One Point of Purple
A kick in Soccer
A shot in Hockey
A toss in Darts
A free throw in Basketball
A kick after a touchdown
A takedown in Wrestling
A landed punch in Boxing
A single swing of the bat in Baseball
A poorly executed roll of the ball in Bowling
What do they all have in common?
One single point in fact.
Exactly one more then the Packers managed to accrue against the Purple Punishers. I spent the latter hours of yesterday and the earliest parts of today thinking of that list but it is by no means exhaustive. If you think other examples ought to be included, do say so!
But there's also only one point that I really want to make today, amongst the myriad of possibilities. The idea of it first came at midweek, with the announcement of the Pro Bowl's selected roster. Four Vikings were included in the announcement. Four from a three loss team. What a joke! The most inexcusable absence was Harrison Smith, and that fact has been widely agreed upon by people who know.
The absences of Smith, Linval Joseph, Eric Kendricks, & Case Keenum are evidence to the one point - that the rest of the country has no idea how good this Minnesota Vikings team is! Players in all three phases, and in all the various segments within, are amongst the best in all the NFL.
Excuses like "Their schedule isn't that good" or "They're using Case Keenum at QB" or "They only won because Rodgers was out" have all been levied against the Vikings in one form or another time after time after time. And I'm not disputing the partial validity of some arguments against the teams success but I think there is a more overwhelming factor - no one has seen this team.
They dominated a bad Saints team at home to start the year and then mostly dominated a talentless Packers team just last night. Those were their two chances at showing what they've got, on a national stage. The Saints have improved dramatically since, but I think that the Vikings would dominate them against in a rematch. As it was, it's not their fault that those competitors were so pathetic. But that is the source material from which the nationals are drawing their conclusions.
It doesn't help that the Vikings were far from their best last night either. Maybe it was directly in correlation with the single digit temperatures. Maybe it was the appearance of some thin cracks because of the pressure to succeed that they are under from the locals. Maybe it was just a collectively off night. Whatever the reasons, they were not at their best. Yet still posted a 16 point win, on a shut out in Lambeau. It's been over a decade since the Packers were shutout twice in a season. So that's more historical context to this defense's credit.
The nay-sayers will continue to discredit, overlook and under-appreciate what this team is about. And I think the 53 will continue to win games, with the best chance for a Super Bowl appearance that there has been in my life time.
I don't even know how to naturally work in the fact that Harrison Smith put on one of his best individual performances yesterday. That Trae Wayne's has finally seemed to become the cornerback opposite of Xavier Rhodes that the team needs on the outside.
And all of the good within the shell of an average, at best, performance for the team overall. That's a lot of different points, but I think it all boils into the stew that is a lack of awareness of what this team actually is. Everything else falls in line behind that as far as I'm concerned!