Monday, September 24, 2007

Kansas City Chiefs are MYTH BUSTERS

Typically I am very positive regarding the Vikings. I am certainly a glass half full kind of guy, but the time has come for reality to set in. I felt really good about certain aspects of this team and was confident (really hoped) that they would be able to cover up the weaknesses we had in other areas. Unfortunately that is not the case. The offense is worse than expected and regardless of how good this defense is, they can't make up for it.

Before I get into the bashing let me say this. Defensively we are better than even I anticipated. The pass defense is better, it will give up yards but not as many as last year when teams could pass at will. The pass rush is better, we are getting MUCH more pressure on opposing QBs thus far. EJ Henderson has greatly exceeded expectations at MLB, he is making plays all over the field. Greenway has made a few mistakes but I'll let those pass as youthful mishaps for now and he has made several good plays to make up for it.

Offensively I couldn't be happier with Adrian Peterson and he is going to be a great back for years in my humble opinion. I also think that Ryan Cook has quietly had a decent 3 games at RT which was a big question mark.

With that said, here are some big "MYTHs" that the Chiefs graciously busted for us this weekend.

Myth #1 - The Vikings offense would be good enough if they had a QB who didn't make mistakes.

Truth - 50% completion, no interceptions and the offense still sucked. Our offense is just bad. Some will blame it on the Brad's Kick Ass Offensive system and others will blame the personnel. I blame both but it really doesn't matter the net result is the same. And offense that has no identity can cannot score in the red zone. Ultimately it doesn't matter which of our QBs is starting this offense will struggle all year. If healthy TJ has to start, if we can't win with Holcomb then let Jackson learn on the job.

Myth #2 - The Vikings have a good offensive line (at least the left side).

Truth - neither side of this line is performing. The left side is just as culpable as the right side for not giving the QB time to throw nor helping to establish a ground game. The Vikings have FAR too many 1st down runs for losses. That is 100% on the OLine. And I would venture that a number of the positive runs have come from Purple Jesus making a guy miss in the backfield and turning nothing into something.

Myth #2b - Bryant McKinnie is a very good LT

Truth - McKinnie is the most overrated LT in the league and he kills us at times. Overpaid and underacheiving. Your average speed rushing RE is able to get a full step before Bryant is able to get out of his stance and that kills us. I wish more than anything we could trade him or cut him and recoup salary cap. Unfortunately salary cap is not a problem for us and cutting him does us very little good.

Myth #3 - Minnesota is a playoff team.

Truth - Minnesota is a playoff defense, but a bottom 10 offense. Besides single handedly outscoring the opponent what more does the defense have to do? Unfortunately without making serious changes this offense stands no chance of helping out the defense. I used to think they were just a couple players away from being average but I fear they need at least 4 position upgrades (QB, WR, LT, RG).

Myth #4 - Brad Childress will be fine given time and the right personnel

Truth - Brad was a coordinator and still thinks like a coordinator. I would love for him to hire an offensive coordinator who he trusts and turn the entire offense over to him. Start thinking and acting like a head coach not a glorified coordinator. Maybe Childress will eventually be a good head coach in this league (there are things I like about him) but for now I don't get the feeling he has what it takes. Maybe Darrell Bevell will be a good coordinator in time, but I'm not comfortable with a guy who's been coaching for 8 years to be an offensive coordinator at the NFL level.

Historically speaking I have been VERY patient with many coaches in recent MN sports memory. I was still sticking up for Mason, Tice, Denny and Monson for a long time after the masses had turned on them. And usually I will preach patience with coaches cause you usually have to give them time to succeed. But I'm turning quickly on Brad and nothing would make me happier than a bold move like nabbing Bill Cower, Marty, Pete Carroll, Mike Martz, or anybody else with a track record of success.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Vikings v Chiefs Kool-Aided Preview (Wk 3)

This is not your Kansas City Chiefs of recent memory. This team is not very good and the Vikings have another winable game on the road. If they want to live up to my kool-aided expectations then they have to win these games.

Before I get to the match-ups I know you are dying to hear my thoughts on the QB situation, so here you go...

