Having a strangely specific memory of almost every Vikings game from the last decade or two is a professional resource and a personal curse.
It means that almost every game reminds me of another game (or games) from the Vikings' vast catalog, and the memories are normally associated with something terrible that happened.
Two games leapt to mind Sunday — one actually good! — while watching the Vikings' 19-17 win over the Lions, a contest that was a sleeping pill for 55 minutes and then decided to get weird and exciting for the final five.
Do you like the idea of a moose riding a motorcycle blindfolded? You would have loved Sunday's finish.
Patrick Reusse and I talked about all the aggressive awkwardness, both during the game and seconds thereafter, on Monday's Daily Delivery podcast.
For a deeper journey into my mind — and what the past might teach us about Sunday — here are a few more thoughts:
*Lions 22, Vikings, 16, overtime, 2016. That was the first thing that came to mind after the series of events that led to Detroit taking a 17-16 lead. In that game six years ago, the Vikings played poorly and were on the brink of defeat but seemingly saved themselves on a touchdown with 22 seconds left to take a 16-13 lead. But a misplaced Blair Walsh kickoff — preceded earlier in the game by a missed Walsh extra point — led to a desperation 58-yard field goal by Matt Prater at the end of regulation. Detroit won in overtime.
Sunday felt a little like that, albeit somewhat reversed. The Vikings managed to win this one. That Vikings team, however, was 5-2 going into the game. That Detroit team would end up making the playoffs. Can a win like this act as a propellant, much a loss in that one helped derail a 5-0 start? Well ...
*Vikings 27, Cardinals 24, overtime, 2010: The Vikings scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes of regulation, then won in overtime. The improbable win bumped them to 3-5 and was a moment when some of us thought maybe they could rescue their season. Then they were outscored by a combined 58-16 by the Bears and Packers, and Brad Childress was fired.
I'm not saying that's what's going to happen here. I am saying that if the Vikings presented their list of symptoms to WebMD, they would probably think they were dying and not cured.
The Vikings have scored 26 points in their last two home games, and the defensive kudos handed to Cleveland last week ring hollow after the Chargers dropped 47 on the Browns this week. They either can't throw deep or won't throw deep.
They haven't scored a second-half touchdown since Week 1, a span of 28 possessions per this tweet. The offensive line is questionable. Their defense still can't stop the run. A missed kick almost led directly to their demise Sunday before a made kick saved them. The dynamic between the coach and the quarterback? Interesting.
If Mike Zimmer had said the Vikings were a good team after Sunday's win, it would have sounded even more absurd than it did after last Sunday's loss.
Right now they're a flawed team that was given a gift and that has a realistic chance to be .500 at the bye. They're also perfectly capable of losing their next six games if they play anything like they did Sunday.
I guess the only thing we really learned from the win over the Lions is that we should expect nothing less but ridiculousness from the rest of this Vikings season.
And that there will almost certainly be a game in the future that reminds me of what is now just the one-day-old past.