USB Drive of the Game Versus New York Giants

Photo Courtesy Minnesota Vikings
Photo Courtesy Minnesota Vikings

By VikeFans.com Members Greediron and Bezerker88

Our second attempt at this new feature on VikeFans.com for our home games, called USB Drive of the game. We will look at offense and defense, good and bad to find one drive that helped to define that win or loss.

Last home game, we looked at the D taking the ball away from a driving Packers offense. This time we look at the offense and what seemed to be a momentum shift of the game. I have seen several articles mentioning the McKinnon touchdown drive to start the 4th quarter, so it looks like other scribes agree with the selection.

In a similar fashion to the GB game, and perhaps just to toy with our emotions, the Vikings seemed to be dominating the opponent, but lacked a comfortable lead. The Giants had just cut the lead to 7 after a long catch and run on a screen that littered the field with Viking defenders as numerous broken tackles had us covering up lest they do the same to our hearts. The ominous shoe seemed poised, waiting for the signal to drop. Did someone say, perhaps this team is different? Sure feels the same at this moment. Our hearts are willing to believe, but with fresh wounds, our flesh is weak.

But a new hero emerged, a unit largely unknown stepped up. The offense picked up the pieces, stuck them into random spots on the offensive line and started moving forward. Perhaps the stat most out of place, or perhaps most defining, was that every play in this drive gained positive yards.

Patterson took it out from 5 yards deep to setup the offense at the 24. A short run by Jet and CP caught a tipped pass for minimal yardage to bring up a 3rd down deep in our own end. Bradford found a favorite target in Rudolph on a short pass that turned into a 16 yard gain as the defender suddenly left the TE anticipating a dump off to the RB.

Two more short gains left another 3rd and 5. The shoe seemed to be coming down as Asiata took a swing pass and dove for the 1st down at the sidelines. The side judge planted his foot to mark him out, seemingly a yard short. But then taking a giant step forward, he took the ball and spotted it for a 1st down. Screams of agony turned to ecstasy as the drive continued.

With a 1st down and the ball on the Giant’s 45, the playbook opened up. Our offense was moving, the jigsaw puzzle of a line was keeping Bradford clean and in a new development was opening holes in the running game. Bradford had a vast pocket to stand and deliver a huge 40 yard bomb to Charles “the forgotten man” Johnson. On first and goal from the 4, we ran an unbalanced line, with Rudolph next to Boone, who pulled and kicked out the LB. Clemmings and Sirles doubled the DT and Line sealed the end, Mckinnon walked into the endzone untouched to put the lead back into double digits.

That offensive drive crushed the Giants. Gone was the momentum shift, our offense stepped up, grabbed it back and defined the game, workmanlike, methodical with a few big plays sprinkled in; making it the USB Drive of the Game.

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