Putrid is as putrid does.
In the first half of the Vikings'-Packers' game today, there have been several things that merit reconition as putrid. And, for the first time in recent Vikings' history, the Vikings do not figure in any of the top three most putrid game moments.
1. Green Bay's Defense. What else can be said about a unit that has allowed three long plays in the first half? The Packers gave up the first Vikings' TD courtesy a Jermaine Wiggins 13-yard reception, when the Vikings were buried deep in their own end, and a 42-yard Burleson reception. Daunte's roll-out TD pass to Moss capped the waltz.
Green Bay's defense outdid itself on the Vikings' next two possessions, however, permitting two long scoring plays. The first TD came on a 68-yard pass to Burleson, a play during which Moss provided just enough interference with Al Harris to ensure that Harris could not make the play on Burleson and that Moss would not receive an illegal blocking penalty from the penalty-happy officiating crew.
The Vikings' third TD also came courtesy of a porous Green Bay defense, as Michael Bennett broke a tackle and juked two defenders en route to the endzone. On the play, Green Bay's last line of defense (#24) looked like a whirling dervish as he feigned an ability to make the tackle.
2. Packers' Head Coach Mike Sherman. Sherman had so little respect for the Vikings' ability to stop his team in the clutch that he opted to use both challenges in the first half despite having visual evidence that the challenge would not stand. The first challenge of the Favre fumble was ridiculous and recalled similar Tice challenges made out of sheer desperation. The second challenge was almost as bad if for no other reason than that the replay made clear that the ball did not touch the endzone line. We shall see if the loss of both challenges hurts the Packers in the second half. My guess is that it will.
3. Officials. The officiating crew for today's game has taken it upon itself to focus on ticky-tack calls while ignoring the egregious. On Burleson's 42-yard gain, the crew missed the Packer defender's mauling of Burleson prior to the pass. Had Burleson not righted himself, this would have been a more significant oversight. Fortunately, it is just a bitching and moaning point, made even more poignant when, on a subsequent play, the officials called the Vikings for lining up in the neutral zone--a call virtually never made.
The officials also ceded the Packers three points with the ridiculous time out for measurement that they called at the end of the half. The Packers may have been able to set and spike the ball, but that should be on Green Bay, not on the officiating crew.
4. Vikings' Pass Defense. Bad. Nothing else need be said. This better improve or the Vikings may be home for the playoffs.
5. Rushen Jones. Come on!
Up Next: Rewind.