wheels completely fell off in Philadelphia on Sunday night as the defense was gashed and the offense turned the ball over three times.
Minnesota simply crumbled.
This wasn't the team I watched all season long, or heavily invested myself into. This wasn't the same team that had the mental toughness to overcome all obstacles that we saw all season. This was the Vikings entering the game feeling like a team of destiny and falling square on their face.
Fact of the matter is the team peaked in the win over New Orleans. Just a little too early.
My emotions went from being nervous to irritated quickly during the game. That quickly moved to being indifferent about the entire situation.
But the easiest word to describe it all is just disappointed. This wasn't the same disappointment that I felt in 1998/2009. This was more like the disappointment that was there in 2001, against another NFC East opponent.
It wasn't the way any of us Vikings fans wanted it to end. In fact, this was the scenario we were hoping to avoid and finally break away from. That didn't happen this year.
What did happen this year during the regular season and divisional round was a shine of light in terms of hope. We saw a Vikings team battle through losing their starting quarterback and running back. A team that was 2-2 after four weeks and went on an incredible run to finish the season 13-3.
We saw a team pull a win out of nowhere at home that will forever be known as the Minneapolis Miracle.
This was a heck of a team and one that deserves to be looked back at and revered.
The Eagles were the better team on Sunday night and they deserve the spotlight and the right to play the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
As for the Vikings, the disappointment will be a dark cloud hanging around the franchise for a few months. I'm sure by the time next season rolls around that excitement will be at a high again for the team and also for the fans.
Even though Sunday felt like a kick to the gut, there's still reason to believe. Sunday night just wasn't their night. Easy at that.
Keep the hope alive.