Monday, October 3, 2016

Striking similarities

The sports world often repeats itself. With so many years, and so many games played, it has no choice.

There's two examples in the NFL this season that are eerily reminiscent of '10 & last year, both of which include the Minnesota Vikings.

First, the Arizona Cardinals. Last year, the Cards made it to the NFC Championship game, only to get housed by Carolina. This year, they brought everybody back from that team (and traded for Chandler Jones!), and most people (not me) were picking them as the most talented, and probably Super Bowl bound.
In '09, the Vikings went to the NFC Championship game and lost (in OT) to the Saints in what became known as Bounty-gate. The following year, the Vikes returned the majority of that team, and had real Super Bowl aspirations with Brett Favre and Co.
Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned. The roof caved in at the Metrodome (a true metaphor for the season), and Favre ended up getting blasted to the turf at TCF Bank Stadium, thus sending him to retirement, and Brad Childress got fired. The Vikings finished 6-10.
I'm not saying the Cardinals are looking at a 6-10 finish, or coach Bruce Arians is going to get fired, but with Carson Palmer getting crushed yesterday, leaving with a concussion, and the Cardinals sitting at 1-3, with a Thursday night road game at San Francisco (we know how that will end), the similarities to the '10 Vikings are hard to ignore.

Second, the Los Angeles Rams. Like the Vikings last year, the Rams looked terrible in getting shut out on Monday Night Football against the 49ers 28-0 (Vikings lost 20-3 in last year's opener), and people were openly talking about them going 0-16 after that embarrassment. Not sure what losing to the 49ers does to teams, but aside from a literal kick in the ass, it must pack a wallop, because the Rams have won three straight after that opening-night disaster in San Francisco (Vikes went 2-1, losing to eventual Super Bowl champs, Denver, in OT), and are looking night and day from the team that got beat up on that opening Monday night.
The Vikings went on to win 11 of 15, win the division, and if it weren't for a missed 27-yd field goal by the Idiot Kicker, who knows how the season would've ended?
I'm not saying the Cards are going 11-5, but they do have a similar recipe to what the Vikings had last year in a solid run game, and a lights-out defense. With the Cards and Panthers sitting at 1-3, the door is open for the young Rams to take control in the NFC.

One team on the rise, and one team picking up the pieces. Just not the two we expected. God, I love football.

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