In arguably their biggest game of the season, the Minnesota Vikings were embarrassed, losing 38-7 at home to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. The Vikings mustered only nine first downs, 125 yards of total offense and trailed 35-0 late in the third quarter. Their only score came on a 101-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson.
Why such a poor performance?
“There’s really no reason to attribute it to,” Minnesota linebacker Chad Greenway said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We did have some injuries, but it’s not an excuse. It’s the National Football League. Everybody is injured at this point in the season. The reality is – and it was sort of our issue last year when we look back at games – we were having an inability to focus and an inability to do our jobs when it mattered the most. I think that had a lot to do with Sunday’s loss. You see in critical situations, we just played our worst football. If you do that against a good football team who’s really hot now with a quarterback who’s rolling and the defense is playing like they normally do, it’s a tough task – even if you’re at home. So we just gave them way too many opportunities and they seized them, so credit the Seahawks.”
Russell Wilson accounted for four touchdowns (three pass, one rush), Seattle ran for 173 yards and two scores, and the defense limited Adrian Peterson to eight carries for 18 yards.
It was an unmitigated disaster for Minnesota.
“We’re not going to excuse it away,” Greenway said. “We just don’t work that way around here, especially under Coach Zimmer. We sucked. We’re going to move on because we have a game coming up on Thursday, we’re doing to try to clean things up and we’re going to try to play our best football game.”
Minnesota (8-4), which is tied with Green Bay (8-4) for first place in the NFC North, will play the Cardinals in Arizona on Thursday. Preparing for a 10-2 team is hard enough, but to do it on short rest? No thanks.
“It is a challenge to get ready on a Thursday,” Greenway acknowledged, “especially when you’re the travel team going out west and playing an opponent that’s absolutely crushing right now. They have weapons everywhere offensively. Larry’s playing as good as I’ve seen him play, which is really hard to believe with as many good years as he’s had, and obviously Carson Palmer is putting the ball wherever he wants to. I think the defense doesn’t get enough credit for how they’re playing. So we’re going to have to play a lot better in all three phases. We’re hoping that this type of environment brings out our best football. We haven’t done that this year and we need to start if we want to become contenders.”
Doug Gottlieb, like many, wonder if Thursday Night Football runs counter to the idea that the NFL is actually interested in player safety. Greenway understands that point of view, but he also realizes it’s just the nature of the beast.
“It’s harder to get ready in three days,” he said. “It’s the National Football League. You’re going to play dinged up. You’re going to have injuries you’re playing through. Now just escalate that by three days and having less time to recover. Now having said that, who doesn’t like watching Thursday football? That all correlates to the amount of money we make and the TV deals. Complain all you want, but if you ask me Thursday night after the game in Arizona (about getting) a couple days off to rest and relax over the weekend – (as) a guy with three kids, I’m going to love it.”