In the Afterglow, a Vikings Apology

Vikings
Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson. © JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Dear Vikings:

I see it so clearly now. How could I have doubted you? You love me, you love me, you love me.

Just last week, I wrote you a letter showing you how human I am. I know now it was unfair of me to doubt your (then) 7-1 record, to question the might behind the record. But doubt it I did. I admitted I had trust issues.

And I put it on you to prove yourself to me (and the world), by beating the Buffalo Bills. That was unfair of me to ask, but in all of your purple glory you did exactly that, winning a game so dramatic, so exciting, so utterly amazing, that I felt my trust issues melt away like fat liquefying at the hands of one of those sketchy Keto diet drinks.

I’ve been set free, Vikings. How can I question our future after that amazing performance? You took my breath away and made my toes curl in football-induced ecstasy that I haven’t felt in a very, very long time.

You deserve an apology, Minnesota Vikings, and I’m going to give you one.

I’m sorry that I thought Kirk Cousins looked ridiculous in his chains, and that his oversized reading glasses made him look like a kid in the library hoping that the Big Book of Railroad Engines was finally available. I should have known that he would throw pass after pass into the waiting arms and/or outstretched fingertips of Justin Jefferson, perfectly placed, when those passes were needed most.

I’m sorry that I doubted the depth of the defensive secondary. Patrick Peterson was of course stellar on the one corner Sunday, but my real worry was the loss of Cameron Dantzler on the other side. I should have had faith in Akaylab Evans, then Andrew Booth, then Duke Shelley (fresh up from the taxi squad, no less) stepping up as the game wore on and limiting the damage Josh Allen, Stephon Diggs and company were able to inflict.

I’m sorry that I doubted the staying power of the offensive line. When Christian Darrisaw left the game due to injury…. I’ll admit it, I’ll admit it—I thought that Buffalo would begin to tear Cousins limb from limb and cast him aside like an old copy of People magazine laying around at the barbershop.

I was wrong, I should have had faith in a group that found a way to give Kirk the time he needed as the pressure built and the significance of each play grew bigger and bigger. This is a line that Pro Football Focus currently has ranked #8 overall in the NFL, and it has demonstrated they can get this job done and done well.

Plus, I should have known Dalvin Cook can level an oncoming lineman with the best of them when in blocking-back mode, as he did multiple times on Sunday.  

I doubted your pedestrian team statistics on each side of the ball. I doubted your bend-but-don’t break defensive strategy. I doubted your ability to put teams away. I’m sorry – will you forgive me?

When I told you that you needed to beat Buffalo in order to prove yourself to me, I have to admit I never expected you to actually do it. And I certainly didn’t think you’d do it with such elan, such flair, such drama. It was like you were John Cusack, appearing at my house in a long trench coat and a boombox held high above your head, playing Peter Gabriel at “10” and making me know for certain, forever, that you would never disappoint me.

You’ll always be there for me; I know that now. I know you’ll make all the plays from here on out. Moving forward, I’ll never worry about those silly things that used to trouble me about you, and I know that you’ll just keep on winning. It’ll be nothing but Ws from this point forward, and the whole world will know that I love my Minnesota Vikings. And that you love me back.

I’m sure you’ll deliver playoff victories, and then of course I’ll treasure that first Super Bowl win, and all the ones to follow. It’s all there ahead of us. This is what I’ve always dreamed of. You’ll never let me down.

Will you?