If you've watched last summer's hit comedy, The Hangover, I'm sure you remember the scene where Ed Helms' character Stu wakes up after the wild night he can't remember and he looks like hell and the room is spinning on him and he's lost a tooth – a tooth he learns later that he pulled out himself.
Anyway, that's kind of how the Vikings looked most of the time in their 27-10 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. They looked woozy, out-of-sorts and caused themselves unnecessary pain with self-inflicted wounds. This win was not a thing of beauty.
However, there are worse things in the world than being displeased that your favorite football team only won a game by 17 points. The Vikings are still 8-1 and, hey, didn't New Orleans only beat the Rams by five? The Vikings weren't sharp. But I don't think it's the beginning of a trend.
Still, there was one thing that bothered me about the game.
I didn't like the cutesy trickery stuff in the first half. And I don't just mean the botched reverse by Adrian Peterson to Percy Harvin, but also the punt return where the Vikings had Harvin out there with Darius Reynaud and Reynaud faked a reverse to him.
It seemed to me the Vikings were trying impress themselves early on and rub it in a bit against Detroit. But I don't think they're going to do this kind of high risk/low reward stuff against the Saints or Dallas if they make the playoffs, so why try it all? (By the way, I was less upset about the call to give the ball to Jeff Dugan on that fourth-and-one play. The Vikings have done that a few times over the past two seasons with positive results. The problem was, the Lions seemed to know this was a Vikings tendency in that situation and they stuffed it.)
Here is what I did like about the win.
1. Ray Edwards: We all know he was the best Vikings defender on the field and it was his second straight monster game (it's also worth noting he's had other strong efforts this season, it just didn't show up in his stats total.) Edwards has always played the run well. Now he's looking like he's taking advantage of all the attention Jared Allen gets in the pass rushing department. I'd be surprised if the Vikings are not talking contract extension with Edwards and his agent. If they aren't, they should be.
2. Cedric Griffin: This guy really tackles well. There were at least two occasions where he met Detroit tight end Will Heller head on and stopped him in his tracks. Heller must outweigh Griffin by 30 pounds or so.
3. Jimmy Kennedy: When the Vikings picked up Kennedy last year midway through the season, I thought nothing of it. But Kennedy has been a valuable member of the defensive line rotation this season. He's been a better pass rusher than expected and he's got the bulk to hold up inside against the run.
4. Sidney Rice: I don't think there's much reason to explain why I liked Rice's performance. I guess it's nice to see his big games a few weeks ago weren't flukes. He looks legit.
Now if Bernard Berrian could get it going, this offence would really be humming.