It had been a while since the Vikings won a game in the NFC North – September 26, 2010 – and it had been a while since the Vikings won a road game in the NFC North – November 1, 2009. But the Vikings checked both of those items off their to-do list on Sunday, topping the Detroit Lions 20-13 at Ford Field.
And now the Vikings are doing something else they haven’t done in a while – they’re a part of the football conversation on a national level, to some extent anyway. While entering into the national conversation is not the goal of this Vikings team, it will be a side effect to success. It began early Monday morning, with one of the franchise’s all-time best players paying compliments to his former team.
“Leslie Frazier has these kids playing with a lot of belief in the system,” Cris Carter said on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. “We know what they have in Adrian Peterson, and the story with him coming back. We thought that would be the only story in Minnesota. But they control the football, Christian Ponder has done a great job from Year One to Year Two as far as not turning the ball over, Percy Harvin is their most explosive player offensively and they use him everywhere. And when you get special teams help, which they’re doing with two returns for a touchdown (against Detroit), the Vikings are very, very solid after a quarter of a season.
“I love the Vikings, but I would say I’m surprised they’re 3-1.”
A lot of NFL analysts will say they’re surprised the Vikings began the season with three wins in their first four games. But if you talk to Frazier, any other Vikings coach or any Vikings player, you’ll discover that no one within the locker room is surprised the team is playing to this level. The key for the Vikings now is to handle the success well.
Frazier acknowledged that his team did not prepare well for Indianapolis after their season-opening win in Jacksonville. The result was a loss to the Colts. The following week’s preparation for the San Francisco 49ers was better, Frazier explained, and that’s why the Vikings head coach thought it was so important for his team to practice well in the week leading up to the Detroit game following an emotional win over the 49ers. So now, you can be sure Frazier will emphasize to his mostly-young team that preparing well for the Tennessee Titans – next Sunday’s opponent – should be priority #1 this week.
If Frazier can continue to get his players to put a laser focus on each upcoming opponent, the Vikings may be able to continue their winning ways. That’s something Carter, the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and total TDs, is excited to see.
“As you go through these quarters of the season, the first quarter with four games, they have to make sure that they don’t get flipped in one of the other quarters and end up being 1-3,” Carter explained. “These next two (quarters of the season), if they can go 2-2 and get one more quarter at 3-1, you’re looking like you might be able to win double-digits. I’m excited for the Purple.”
Tags: Cris Carter, Leslie Frazier
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