Three of Minnesota’s top professional sports teams all lost in their respective games over a three-day span last week. The NFL Vikings, the NHL Wild, and NBA Timberwolves all had road games in Arizona on Thursday, December 10, Friday, December 11, and Sunday, December 13. Unfortunately they all lost.
A large group of Minnesotans made the trip to Arizona with hope of seeing all three of their hopefuls win. But it was not to be. First, the Vikings on Thursday in prime time dropped a tough last-second 23-20 game to the playoff-bound Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 335 yards and a touchdown, and Adrian Peterson scored his career 100th touchdown in the hard-fought loss. The Vikings slipped to 8-5 and trail the Green Bay Packers by one game with three left to play.
Turnovers were the story: The Vikings committed three costly fumbles and the Cardinals had no turnovers. Arizona clinched a playoff spot with the win and is one of the hottest teams in the league at 11-2 and winners of seven straight games.
The Vikings with three games left can still clinch a playoff spot. In fact, with wins in their last three games over Chicago, New York and Green Bay, the Vikings would clinch the NFC North Division. At 8-5, the Vikings are in the sixth playoff spot currently and need to finish strong at home outside at TCF vs. Chicago Sunday and New York the following week.
Last Friday the Minnesota Wild dropped an overtime thriller to Arizona at Gila River Arena in Glendale 2-1.The Coyotes were playing only their 10th home game of the year. The victory evened their record to 14-14. The Wild are 14-6-6 and have lost five of six in overtime.
Last Sunday the Timberwolves played the worst of the three Minnesota teams, falling behind big while committing 24 turnovers in a very sloppy effort. The 108-101 final score does not tell the story; the 24 turnovers led to lots of easy baskets for the Suns.
The Wolves are home to Denver on Tuesday. All three teams — the Vikings, Timberwolves and Wild — have previously all been solid on the road this year. It was rare indeed to catch all three Minnesota teams taking losses in the desert.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.