I want to stick with TJax and give him every opportunity to learn what he's doing out there. With that said, I think starting either Bollinger or Holcomb give us a better chance to win. The real problem is that we have a defense that isn't just good enough to get us to the playoffs they are good enough to win playoff games. Unfortunately our offense isn't good enough to sniff the playoffs. I think we are a good QB and WR away from being a really good team. Obviously the 2007 Vikings have neither of these. So do you go with an average QB or do you let your young QB go through what is sure to be a difficult season and HOPE that next year is your year? If I felt that Kelly or Brooks (NOT Kelly Brook, btw) were good enough to get us to the playoffs I'd lean towards them. I know that TJ is going to make more mistakes than the white guys but I still think a rough 2007 will make him better for 2008. If healthy I hope they stick with TJ.

On to the match-ups...

KC OL vs. Min DL - advantage Vikings

I gave this one to MN last week and it turned out to be a push, but this week I will not be wrong. KC's OL has been criticized this year while the Vikings DL has performed beyond expectations. Kevin Williams has been dominant and the DE's have put pressure on QBs. Huard will be pressured all day, LJ will have trouble getting 60 yards and we will dominate the line of scrimmage.

KC RB/TE vs. Min LB - advantage Vikings (slightly)

The Vikings D will shut down the run, but I expect Tony Gonzalez to toy with our LBs all day. This is almost a push, but I give shutting down the run game more importance that 1 TE (albeit a very good TE)

KC QB/WR vs. Min DBs - advantage Vikings

Huard scares nobody, and off the top of my head I can't name 1 KC WR who is healthy (Kennison is injured). I'm assuming pressure on Huard since he has been sacked 7 times already, and assuming that you will see the Vikings actually shut down the passing game for the first time in a long time.

KC DL vs. Min OL - advantage Vikings

I would LOVE to see the OL just decide to dominate and watch the Vikings run the ball down the Chefs' throat. I felt they missed this opportunity last wee, but with a new QB this week hopefully that will be done.

KC LB vs. Min RB/TE - advantage Vikings (slightly)

I think the Cheifs LBs are the strength of their defense, but I also love what I'm seeing from Purple Jesus, Chester and even Mewelde. Short passes to our RBs has been rather successful and I see us running at these guys all day as well.

KC DBx vs. Min QB/WR - advantage Chiefs

Unless the Vikings are playing the Gophers, this will always be ad-opponent. Our QB situation is bad enough that best case scenario is that they don't lose the game for us. Our WRs may or may not be adequate we don't know cause they can't get the ball. I'd love to see just a little bit of success beyond 15 yards. I can always hope!

Seriously, this is the most winable road game the Vikings will have all year. If you want to have a shot at the playoffs you have to win this game. I think that we match-up very well in all areas except our passing game. The defense should dominate. The running game should have every opportunity to run downhill all day. I'm hoping to see some life in the passing game but I'm not holding my breath.

Both teams really need this win. In my opinion the team who loses might as well pack it in for 2007. If KC loses they fall to 0-3 with a trip to San Diego next week. That is almost a certain 0-4 and that is too big of a hole to climb out of in the AFC. Minnesota had what we figured would be a cushy schedule to start. Losing this game puts them at 1-2 with a home game against a hot Green Bay team. That is winable as well but not a sure thing by any stretch. They have to win this to guarantee a 2-2 start with a shot at 3-1 going into the bye. That puts them in a position to make a playoff run, but 1-3 is over for them as the schedule gets much more difficult.

KEYS to the Game

  1. Pressure on Huard - which will lead to turnovers and a short field for the offense.
  2. Dominate the running game - I know I've said this 27 times but let the OL dominate and lets run until they bring a 9th guy into the box.
  3. Score more points - I know you're saying "DUH!" but let me be more clear. I want the offense to score more points than the defense or special teams.
Fearless Predictions
  • Minnesota 23 - Kansas City 10
  • Purple Jesus shows the Chiefs the big numbers on his jersey (that means his back as he's running to the endzone)
  • 3 Interceptions for the Vikings D

Thursday, September 20, 2007

NFC Power Rankings Week2

I'm not convinced anybody is worth of #1, but somebody has to be on top so they can be knocked off. They have beat Philly at home in a relatively close game, then they dominated the Giants on the road. Neither team appears to be great but their 2 wins are just as impressive as any other 2 wins at this point.

My NFC Power Rankings - only NFC cause I don't care about about the AFC. Based on 2007 results only, not 2006 or perceived talent going into 2007.

