Rand: Signs pointing to a Viking funeral

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2013 - 12:15 PM

The team's preseason play certainly isn't inspiring optimism.

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Vikings running back Toby Gerhart picked up a first down in Sunday’s preseason game against San Francisco.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

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We want to be wrong.

We want all the warning signs to be nothing but false clues — red herrings, if you will. We want all of the “ifs” to be smoothed out, and we want to believe the offense needs nothing but its best player back carrying the load.

We want all these things because as the summer turns to fall, and the leaves give way to snow, things are a lot more interesting in these parts when the Vikings are having a relevant season. We root for stories, and around here the purple are still as big as it gets.

But we have a growing suspicion that something just isn’t right here. Remember 2010, when the Vikings were a presumed favorite in the NFC after coming oh-so-close to the Super Bowl the previous season?

And then Sidney Rice waited until August to have hip surgery. Everyone was a year older, and at key positions that meant something. Brett Favre came back for another go-round, but the perfect script (minus the ending) from 2009 was flipped from the start. Eventually, Randy Moss came and went ... Brad Childress was fired ... the roof collapsed on the Metrodome ... and that was that.

We’re not suggesting anything that quite approaches the 2010 Vikings or even the 2011 Twins — another team with great expectations that tried to copy a blueprint only to set it on fire instead.

Still, little things are mounting. On Monday, Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton was suspended for three games for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Kevin Williams suffered a hyperextended right knee, a bone contusion and a posterior capsular strain — and this was good news.

The preseason is the preseason, but we have yet to see any of these “ifs” resolved: If Christian Ponder can turn a corner (which he has yet to do in August play that is generously described as “uneven”) ... if the team’s young secondary can hold up ... if the wide receivers are, indeed, upgraded ... if the special teams can possibly be as good as they were last year ... if the offensive line can keep it together.

We’re waiting on one more: If Adrian Peterson can put a team on his back again — and prove us wrong.

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 114 FINAL
Portland 120
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 4 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
NJIT 78
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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