It's over. Stick a pitchfork in the Vikings' hopes of making a playoff run. The 2016 season is officially a failure. The Vikings' playoff hopes died not with a bang but a whimper today in toasty-warm US Bank Stadium. The weather outside was frightful and the Vikings' play against Indianapolis was equally so. The Vikings' lack of discipline and smarts was downright horrifying. If one play perfectly summed up the Vikings' day it was Linval Joseph's boneheaded attempt to vault the long-snapper on a kick, a move that resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for roughing the center. That was just one of the many ways the Vikings shot themselves in the foot Sunday. By the time the game was over that foot was little more than a bloody stump.
As expected, Adrian Peterson made no difference for the Vikings Sunday. His triumphant return may have fired up the fans and his teammates but that fire lasted exactly as long as it took the Indianapolis Colts to establish themselves as the dominant team. Indy looked like the better-coached team on Sunday, which is scary. They looked like the smarter team. The Vikings' defensive line picked a terrible day to check out mentally. Where was the fearsome pass rush? And where was Adrian Peterson, Hall of Fame running back? Peterson made his presence felt only in a negative way, fumbling with the Vikings driving for a score that might have revived their hopes. With Indy taking a commanding lead, Peterson became a spectator. The Vikings mounted no kind of comeback in the second half and walked off the field 7-7 and dunzo as a contender. Finished. Dead.
The Vikings now face the prospect of dragging themselves through the final two weeks of the season. What kind of effort will they give? Will they at least play with a little pride as the clock winds down on this death-march of a season or will they pack it in altogether and get their asses thumped in the final two games. Minnesota travels to Green Bay next week with a chance to play spoiler, but will their heads even be in the game? Will Adrian Peterson play? Frankly, who cares if he plays? If I were Adrian I would look out for no. 1 and sit out the rest of the year. If I were the Vikings I would take the decision out of Peterson's hands by deactivating him for the final two games. All we can hope for now is that this team shows some character the last two weeks, and doesn't get blown out of the water. On Sunday they showed very little intensity, very little intelligence, very little fortitude. And got thumped by a team that frankly isn't that good. Horrible, bullshit performance by Minnesota today. Just inexcusably awful.