  1. Green Bay (2-0) - nice road win, dominating 2nd half - this hurts
  2. Dallas (2-0) - defense was better and a road win, still nothing impressive
  3. Washington (2-0) - nice road win within the division, could be a surprise team
  4. San Francisco (2-0) - worst offense in league is 2-0, intersting
  5. Chicago (1-1) - unimpressive home win over worst of the AFC, defense is GOOD
  6. Detroit (2-0) - ulgy win, I'm just not buying into the hype yet
  7. Tampa Bay (1-1) - improved from week 1, beat a talented team
  8. Minnesota (1-1) - young QB < good defense = road loss
  9. Carolina (1-1) - you can't quit when up 14-0, even vs. Houston
  10. Arizona (1-1) - beat the Seahawks, therefore ranked above the Seahawks
  11. Seattle (1-1) - lost @AZ by a FG? not if you want to make playoffs
  12. St. Louis (0-2) - for a contending team, it isn't a pretty 0-2
  13. Philadelphia (0-2) - they think they'll turn it around, I'm not so sure
  14. New York (0-2) - looked good through 1 half, but then killed at home
  15. Atlanta (0-2) - not very good, enter Leftwich
  16. New Orleans (0-2) - can't live off of 2006 anymore

Monday, September 17, 2007

Vikings v Lions Recap

Well that sucked. It is hard to quantify if that was an exciting game to watch (some big plays, momentum swings, overtime, etc.) or one of the ugliest games ever witnessed (7 turnovers, 16 penalties, missed opportunities and critical mistakes). Since we lost, my vote goes to ugly.


QB (F) - sorry TJax, but that was ugly. The first drive things looked very good until the INT on 3rd and 2. From that point on I kept wanting Adam Weber to run out onto the field to lead the offense's next drive. More than anything I'm concerned with the lack of mental toughness and ability to make even 1 big play when we really needed it (and there were multiple opportunities). 1 play could have won the game for us.

RB (B+) - I wanted to see a point when as a team we just decided to dominate the line of scrimmage and run, run, run the ball. We obviously didn't but I put that on the coaches. Purple Jesus and MeMo both did a solid job running the ball and were even better after catching the ball. AP's catch and run to the goalline where he broke 4 tackles was very impressive. No TDs and no 100 yd performance keeps this in the B range.

WR (C) - It is hard to fault them for anything as the passing game was handicapped by the QB not the receivers. This is a hard group to grade.

OL (C-) - TJax had a little too much pressure and I never saw a time when we controlled the line of scrimmage. I expected more from this group in Week 2.

Overall Offense (D+) - AP and MeMo looked good but the rest was anywhere from below average to horribly bad. Ford Field is not that tough of a place to play and the Lion's D isn't exactly the steal curtain. If we get knocked off our game plan and appear rattled on Ford Field, how are we going to respond to Lambau, Soldier, Cowboy Stadium or Mile High (in Dec)?

DBs (B-) - gave up a lot of yards but they threw the ball 56 times. 3 picks, some very hard hits and helped keep the Lions to 4/13 on 3rd down. Things could have been much worse, the Lions are going to rack up yards on most defenses they see. On a related note I am impressed with McCauley, that kid will be just fine.

LB (B-) - stuffed the run as expected helping to keep them under 60 yards. My biggest complaint is they had difficulty getting to Kitna on the blitz. With 56 pass attempts and the amount of blitzing we did I would have liked to see Greenway or EJ get a shot or two on Kitna. Not bad day, but not a great day either.

DL (B+) - 3.5 sacks, held Lions to 56 yards rushing and scored. This group has really stepped up to be what we've been asking for since 2006.

Overall Defense (B) - again, lots of yards but they did their part to put us in position to win the game. A defensive score and forcing several turnovers should be enough to beat a team like the Lions.

This was a frustrating game. When you have a chance to win a divisional road game you HAVE to take advantage. Longwell nearly bailed out an abysmal offense, but really the better team won yesterday.

I think the Lions are getting overrated quickly as people so desperately want to anoint this year's surprise team. I am on record to say it will not be the Lions. Don't forget folks they were nearly as bad as the Vikings yesterday. They made a ton of mistakes as well, managed 1 big play in OT to win it while their defense managed to stop what looks like one of the worst offenses in the league. I'm not sold on Detroit.

