I was warned, but I didn't listen …
My friend Eric said that sooner or later the Vikings would have a game like this. You know, one where Favre starts playing a little pitch and catch and starts tossing the ball to nowhere in particular while the team just loses it in general because the gods of football have some sort of bias against a team dressed in purple. Maybe so, because Kurt Warner apparently was compelled by the power of Christ to lead the Cardinals to the sort of victory that makes pundits all over the country call them a serious playoff threat and remind us that they were in the Super Bowl last year because we're all suffering from post-concussion syndrome and forgot.
Save for Larry Fitzgerald mocking my mocking and running roughshod over anyone who got in his way, the Vikings made sure to literally give the game away by becoming so enamored with Favre's magical numbers that they throw more than they pass, making them less reliant on Adrian Peterson thus less dangerous. Remember when everything about the Vikings potential success revolved around working off of Peterson and letting Favre manage games and control the tempo? Well, veering away from that model and going all out with the pass obviously brought some success, but it bit them in the ass when they faced a well-prepared and hungry team in the Arizona desert.
After fumbling away their opening drive, the Cards essentially dominated the game on offense. And whenever the Vikings were able to mount a drive, they would commit some stupendous blunder or find themselves facing a Cardinals defense that seemed to know exactly what they were going to do. On the whole, it was a gruesome day, but not one without a silver lining.
Should the Vikes realize that they cannot have throw the ball 35-times a game, they might go back to getting Peterson 25-30 touches per game so they can achieve more balance. They are still the most complete and balanced team in football, but for them to take advantage of all their weapons, they have to deploy them better, otherwise it's going to be more repeat performances like this one.
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Written by Sean Neumann