I cannot tell you how many of my friends, family, and fellow Internet posters are down on the 6-0 Vikings. The way the Ravens tore up the defense late in the game was enough to turn off many fans.
It is true, the Vikings cannot walk away from the last game completely content. Troubles in the secondary, linebackers missing tackles, and an offense that became predictable late in the game. But even the mighty Saints, Colts, and Broncos have their issues. New Orleans is still a 1/4 season away from being a poor defense, and has injury concerns in the backfield. The Colts was not much better last year on defense, are they suddenly fixed? The Broncos are about that far removed from being a poor team, and with Kyle Orton anything might happen. And not all good.
I was a part of a team this year that did not win a game. It was tough to watch each loss. Sometimes the opponent was clearly superior, and only a Herculean effort could have produced a win. Other times, the opponent might have been nearly equal, and yet the team found a way to lose. Finally, the last game was one where we were clearly the superior squad, but we lost. Losing is tough to overcome. It is habit forming.
Winning, on the other hand, is likewise contagious. Just like losing, sometimes teams win when they should; other times when they should not. The Vikings win over the Ravens was both. We were clearly the superior team for three quarters. Joe Flacco was pounded much like Aaron Rodgers before him. The win could be attributed to the fact that we should have won. But the end reminded too many of past defenses. They are unhappy that we surrendered so many points, so easily. The win was tainted, and meant more bad than good. We will soon be exposed, they now say.
I would tell you that we should be happy that we can win given the way we played. Brett Favre has brought true leadership to a team desperately lacking it. Adrian Peterson helps Favre get match-ups in the secondary that will prolong his success. This team is winning all kinds of ways. At the start of the season we would play poorly early, and then comeback and win. Then we blew out a team or two. Now, we have a defense that falls apart late in the game.
the bottom line is: each time we win. Having witnessed players and coaches work hard for a Fall and win nothing, cannot help but cause me to rejoice in each win for what it is -- a victory. Playing 'better' than someone means nothing in competition. Particularly in team sports, better can only be measured by the sum of the parts.
And the whole is Wins and Losses.