In our continued review of the 2012 Minnesota Vikings, we pause today to take a look at the five WORST games of the season. Similar to what we did yesterday by looking at the five BEST games of the year, these five worst had a similar impact on defining this squad of misfits, but often times for the worst. I know what you're thinking though ... How can you only choose five games when we lost only six (Seven with playoffs!)? Well, truthfully, even in some of the games we won it got pretty ugly. Sometimes, despite winning, those ugly games don't even always feel like a win. They feel shameful, like taking home a bar whale with red hair. It still counts on your record, and you can always say you got your Scarlet Letter, but you're definitely not bringing it up as your go-to conquest story when one-upping your friends.
Anyway, like yesterday too, we'll also be seeing what the lowest ranked Vikings games were according to Deadspin's Watchability scale. So let's jump in to the horribly depressing and likely suppressed memories of 2012!
As we mentioned yesterday, Deadspin's "Watchability Ranking" is totally made up, yet amazingly scientific, and is determined by the following factors:
Closeness: Based on score differential entering the fourth quarter. Differentials greater than three possessions (24 points) netted a game zero points, a tie game entering the fourth was worth 25.
Scoring: Based on total number of points squared. The highest-scoring game of the year got a 25, the lowest scoring got a zero.
Meaningfulness: Based on the playoff chances of each team entering the game, courtesy of coolstandings.com. The closer the teams' odds were to 50 percent, the higher the score. No credit was given to clinched teams playing for byes.
Result: Based on the difference between the final result and the Vegas spread. True upsets got a significant bonus, while underdogs beating the spread received a small bonus.
OK, I can believe that. They ended up picking their top ranked Vikings games pretty closely in line with what my favorite from 2012 were, except where they chose a Vikings game as highly watchable only because they failed spectacularly. Naturally, those type of games are more likely to show up on my list of heartbreaks.
As is, the following are the lowest rated Vikings games (eg, Least Watchable, or even, THE WORST) of the 2012 season (5. being not so bad, 1. being the most terrible):
5. Cardinal vs. Vikings, Week 7
4. Bears vs. Vikings, Week 14
3. Vikings vs. Rams, Week 15
2. Vikings vs. Bears, Week 12
1. Titans vs. Vikings, Week 5
It's not a totally inaccurate list, because frankly I don't remember playing half of them listed here, but if I'm being honest too, losing grossly to the Packers in Week 13 was way worse than beating the Rams in an away game. So, since I know you're all shushing that red headed tramp quite, without further ado, here's my list of Five Worst Minnesota Vikings Games in 2012, (5 being bad, 1 being SHOOT ME):
5. Vikings vs. Colts, Week 2, Vikings lose 23-20
In retrospect, this probably wasn't that bad of a loss. Early in the season, you're on the road, no one really knows if Adrian Peterson is all that healthy yet, we enjoyed the week one win over the Jags, but don't really know if this team is that good or not ... But hey, it's the Colts! They just got **** pounded by 40+ points against the Bears! We should be able to beat these clowns, Andrew Luck or not. AND WE DIDN'T. And for some reason that still pisses me off. Now, sure, we learn they were a pretty decent team that made it to the playoffs as well, but ... THEY'RE COACH HAD CANCER MID-SEASON. You're telling me Leslie Frazier couldn't out-coach a cancer patient? Well ... I'd believe it, I guess.
4. Vikings vs. Bears, Week 12, Vikings lose 28-10
OK fellas, we're coming off of a win over the Lions at home, had a bye week where no one penetrated a stripper (publicly, at least), and we're ready to head to Chicago for a football game. Two weeks to prepare! No problem! Except for the fact that it was a HUGE problem. Across the board, the stats were pretty even. The defense actually held Cutler under 200 yards passing that day, and "only" gave up 113 rushing yards, but on almost 40 carries. The problem? Our Benjamin Button quarterback and the rest of our team had a penchant for turnovers that day which screwed us. This game sucked so bad because it was just frustratingly stupid. In other words, classic Vikings.
3. Vikings vs. Seahawks, Week 9, Vikings lose 30-20
Oh, ho ho, this ******* game. I just hate Seattle in general - the city and the team - so ranking this one as my third worst game of the year wasn't too much of a stretch. Again, in hindsight we find out that this team was maybe pretty good, but it's still no excuse. Russell Wilson butchering your team? God I hate that mutt. Also, giving a touchdown up to that prick face Golden Tate right before half time was dumb. I hate him too. The whole Pacific Northwest just sucks old man testicles. The other bad part is that this was the last time we saw Percy Harvin on the year, so essentially, the Seahawks ended Harvin's season, so they should be blamed for everything.
2. Vikings vs. Packers, Week 13, Vikings lose 23-14
I really debated about putting this game in the two spot, but it ultimately got a higher ranking because it was the Packers. The catch here is that this was one of those games I never really expected the Vikings to win, and when they kept themselves close only to shoot themselves in the foot with stupid red zone turn overs, it was again upsetting. You were just left with a "what could have been?" mentality, and then you cut yourself remembering OH YEAH, RGIII. Even worse then was thinking that the playoff game was going to be the turning point, but then Ponder retired from the season early, and losing that playoff game hardy counts because we were screwed from the get go. That's why the worst game of 2012 was ...
1. Buccaneers vs. Vikings, Week 8, Vikings lose 36-17
Holy ****. We finally get a nationally televised game, a Thursday night one, no less, so there are literally no other television options, and we let Doug Martin fist us from behind. I just hated this game so much because I had a brother who moved out of state, and this was one of the earliest Vikings games he got to see out of the season, a season which started pretty swell. Then this abortion decided to erupt, and he was left thinking "Why did I get excited for this garbage?" I admit this is the game I luckily missed on and instead spent a lovely evening at the 112 Eatery. No, really. If you ever go, get the Crab Salad or the 112 Steak Tartar. Worth the trip. Game still sucked, though.
Agree? Disagree? Got a good story to tell around one of these games or a video to share? Let's hear it in the comments.