The Vikings won a game on Sunday in Detroit, and little about the game mattered other than the result.
The defense shutting down the Lions? Who doesn’t. They haven’t score more than 22 points in a game since Oct. 21, and that was against Miami.
The offense emerging from an inept quarter-and-a-half to produce 24 points? Well, the Vikings wouldn’t have seemed so productive if not for a Hail Mary touchdown at the end of the first half.
The details don’t matter much at this time of the year, though, because the Vikings have entered the portion of the season in which only math matters.
They are 8-6-1 with a chance to clinch a playoff spot next Sunday at home against a Chicago team that may or may not care about that game. After a season that has included a tragic death, a midseason coordinator change and failures against good teams, the Vikings remain in position to make something of the 2018 season.
And they’re moving forward with a playmaking tight end named Kyle Rudolph, who produced his first 100-yard receiving game since 2016 and broke a career-worst streak of 11 games without a touchdown catch.
He caught two on Sunday, the first a 44-yard Hail Mary that turned an embarrassing first half for the offense into a 14-9 halftime lead. He finished with eight catches for a career-high 121 yards. He is the second Vikings tight end to produce three 100-yard receiving games in his career. Joe Senser produced four.
Jim Souhan’s podcasts can be found at TalkNorth.com