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I thought it might be fascinating to live-blog a grudge match between two 1-4 teams that coincidentally find themselves only a game out of first place in the worst division in professional aports. This is usually a terrific game, one that generates a tremendous amount of spirit and energy in the Twin Cities. Not this year; the Vikings Love Boat Cruise has taken what little wind the fans had out of their sails.
12:37 - I start watching the game; I figured I'd emulate both teams and take the first quarter off. The score is 0-0, so I obviously made the right choice.
12:40 - Ferguson makes a great catch for the Pack, and hyperextends his knee coming down. I don't think he'll be coming back; it really looks bad on the replay.
12:41 - Oh, look -- the Vike defense just gave up a TD to Favre. What a shock! 7-0 Pack.
12:50 - The Vikings wake up a bit, but Culpepper's slide started too soon for the first down. When you slide feet first... They'll go for it -- and they fumbled the ball. Daunte blows the rock again. Another shock!
12:55 - Green Bay looks better on offense than they have all season, but they run a reverse on a team that isn't exactly known for its wild pursuit. At least the mediocrity balances out on both sides of the field.
12:56 - Donald Driver just showed that at least 4 Vikes can't tackle, even when they all converge together. Fred Smoot kept Driver out of the end zone.
1:00 - Favre hits another TD. Now he's 11-11 with two TDs, not one good defensive play on a Favre pass. They haven't even forced him to throw one away. This is a team that went 1-4 before today!
1:03 - Great return gets the Vikes to the Packer 23. Hmmm -- maybe that will spark the home team!
1:06 - Mewelde Moore coughs up the ball. Holy freakin' crap, man. That's snakebit.
1:09 - Two-minute warning already? Must be a side benefit of two lousy teams squaring off against each other -- the game really moves.
1:12 - Favre finally threw his first incomplete, mostly because the receiver was so wide open that he got too excited. Driver now has over 100 yards in receptions this half. Favre has them moving down the field again ...
1:19 - The Packer mediocrity catches up to itself with a series of stupid holding penalties, but they get close enough for Ryan Longwell to kick a 50-yard FG for a 17-0 halftime score.
1:40 - Back in play. The Vikes come out with a good runback to the mid-30s and get a first down conversion on a 3rd-and-moderate ...
1:44 - Getting a good drive down to the 15, with some crisp throws and timely running. It looks like Tice might have woken them up in the halftime break ...
1:46 - It stalls at the 9, but at least they hang onto the ball and get a FG out of it. 17-3 Pack.
1:51 - Here's a new drinking game for everyone -- take a chug every time these fools in the press box say, "There's no defense against a perfect pass." I've heard it at least a half-dozen times in this game. Besides the fact that a perfect pass can't get to a perfectly covered receiver, the defense is supposed to disrupt the quarterback's rhythm so that he can't throw the "perfect pass" -- let alone a half-dozen of them or so.
1:53 - A nice defensive series forces the Pack to punt ... Big Mo coming around?
1:57 - Culpepper has picked up the pace. He's running and throwing deep, stretching the defense and shaking up the Pack. The Vikes finally look like they have their heads in the game ...
2:03 - Now that's a drive, folks. A nice TD pass caps a long drive in which the Vikes played confidently and aggressively, pushing the ball downfield. 17-10 Pack, but the Vikes have the Mo.
2:14 - At first, the Vikings D looked fired up - but a draw by Ahman Green and a holding penalty by Smoot has them back on their heels a bit while the Pack drives ...
2:17 - Q3 ends, Pack up 17-10 and driving to the Vikings 20. When we come back, it'll be 3rd and 10. Favre has to be careful; Longwell has a sure shot at a 38-yard FG from this spot.
2:23 - Big Mo stays with the Vikes -- Longwell misses a FG try from41 after a Pack fumble on 3rd down costs them three yards. Ready to believe?
2:25 - Vikings driving again ...
2:27 - Pack blows a sack with a personal foul face mask ...
2:29 - Another good drive stalls inside the 10-yard line, but they get another FG. They're within 4, and they've scored on three straight possessions. The Pack looks confused and desperate. If Favre can't get a good drive going quickly, they may well lose this game.
2:35 - Ahman Green goes down holding his knee on the second play after the kickoff. That doesn't bode well for the Pack. I don't see what happened on the playback; it looks like a normal tackle to me. He's getting carted off. He may have twisted it stepping on someone's foot.
2:40 - How can you tell Ben Roethlisberger is back in the lineup for the Steelers? They're pounding the Bengals, 27-6.
2:41 - The Vikes are driving again ...
2:45 - Unbelievable -- the Vikings have come from 17-0 at the half to take the lead on a pass to Mewelde Moore. They're up, 20-17, thanks to what looks like a completely different football team after the halftime break. Whatever Tice said to them must have worked. It looks like the play calling changed significantly to me -- the Vikes stretched the defense a lot more and opened up the box. Favre will get it back on the 23 with three minutes left in the game ...
2:52 - Favre's moved the ball to the Vikes' 38 by the two-minute warning -- he has 34 comeback wins, and he's looking for #35...
2:58 - Longwell lining up to tie the game with a 39-yarder and 30 seconds left on the clock ... made it.
3:02 - The Vikes may have enough time to get a quick hit on the sideline and kick a field goal. They could also shoot for the end zone ...
3:03 - They're lining up for a 56-yarder to beat the Pack with two seconds left in regulation ...
3:04 - CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? A team-record 56-yarder on a BAD SNAP wins the game against the Green Bay Packers! The Vikings come back twice to win the game! The kick itself could have gone another five yards easily.
As bad as the Vikings have played this season, they played a brilliant second half today. Coaching, offense, defense, and special teams all came together for the first time since their playoff win last year, really. That was an amazing game, even against a depleted Pack that has been a shadow of its glory-day teams.
Tomorrow may bring Mann Act indictments, but for 30 minutes, Minnesota actually had a professional football team. Amazing.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on October 24, 2005 6:17 AM
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