Fortunately the Vikings get a chance to rebound quickly. The Chiefs are not strong this year and this is another winable game.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Vikings v Lions Kool-Aided Preview (Wk 2)

Has the world gone MADD? Everybody loves the Lions. Through 1 week the Lions have become the trendy pick as the only NFC North team who can give the Bears a run for their money. Take off the Beer Goggle folks (or the Raider Goggles for that matter).

While they may appear sexy with Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson catching passes from the rejuvenated (did I just say that?) Jon Kitna. When you wake up Mon morning this will be your same old Lions team. Look past a few offensive skill position players and this is the same Lions who have lost 10 straight games to the Purple.

Let's take a look at the matchups...

Det OL vs. Min DL - advantage Minnesota (and this isn't very close)

Minnesota should be able to defend the run straight up and on 3rd & longs they'll need to get to Kitna. Stopping the run doesn't concern me at all. If we can get pressure on Kitna this game is over. If he is able to complete a high percentage of short and medium passes, then get time to look deep this could be a different story. My money is on the DL dominating. It was pointed out that the Lions OL "wore down" the Raiders last week. I don't see that being an issue as the Vikings played 8 different guys on the DL including starting the 2nd half with all 4 2nd stringers in there, these guys will remain fresh.

Det RB/TE vs. Min LBs - advantage Minnesota

I expect that Mike Martz will abandon the run early and basically use a short/quick passing game to take it's place. This will inflate the passing yardage but will still result in 3rd and longs for the Lions. That's when the pass rush will take over.

Det QB/WR vs. Min DBs - advantage Detroit (but not by much imo)

I'm not even fully convinced that this is in the Lion's favor and here is why. Our 2006 pass defense was awful! And how did Mr. Kitna do vs. this pass defense last year? 519 yards, 2 TDs and 6 INTs!!#@*! This guy threw 6 interceptions vs. MN last year. If you take away 2 garbage games to end the season last year Kitna finished with 14 TDs and 21 INTs. Those are brutal numbers, but because Roy Williams is really good, Calvin Johnson is very promising and they put up yards on the Raiders all of a sudden the Lions are a sleeper playoff team! SERENITY NOW!!

Det DBs vs. Min QB/WR - advantage Detroit (this is a pillow fight)

Tarvaris and his receiving core does not scare anybody, but this is one of the 3 keys to the game. They need to be just good enough to open up the running game.

Det LBs vs. Min RB/TE - advantage Minnesota (this is where the game will be won)

I'm assuming Chester will be playing so the combo of he and Purple Jesus will need to beat somebody. The Lions will stack the box with 8 or 9 guys. The Vikings will block 7 or8 guys, which means Chester and Purple Jesus have to make 1 guy miss. If they can do this you'll see a couple BIG plays and that will be the difference in the game.

Det DL vs. Min OL - advantage Minnesota

Dominate the line of scrimmage here and this game will not be nearly as close as the score will likely indicate. This really is tied to the LB/RB matchup above. We need to block everybody but they'll stack enough to get a 1 man advantage. The OL needs to make the right calls and block the right guys so we get a 1 on 1 with our RB and their LB/S (or whoever is up to the line). My money is on our OL cause they don't have anybody that scares me.

KEYS to the Game

  1. Get to Kitna - especially on 3rd and long. If we put any pressure on him and knock him around a little bit then our DBs will make some plays. I didn't say the might make some plays or they'll have the opportunity to make the plays but the WILL make the plays.
  2. Passing game has be be just good enough - don't make mistakes is important but I'm more interested in them making just enough big plays to open up the running game a little bit. Last week we had 1 pass greater than 15 yards (excluding the AP TD). Give me just 1 per quarter, that's all I ask.
  3. RBs have to make a guy miss - They'll have holes but they will have to make 1 guy miss. I see a few big runs because AP will make a guy miss and Chester will run through guys to turn 4 yard runs into 6 all day long.
Fearless Predictions...
  • Jackson has 2 TD passes and rushes for another.
  • D Line has 3 sacks
  • Minnesota wins 31-23

Monday, September 10, 2007

They get paid for this? and NFC Power Rankings

I love hearing the "experts" from all over the printed press taking turns picking the Saints or the Bears to win the NFC. Is it that nobody takes the time to evaluate more than 2 or 3 teams as contenders in this mediocre conference? Does anybody realize that the last 3 NFC Championships have involved 6 different teams? In the last 10 years only 1 team has played in consecutive NFC Championship games (Philly 3 years in a row).

