2015 was an interesting season for the Minnesota Vikings. After a 7-9 year in 2014 without Adrian Peterson for 15 games, many people were excited about his return. That excitement was validated with Peterson winning his 3rd rushing title and leading the Vikings to an NFC North division title. The Vikings offense was rocky at best this year and it was obvious throughout this season that the defense was close to championship level, while the offense lagged behind.
Over the last month of the season the Vikings looked like a team that could knock on the door of greatness. Finishing the season with three victories in convincing fashion (38-17 over the Bears, 49-17 over the Giants, and 20-13 over the Packers in a game where they were up 20-3) In the wild card round the Seattle Seahawks came to town to face the 3rd coldest weather in NFL history. The Vikings got out to a 9-0 lead and it looked good for the home team. However, in the playoffs things can turn on a dime quickly, and that they did. Russell Wilson miraculously recovered a snap that went 15 yards behind him to find an open Tyler Lockett who takes it and goes down to the 5 yard line and the Seahawks scored on the next play. On the next possession, the Vikings were gonna run some clock and let Adrian Peterson do his thing. Unfortunately he fumbled the ball and set up what would end up being the winning field goal for Seattle. Seattle went on to take a 10-9 lead and it was up to the offense to drive down the field and score. Teddy Bridgewater led the offense down the field with poise wise beyond his 2nd year status. Blair Walsh comes on to attempt the game winning field goal with 12 seconds left in regulation. 27 yards. Everyone in the stadium thinks the game is won. Chip shot. The kick is up, and it hooks wide left. Not even close. Disbelief. In the words of KFAN Vikings radio play by play announcer Paul Allen, “The season can’t end like that!” sadly, it did.
I think moments like this can make a team motivated to come back better than ever before. The Vikings have young nucleus of players who just gained a great experience of winning a division title and hosting a playoff game. Organizationally, the Vikings are one of the top teams on the rise. With the new stadium being close to complete, the Vikings will bring a well coached and hungry young football team. I think this team has what it takes to make the next step next season. This season will have great expectation for the purple and gold and I’m already looking forward to it. Forge ahead and skol Vikings!