By now, Vikings fans are well aware of the team's well-circulated drama off the field. ESPN seemed to lead off every episode of Sportscenter with an update on whether coach Childress will keep his job following the waive of Randy Moss and the reported displeasure by Viking's ownership on Childress' decision to cut the All-Pro wide receiver and the team's underachievement thus far. Reporters locally and nationally have heavily criticized the team all week long. Despite the negative attention surrounding the Viking's organisation, the team was able to come out on Sunday and manufacture a win against the Arizona Cardinals. I won't go any further into the negativity swirling around Eden Prairie right now. For the moment, let's focus on the positives.
Specifically, I'd like to highlight the performance of Percy Harvin on Sunday.
First, I'll take you back to the beginning of the week when Harvin expressed disappointment regarding the release of WR Randy Moss. Harvin had got along well with Moss and looked up to him as a mentor. Harvin was also unable to practice Wednesday and Thursday and was severely limited on Friday due to a bothersome ankle sprain.
Tensions were at a high on Friday when coach Childress and Harvin got into a shouting match at practice and had to be separated from each other. Coach wanted an MRI on Harvin's ankle, though Harvin refused, later saying “We had a little dispute. Me and coach are fine. It was about whether I was going to get an MRI or not.” Harvin did have the MRI on Saturday morning and it revealed no significant damage had been done to his ankle, thus clearing him to come out and play on Sunday.
And it was a game he'll always remember. The kid caught nine passes for 126 yards against the Arizona Cardinals, both career highs for Harvin. He looked to be running on all cylinders with the ball in his hands, though it was clear that Harvin was bothered by the sore ankle as he was slow to get up after several tackles.
The low point came on the 2nd half kickoff, which Harvin returned for a short gain but had the ball stripped from his hands, allowing the Cardinals to retrieve the football and run it in for a score. “They did a great job stripping the ball out” Harvin said. “I just have to have better ball security.”
If Brett Favre is the captain of this ship, Percy Harvin is his first mate. The tandem first showed terrific chemistry in the 2009 season and so far this year that chemistry has strengthened. Harvin called Sunday's performance the best game of his short career. Brett Favre contributed by throwing a career-best 446 passing yards and in doing so may have turned the ship around. If the Vikings can continue to play at a high level and persevere through the next two weeks, with games at Chicago and hosting Green Bay, we may have a very interesting 2nd half of the regular season on our hands.