  • 2006 NFC Title game involved Chicago and New Orleans.
    • in the 2005 playoffs Chicago was 2 seed and New Orleans did not make the playoffs
  • 2004 NFC Title game involved Seattle and Carolina
    • the year before that? Seattle was a 4 seed and Carolina did not make the playoffs
  • 2003 NFL Title game involved Philadelphia and Atlanta
    • the year before that? Philly was the #1 seed and Atlanta did not make the playoffs
see a pattern here? In fact the last time that both NFC Title game participants had both made the playoffs the previous season was 2002 where Philly and Tampa both made it as the 3 and 6 seeds respectively in 2001.

My point is that it seems as thought nobody has looked outside of New Orleans and Chicago as possible Super Bowl teams from the NFC. Dallas has gotten a little bit of love but after that it is pretty short sighted on behalf of the "experts".

I am not writing this as a defense of the Vikings. The Vikings have not earned the respect to be considered an elite NFC team. Maybe this is just a rambling post that really doesn't have a point, but I will guarantee there will not be an NFC Title rematch this year. Here are my reasons why...
  1. Both of these teams have holes.
    • New Orleans - 2006 the Saints were 13th in the NFC vs. the run, giving up almost 130 yards per game. That is not the mark of a championship team, especially not the mark of a perpetually successful team. The Saints needed an offense that produced FAR beyond expectations to compensate for giving up massive amounts of rushing yards. The 2005 Saints were not very good and nobody expected them to be competitive in 2006. This offense snuck up on everybody. This will not happen this year. They will struggle with the target on their backs. VERDICT: Offense was good enough last year but will step back this year. Chances are better than Chicago's.
    • Chicago - The Bears' achilles heal is on the other side of the ball. They won a lot of games in spite of a very average QB who put them in position to lose games more often than he put them in position to win. The Bears defense is good enough that you have to consider them in the best of the NFC talk. But they traded Thomas Jones and they no other options at QB other than scary, Sexi Rexi. Rex threw 3 or more INTs in a single game 5 times last year! They will need their Def / Special Teams to single handedly WIN games for them again this season and that is a rare thing in this league. And by WIN I don't mean hold teams down, they will have to actually score more points than the offense to win. VERDICT: They've been living dangerously at the QB position for 2 years, that will catch up to them. Defense is great when healthy and very good when not healthy, but those guys can't play offense and defense anymore.
  2. The entire NFC is very mediocre (including CHI & NO) and ripe for one of several different teams to step up and win their division. Here are a couple playoff teams from 2006 who could play to within a game of the Super Bowl.
    • Dallas - They have a nice combo of RBs, a game winning WR and an emerging defense. Tony Romo had a nice 2nd half of the 2006 season to get the Cowboys into the playoffs but time will tell how well he performs in his 2nd year at QB (1st full season). VERDICT: They have the talent to win the NFC, but I think they have 3 questions that need to be answered. Can Romo lead this team to the Super Bowl? Is TO going to help this team or destroy this team? Can the defense defend the pass a little better?
    • Seattle - They've been there before, they have an experienced QB, a star RB and a solid defense. Last year they fell victim to the curse of the Super Bowl loser, but they are still a team capable of making a playoff run. VERDICT: I'm not holding out much hope for the Seahawks. The defense was just OK last year, if they step up a little bit that will help this offense a lot and they can make a run.
  3. The stats mentioned above. The last 3 NFC Championship games involved 1 team who had not even made the playoffs the previous season. Here are a few that I think could sneak up on the league.
