We're going to the Super Bowl. Yelling that in the locker room after the win over Chicago sure got enough heads turned in my direction, but the excitement with the way both the offense and defense executed today does have a tendency to pick up one's spirit.
And this team was spirited yet under control today. Here we have a football team that is now 2-5 and could just as easily be 5-2, yet you realize how in tune they are with the task in front of them when you see them smother punt returner Nick Davis (who runs a 4.34) with congratulations after a 57-yard return with 55 seconds left in the first half. In the second half, the high-fiving of each other continued instead of the individual choreography you see too often. That makes you realize that this team is growing together and believing in each other as the season progresses.
Defensive line coach George O'Leary had his front four executing their stunts in a fashion I have not seen for quite some time. As a matter of fact, they even set up two linebacker sacks (Nick Rogers and Lemanski Hall) while working their stunts up front. Also, when cornerback Corey Chavous got three penalties against him, I didn't notice one player on the sideline or on the field get disgruntled at all with the call or the effort. Weeks ago the defensive backs might have been 5 yards off the receiver, but on these three particular plays I felt the coverage was very, very good — but the pass was very, very, VERY good. As you can see, one very can make a big difference when two competitive teams face off. But teamwork and a positive, trusting attitude went even further.
With Daunte Culpepper having incredible patience today and this entire Minnesota defense holding the Chicago offense to just 44 yards rushing, that wasn't quite enough to satisfy my football appetite. Something else did, however. It was the Chicago Bears' number 54, middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. He is definitely the real deal. When players like that come along, it is so much fun to watch them show off their athleticism (now you know how opposing fans feel when they see Randy Moss' immense talent). It's even sweeter when you see your team control Urlacher's defense as well as the Vikings did — and win. It gives you that little joy of saying — no matter how remote the possibilities — "See you in San Diego."
Lurtsema's Reaction: Good Play Contagious
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