Brian Murphy: The 2022 Vikings are a decade’s worth of madness
Let’s be clear before we begin our weekly purple therapy. Saturday’s win by the Vikings was not the Minneapolis Miracle 2.0.
It would be too easy to compare the unparalleled experience that unfolded over four hours at US Bank Stadium.
Nothing can compare to pulling a playoff loss from the crematorium and still living to see another day, as Case Keenum or Stefon Diggs did with 2017.. Not even an historic comeback like Minnesota’s absurd 39-36 humbling of the sad-sack Colts.
This was an outlier of the absurd in regular season.
Hell without the lid.
Linda Blair spins her fissured head like a top, spraying Beelzebub’s bile on the monsignor’s bedroom walls and her face.
You don’t watch the 2022 Vikings every week. They are something you have to endure. You feel both dreadful and amazed. Like elective surgery. Unless the cirrhosis has advanced.
Why should you take acid when you can go to the weekend with a football team that is completely clueless about where it is going?
Surrender the void. It’s the only flag of white flying near this supposedly cursed, but suddenly sun-kissed franchise.
I’ve been preaching this season to forget analytical reason and just let the ride unfold. But after watching Minnesota fall behind 33-0 at halftime at home to junior varsity Indianapolis and rally for the greatest come-from-behind win in the 122-year history of the NFL … welp, you’re on your own now.
See you on the other side.
The NFC North champions are an incredible train wreck that will not stop moving. They are a total aberration at 11-3, defying fate with enough folly and resilience to fuel a normal team for decades, let alone a season.
Five weeks ago, in Buffalo, the Vikings made water into wine with an overtime victory. Justin Jefferson climbed a staircase to heaven and reached the top with a fourth down catch that will be a highlight of his Canton induction. Josh Allen, one of the league’s most skilled quarterbacks, made a mistake in his own end zone to save Minnesota in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
This was a trivial conversation compared to what they did against the shell-shocked Colts.
Forget about labeling this team as unpredictable or handicapping their postseason success. They are like Hollywood executives trying explain what makes a movie a success. Nobody knows everything.
Despite fatal flaws that would kill mere mortals, the Vikings remain the great un-dead. To kill them when all hope seems lost, it takes more than just daylight, garlic, and a dagger in the heart.
Defense is a myth until there is a turnover. A sack, three-and-out or a sack are necessary for survival.
Playing offense for four quarters is illegal until Kirk Cousins discovers a phone booth where he can change into Kirko Chainz, and then sling dart after dart. Playing with their fans’ jagged emotions can be a felony until the Kumbaya drum circle brings back everyone thirsty for more jello shots.
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Of course it’s not sustainable. We’ve been saying it since September.
Their brutal 30-minute performance against the Jeff Saturday “coached” Colts was the offramp the boobirds and armchair skeptics had been seeking to escape the surrealism.
The Vikings had three paltry first downs and just 87 yards of total offense compared to Indy’s 12 and 209, Matt Ryan’s toe tag notwithstanding.
I’ve never seen anyone behave so sheepishly since Fredo was in the boat house. I’m smart!”
Minnesota was lining up to be the first 10-win team to either back into the playoffs or defer its postseason berth. A gong show of biblical proportions.
Five touchdowns, 431 yards, and one game-winning field goal later the Vikings were celebrating their first division title in five years. 2 seed in NFC playoff race.
Battle-scarred and bemused as the rest of us.
“This cornerback Patrick Peterson is a veteran cornerback who must be comatose in order to speak.
” Nothing seems to bother me about this team. Our guys have incredible belief in each other. I guess we will just have to wait to see what people have to say about us now.”
They’re saying plenty. Between eye-rolling drinks and knowing winks, Saturday night’s mass deletion threatened to make Twitter obsolete faster than Elon Musk.
Not even Tra Blake’s whistle-happy third-year referee could stop the Vikings from winning. Carping about officiating is a tired cliche, but even I can’t apologize for the dereliction that cost Minnesota 12 points in scoops and scores.
NFL means Not For Long for Blake et al.
It is impossible to quantify the Vikings’ activities and their methods. Their high confidence is a suit that protects them from the whimperings of Dallas and Philadelphia earlier in the season.
Any jury can convict the Vikings of impersonating a great football team. A rematch with the Eagles or Cowboys would be disastrous, based on their poor defense and untimely catatonic offense. Or a date with the defensively dominant 49ers. Or the surging Lions.
But it is hard to ignore the strength and scar tissue that have allowed the Vikings overcome so many adversities.
Maybe the fully stocked teams are eager to burst Minnesota’s bubble. Perhaps the bare-knuckled Vikings are sceptical about bringing a loaded gun into an emotional knife fight at US Bank Stadium.
The Vikings are a powerful power line that arcs in a tornado. Grab it.
If you dare.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.