    • St. Louis - Defense is the issue here. 3rd in NFC vs the pass, but last vs. the run. 4th best offense in the conference gives them a chance. STL has a very good QB, a great RB and a very good OL. Offense is good enough to make a playoff run but the defense has to be better. VERDICT: Defense will be too much for the aging offense to overcome.
    • Green Bay - as much as it pains me to say it I think the Packers could be a team to contend with this year. They were 5th in the NFC in offense and defense a year ago (although 11th in def ppg). Are they going to repeat those numbers? Probably not on offense but this is probably the best defensive team that nobody talks about. Favre is what you could call an experienced QB but regardless of how well (or poorly he plays) he is lacking in weapons around him. Finding a legit running game and Favre not throwing more picks than TDs is rather important (hasn't happened since 2004). They also have a rookie kicker which could be a major factor as they'll have to win close games. VERDICT: a team to watch out for as I think the NFC North becomes a very good division. Question marks are Favre, RBs and rookie K.
    • Minnesota - if you want a formula for NFL success it is a strong running game, good play on the line of scrimmage and a defense that can stop the run. Minnesota ranks high on all of those. But those strengths can be minimized by an inexperienced QB, WRs who can't catch the ball and not being able to defend the pass. VERDICT: If Minnesota can defend the pass and Tarvaris Jackson is able to manage this offense Minnesota has the defense and running game to be one of the best 3 or 4 teams in the NFC.
    • Carolina - Statistically very similar to Minnesota in 2006, only slightly worse on Off and flip flopped on Def (good against pass, waker vs. the run). The offense has talent, the defense is proven and this team has experience. VERDICT: Will make the playoffs this year and could make a run. Not glaring question marks, but also outside of Steve Smith nothing that grabs your attention either.
  4. My predictions - It is hard to say, but if I'm calling the so called "experts" gutless for picking NO or Chi, then I guess I at least have to stick my neck out there too.
    • New Orleans doesn't make the playoffs
    • Dallas hosts the NFC Championship assuming TO doesn't take the team down with him.
    • Either Minnesota or Green Bay is the other team, depending on which team answers their questions most effectively.
My NFC Power Rankings - only NFC cause I don't care about about the AFC. This is based on 2007 results only, not 2006 or perceived talent going into 2007.
  1. Carolina (1-0) - nice win on the road over St. Louis
  2. Minnesota (1-0) - Atlanta offense did not enter the red zone, offense was good enough.
  3. Green Bay (1-0) - nice home win over a potential playoff team
  4. Seattle (1-0) - Tampa is not an impressive team but did not allow a TD
  5. Dallas (1-0) - scored 45 points but also gave up 35 to a team without a RB
  6. San Francisco (1-0) - it was AZ and it was at home but a nice comeback win
  7. Chicago (0-1) - played the best of the AFC on the road tough for 3 qtrs. Defense couldn't win it for them this time
  8. Philadelphia (0-1) - road loss to Green Bay wasn't pretty but it was gutty
  9. Detroit (1-0) - nice road win but it was Oakland and Josh McClown
  10. Washington (1-0) - ugly win, but it was a win
  11. New York (0-1) - I'm not impressed but they did score 35 @ Dal after losing their #1 RB
  12. St. Louis (0-1) - @ home should have won if you want a home playoff game
  13. Arizona (0-1) - had a road game won if Allen falls on that ball in the endzone
  14. Atlanta (0-1) - just didn't play very well
  15. New Orleans (0-1) - I know it was the defending SB champs and on the road but they looked awful.
  16. Tampa Bay (0-1) - ugly

1 down 13 to go

Purple Kool Aid's fearless prediction of 14-2 is looking pretty good right about now. For those Packer fans reading this, that means we only have to go 13-2 the rest of the way to hit 14 wins (I know counting is an issue for the Wisconsin public school educated).

Game Balls...

