The Panic Bowl was just one of the monikers used to describe Sunday’s game between Minnesota and the Dallas Cowboys. Never before had two 1-3 teams garnered so much national attention, but no matter what cliche you wanted to attach to this game, it meant plenty to the winner and the loser.
The game didn’t get off to a very good start for the Vikings as their secondary, which is certainly banged up, gave up some big plays along with two touchdowns to Roy Williams in the first half. The defense as a whole though, continued to impress. They kept the Cowboys under 100 yards rushing for the game and managed to keep pressure on Tony Romo throughout the game. This pressure led to two interceptions, both by Minnesota linebacker E.J. Henderson, who continues his remarkable recovery from a broken leg last season. The entire Vikings linebacking corps is playing at an extremely high level this year. I think both Henderson and Chad Greenway have a shot at making the Pro Bowl this year.
The other star of Sunday afternoon was a guy who made the Pro Bowl last year, Minnesota’s multi-talented Percy Harvin. The Viking standout took the second half kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 14-14. He also contributed with three receptions and two rushes, including a very nice red zone run that came out of a new formation for the Minnesota offense. Harvin definitely had the biggest impact of anyone on the offensive side of the ball, but there were a couple of other aspects of this game that were very good to see. The Vikings only turned the ball over once and that was on a fumbled exchange between Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson. Favre got credited with the fumble, but AP looked to be the guilty party. Minnesota played pretty much mistake free football against Dallas and that included cutting down on penalties(5-45yds). Another positive was seeing Randy Moss stay involved in the offense. He didn’t have any huge plays, but was the Vikings leading receiver catching 5-55yds, including a couple of important first down grabs.
Minnesota needed this win in a big way. Now the Vikings play two tough road games in a row. Next Sunday night they will play in Green Bay, then in two weeks they travel to New England to take on the Patriots. Both of those games will have plenty of emotion factored in, but the Packer game is the one that could really change the outlook of the 2010 season for Minnesota. The Packers are 3-3 and have already lost within the NFC North, while the Vikings are 2-3 and a win in Green Bay would give them a 2-0 division record. With the Bears also losing yesterday, Minnesota is right back in the division race and I think if they can focus on winning within the North, a third straight division title is a reality. The first step towards that NFC North crown is Sunday in Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).