Improbability Personified

Few people thought the Vikings would go 6-0 to start the season, so being at 6-1 heading into Packer Week is nothing to sneeze at. But how it happened was what has some around Winter Park shaking their heads.

Prior to Sunday's 29-17 loss, VU cautioned overzealous Vikings fans not to take the Giants lightly -- pointing out that they rightly should have been 4-2 heading into Sunday's game instead of 2-4.

Perhaps somebody should have told the Vikings players the same thing. The Vikings were overmatched and outplayed by a Giants team that scored 29 points and should have scored more. After keeping QBs like Brett Favre and Jeff Garcia at bay, getting torched for 375 yards by Kerry Collins just didn't make sense.

But perhaps the most galling part of the loss was the blocked punt at the Giants 5-yard line by Jack Brewer. The first blocked punt for the Vikes since 1989, Brewer blocked the kick so cleanly it just lay on the ground where he hit it. In almost every instance like that, either the defensive team recovers, advances for a TD or the offense just falls on the ball. Instead, backup linebacker Wesley Mallard picked up the ball and ran 20 yards before being tackled. It not only prevented the Vikings from likely turning a 17-16 lead into 24-16, but it gave the Giants the ball back.

Sometimes things like that happen in games. It's just unfortunate that the best special teams play of the season turned into a positive for the Giants instead of the Vikings.

* Mike Tice took some post-game criticism for attempting a 54-yard field goal in the first half that was missed by Aaron Elling and then refused to try a 50- and 51-yard field goal later in the game. He said that because Elling missed the 54-yarder so badly, he didn't feel comfortable having him try it again. Such is the worries of a coach and a rookie kicker.
* Brian Russell's streak of six straight games with an interception ended Sunday.
* Russell and Corey Chavous are both tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with six each.

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