  • Offense - Adrian Peterson is the obvious choice. 103 yards rushing and a 60 yard TD reception is a nice start to the career. Most importantly it was obvious that Purple Jesus has that rare "burst". I know that sounds vague and the kind of expert analysis that you'd get from John Madden, but there are certain guys who have that extra gear that other good players just don't have. The 60 yard TD, he looked like a rocket and several of his yards of 6+ yards also had a burst to it that you don't usually see. Purple Jesus is going to be a star.
  • Defense - This is much more difficult. BRHCP gave the gameball to Udeze cause he finally got a sack, but I'm not willing to give it to Kenechi. Kevin Williams is a solid pick with the pick-6, but I expect big things from this big time player. My gameball goes to the LB crew. Greenway had 10 tackles, EJ's first game at MLB resulted in 8 tackles and 2 sacks. We need or LB's to be effective and this is the kind of production that will make our defense good enough to win games for us.
  • Special Teams - nobody stood out to deserve a gameball
Other Thoughts...
  • The defense did not allow the Falcons into the red zone for the entire game. That is impressive and you'll win a lot of games when you keep the endzone at least 20 yards from the line of scrimmage for 60 min.
  • Tarvaris Jackson had a nice game. Nothing special and in no way did he win the game for us. BUT he didn't lose the game and he was solid. TJax had 1 INT. It was tipped but it was also a poor decision and thrown behind the receiver. If he plays like this for 15 more games I have no doubt we'll make the playoffs. It should also be noted that TJax spread the ball around to 9 different receivers. According to BRHCP we never saw the KAO last season but I have a feeling this is what is should look like.
  • 5 Rookies contributed! - Greenway (essentially a rookie) led the team in tackles, AP led the team in rushing and receiving yards, Aundrae Allison caught a pass, Sydney Rice caught a couple passes and Marcus McCauley had 3 tackles. I've said it before but I love our young core of rookies and 2nd year guys (TJax, Cedric Griffin and Ryan Cook).

Friday, September 07, 2007


Vikings Frenzy - gives a good rundown of various national publication's pre-season power rankings. We all know that these are incredibly accurate and there is no longer a reason to even play out the season.

Ragnarok - gives the necessary formula for making the playoffs (like that should be a problem at 14-2). What we need to know is what will it take to get home field cause in Kool Aid land the playoffs are a foregone conclusion.

The Viking Age - has their own power rankings, about 18 spots too low but higher than pretty much everybody else.

Skol Vikes - has all of your Vikings roster questions answered. Prax squad, players cut, full 53 man roster, etc.

Pacifist Viking - really just clarify's my point about the Vikings game by game predictions. Shaky QB after shaky QB bodes well for the Vikes. I mean we get to face Harrington, Huard, Favre, Grossman and McCown just to name a few.

Just for good measure, game by game predictions...

  • Atl - W (1-0)
  • @Det - W (2-0) - 10 wins are just not in the cards for Det
  • @KC - W (3-0) - run D too much for LJ and they have not passing game
  • GB - W (4-0) - now things get interesting
  • bye
  • @Chi - W (5-0) - bye week gives 2 weeks to prepare and we'll avenge 0-2 from last year
  • @Dal - W (6-0) - TO will be hurt by now and we steal this one
  • Phi - W (7-0) - at home we win
  • SD - L (7-1) - I'm anxious to see our run D vs. LT but Chargers if healthy win
  • @GB - W (8-1) - Aaron Rogers first NFL start won't be pretty
  • Oak - W (9-1) - Raiders suck
  • @NYG W (10-1) - Giants suck
  • Det - W (11-1) - Lions suck
  • @SF - W (12-1) - 49ers suck
  • Chi - W (13-1) - like I even need to justify this one!
  • Was - W (14-1) - nothing about the 'skins scares me
  • @Den - L (14-2) - obviously resting our starters

2007 Vikings - Kool-Aid(ed) Preview

OK, PKA is back in the swing of things and I feel the need to put out my Vikings preview. I'm going with a little different angle this year as opposed to last year's position group style.

As stated in a previous post, I am officially predicting 14-2. Nobody reads this blog so there is very little chance for embarrassment on this one, when I prove to be right I traffic will flock here because I am a great football mind!


BRHCP's KAO is going to be unstoppable (see KEY for help with acronyms). We've been told that if executed properly it is kick ass. Well TJax has had an offseason to learn up on the KAO and he'll be given every opportunity to run it to it's fullest. I like that BRHCP is going to take a step back from calling the plays so he can be a big picture guy on game day, I honestly think this will really help. This offense was absolutely terrible last year and can only get better.

Purple Jesus - (love that nickname by the way, HT to Ragnarok) will be a key guy on this offense. I thought Chester did a great job last year. The OLine struggled all year but Chester was able to make the 1st guy miss on a regular basis and racked up 1200 yards. But PJ has a chance to be a game changer. Both should be fresh throughout the game and for the end of the season. PJ really can be someone who adds a new dimension to this offense and is a bigger threat which will open the passing game a little bit.

