A Wasted Chance
January 28, 2010, 8:08 PM
Filed under: NFL

By Jerry Coon

Four days ago, the biggest tragedy since Hurricane Katrina occurred in New Orleans.

We watched as Brett Favre’s last chance (possibly) at getting to the big game slipped away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Vikings’ fan, never will be.

However, Favre is one of my favorite athletes to ever play. He might even be number one on my list.

So to watch AP, Harvin and Berrian cough more balls up than Jenna Jameson was hard for me.

Here is the deal, people: The best team in the NFC is NOT getting to play in the Super Bowl. All of the Saints fans can convince themselves of whatever they want, but the truth is, the Vikings should have won that game.

And I am not even counting Favre’s braindead throw at the end of regulation. Let’s say he tucked the ball and ran. He gets maybe three or four yards, setting up a 55-56-yard field goal. Can Ryan Longwell make that? Highly doubtful.

You have to look at everything that happened before that play.

By now, we are all used to seeing AP cough up the ball. (Photo courtesy of ESPN.com)

1. Adrian “Puberty” Peterson. Why that nickname? Because his balls are always dropping. In the last three seasons, AP has dropped the ball 20 times, leading the NFL. And I am supposed to believe this is the best running back in the NFL? If Steve Slaton is hanging onto the ball more, there is a problem.

Side beef: Would you even put him in your ‘Top 5′ after watching that game? When is the last time Chris Johnson, MJD, Steven Jackson or even Thomas Jones fumbled a ball? Those four also rank above AP in yardage, so let’s stop acting like this guy is the next great. He is just another premium running back. Nothing extreme.

Anyway, Peterson’s three lost fumbles in the game didn’t help the cause. Speaking of the fumbles…


Let’s recap. 1:13 left before halftime, Reggie Bush makes a Reggie Bush-like play by fumbling the punt, giving the Vikings the ball at the Saints’ 10-yard line. THE 10-YARD LINE! Favre attempts to hand the ball to AP, and guess what happens? Fumble. That’s at least three points off the board. Go into the half tied 14-14.

Skip ahead to the beginning of the fourth quarter, everything tied up at 21. Apparently, Peterson is contagious, because now Percy Harvin coughs up the ball on the Vikings’ 34. Saints score, putting it at 28-21.

12:39 left in the game, Vikings drive down to the Saints’ 18-yard line. The fumble-itis is spreading. Berrian now gives the ball up after a reception at the 10-yard line. At the very least, that could have been another three points.

Vikings then hold, get the ball back and score, tying the game at 28.

Now here is where the problem lies. Let’s say you take away the three lost fumbles. That would take away seven of the Saints’ points. That would also give the Vikings at least six extra points. Vikings then win the game by 13.

If you take away even ONE of the fumbles, Vikings still could have been up instead of playing from behind.

Basically, I can what-if all day. But let’s get one thing straight: Adrian Peterson and whatever illness he had that he spread to his teammates blew a perfect chance at going to Miami.

Could the Vikings have been the Colts in the Super Bowl? Yes.

Can the Saints beat the Colts in the Super Bowl? Absolutely not.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am not a Saints hater. I don’t have a feeling towards that team at all (besides the fact that some of their fans are delusional enough to think they got the better player in the draft with Reggie Bush. Please. Mario Williams was the best of those top three. Period). I am just simply stating that we could have seen a better match-up.

We could have seen the guy that holds all the records vs. the guy that will eventually break all of his records.

But more importantly, we could have seen Favre (after statistically playing his greatest regular season ever) possibly win another Super Bowl, and ride out into retirement without a bitter taste in his mouth.

Thanks, AP.