Column: Vikings need the wins, not the losses

One look at the Minnesota Vikings’ record and it’s easy to say this is a lost season.

On paper, the Vikings 3-9-1 record reeks of a team going in the wrong direction fast, but a deeper look shows that the level of parity across the league is very high.

The difference between a win and loss could come down to mere inches – like the 31-30 loss to Chicago in week two when the Vikings’ defensive back was beaten to the pylon (and the ball) for a touchdown by taller superstar wide out Brandon Marshall in the final moments.

The mood among the Vikings seemed upbeat in that they played well enough against a very good Bears squad, but couldn’t make one more play at the end.

That scene was repeated seven out of the opening eight games of the season. But with each loss, that sense of being on the verge of a win dropped a little more. Only three wins since the first Sunday in September isn’t good enough and most likely will result in an all-new coaching staff.

Now we’re at a level where any win is a reason to cheer, no matter how pretty it is.

I understand cheering for the team to lose to earn a higher draft pick, but why throw away a win at the hopes of drafting the next Peyton Manning?

Couldn’t that next Vikings quarterback also turn out to be the latest version of Ryan Leaf or another sub-par Christian Ponder?

I would rather enjoy three wins to finish the season 6-9-1.

Call me an optimist, but I would rather see (a healthy) Adrian Peterson run all over the Eagles, Bengals and Lions for at least 150 yards and three touchdowns each week. Heck, Cordarrelle Patterson might have three more touchdowns as well.

I know the serious fans might opt for tanking to set the team up for the future. I totally disagree because that future is uncertain. Look no further than recent drafts by the Purple that found us Tarvaris Jackson and Christian Ponder. Granted, they weren’t near the top-10 overall picks.

Chances are the opposite will happen from here on out where Peterson might or might not be healthy but Vikings leadership will end his season to preserve his health for the 2013-14 season.

If that is the case, the Vikings should fold up shop and refund tickets for the Eagles and Lions games.