Vikings/Bears: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Honestly, how much of this game did you watch? Did you actually watch the entire game? If you did, you are probably either a hard-core Vikings fan, you had nothing better to do... or you're a Bears fan.
If you missed the game, it did turn out to be a little bit exciting at the end...but for the most part it was a pretty boring football game.
If you are a Vikings fan that didn't watch it or bailed out early...I can't really blame you. Barely any offensive or defensive starters played...no Cousins, Cook, Diggs, Thielen, Rudolph, Hunter, Griffen, Joseph, Kendricks, Barr, Smith or Waynes.
The only reason they had to actually play this game was so they could complete the 16 game regular season schedule. For the most part, this game was pointless. It reminded me of watching a preseason game but at the end of the year, which is weird, unless you have one of the top spots locked up.
Don't get me wrong, I understand why the backup's played. There was nothing to play for, other than pride. And even though sometimes you need to play for pride, this is professional football and unlike the Bears, the Vikings have a playoff game next week and the last thing you need is an injury to a key player. I think with what happened to Cook a couple of weeks ago and Kendricks and Barr last week, Coach Zimmer was not willing to chance that. Even in spite of how badly the offense played last week.
The result of watching the Vikings second and third string players, some who looked like they were trying to prove why they're on the team, was a 21 to 19 loss. That loss finishes the Vikings regular season at 10-6. And funny, that's exactly how I had them finishing when I made my preseason prediction (I was way off about the Bears though).
Given that hardly any starters played, it's not easy or really fair to make write this blog but I did anyway. So let's get to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...of the Vikings backup's.
The Defense: The second unit actually played very well against the Bears starting offense (I know, it's Trubisky). Good pressure, four sacks, six tackles for loss, a fumble which was so close to being a touchdown and they held Chicago to field goals for most the part. They just couldn't make that big stop at the end.
Mike Boone: Occasionally a player makes both the good and the bad in one game and that's the case for Boone. On the good side, he had some really nice runs, finishing with 148 rushing yards and a touchdown. The best part is he didn't let the early bad stuff affect the rest of his game.
Run Blocking: Normally, it's the best part of the O-line. But they've had their issues and have made "The Bad" list before. Given that a couple of starters did not play Sunday, they actually did a good job. (guys playing for starting jobs right?)
Mike Boone: Sure he was on "The Good" but just about everything bad that happened to the Vikings, in the first half, had Boone's fingerprints all over it. A bad pitch from Mannion to Boone led to a turnover on the first drive. The next possession, Boone failed to hang on to a pass that ended up in the hands of a Bears defender. Then, two possession later and the ball on the Vikings 1 yard line, Boone tried a little juke move in the end zone (instead of just running forward hard) and was tackled for a safety. Just one player and the situations he was involved with, led to Chicago's first 8 points.
One Bad Penalty: I know it seems like I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel here, and maybe I am, but this has been an issue for this team for a long time. Bad penalties at the absolutely wrong possible time. This one happened with 9 1/2 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The Vikings were putting together their longest drive of the game (yes, with some help from the officials) and got to the Bears 6-yard line. But an unsportsmanlike penalty pushed them back to the 21-yard line. So instead of 3rd and 3 from the 6 yard line, it's 3rd and 18 from the 21. If you've REALLY followed this team over the years, you know is s### is way too commonplace.
Nope, not doing it. I can't do it. Like I said, it's really not fair to even do a GBU when it was all back up player's, so I'm not going to add insult to injury.
Side note: I did not do a GBU for last week's Packers game for two reasons. I was still on vacation. And, more importantly, it would have been a bad one and I didn't want to ruin your Christmas. Hopefully next week is not the final GBU blog. SKOL!