KEY PLAYER ON OFFENSE - toss up between Sydney Rice and Robert Ferguson. One of these guys needs to step up and be a legit pass receiving threat. I think Rice has a bright future and Ferguson has the ability to quickly ascend to our #1 WR. I don't care who steps up but somebody has to. If we can develop a passing game to go with out potent running game this offense is worlds apart from 2006.

Biggest question? - more than the passing game I'm worried about the right side of the OLine.

Overall Offensive Prediction - 2006 was the perfect storm of things going wrong. The left side of the OL was very disappointing while the right side was terrible. Brad Wonderbread Johnson was bad, BRHCP struggled to keep his players and his message fresh while he tried to establish what exactly he wanted from his offense. 2007 will be a slight improvement in EVERY area.

  • TJax will be better than BJ
  • WRs will be better than anybody anticipates
  • the left OL will play up to expectations
  • the right OL will at least be stable
  • the running game will be dominant
  • RED ZONE scoring can't be any worse (perfect storm of terribleness last year)


Don't Regress vs the run - had this defense not totally packed it in and were in a hurry to catch their 3:45 flights out of town, they would have been the best run defense in history (statistically speaking). And in all honesty I think they'll be just as good (if not better) vs. the run. There has been nothing but great reviews of Greenway this preseason and EJ has seemingly transitioned back to MLB quite well. The DLine is essentially the same and our safeties are great at stopping the run. I see no reason to think we won't stop the run with the same tenacity as 2006.

Slow down the pass just a little (PLEASE) - Winfield is one of the best corners out there and our safeties are solid as well. I find it crazy how bad this team was vs. the pass last year. I am a big fan of Cedric Griffin and I think we will be much better vs. the pass this year. We will still give up a lot of total yards because teams will HAVE to pass on us. But we'll have more INTs and instead of giving up 240 pass yards per game it will be closer to 205.

Don't be so harsh on Udeze - I know he didn't have a sack all year and pressure on the QB was a problem. But he did tie for the team lead in tackles for losses and clearly contributed to an historic run stopping defense. I am taking the approach this year that we don't need him to be a sack guy. If he finishes the season with 2 or 3 sacks plus another 8-10 tackles for losses then he has done his job.

KEY PLAYER ON DEFENSE - Ray Edwards, this is related to my Udeze theory. If Udeze does his part in run stoppage again this year, that means we HAVE to get some sacks from the other end spot. I don't see James being that guy and it looks like Edwards is getting the start at LE. He has to get to the QB and put pressure on him. If he does then Udeze produces more and the pass defense gets a little relief (like 20-30 yards per game).

Overall Defensive Prediction - just give me a little pass defense and this defense gives us a chance to win every game. It is that simple.

14-2 - is a bit of a stretch, but I really feel that our offense will be slightly better and our pass defense will also be slightly better. It really doesn't take much to go from 6-10 to 9-7. Change 3 plays from 2006 and this team was 9-7. The Chicago home game, the SF road game and the Miami road game. All had 1 play that went horribly wrong and ended in a L. I know most teams can say that (except Chicago who had everything go just right, more on that later) but I don't think this team is as far off as everyone seems to think they are.

What is more shocking?

That I am posting for a 2nd day in a row?


Patrick Reusse is optimistic about the Vikings season?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I suck at blogging...

I have been putting all of my blogging energies into Gopher Nation, but so much has gone on I need to throw out some Viking thoughts...

  • Blackout? Are you kidding me? - This is the home opener and we can't sell out the Dome. Even in years past there has been even a little buzz and excitement about the season. The Vikings have always dominated this town but as I have previously posted there is more NFL apathy in the Twin Cities than ever before.
  • BOLD Prediction - the Bears will not win the division! On paper this makes very little sense but in the NFL things rarely end up as the "experts" anticipate. Their defense is good, they are the defending NFC Champs and their special teams are great. BUT, their QB is very questionable, they have no depth at RB, they have the curse of the Super Bowl loser and did I mention that their QB is questionable? Grossman has a better chance of leading this team back to mediocrity than he does of leading them to Arizona. I like Benson but if he goes down this offense will be in trouble. And I think we'll see more holes in this defense than before. In 2006 their yards per game and pts allowed both increased from 2005. I see nothing that this D will improve on their numbers and they'll continue to be in difficult situations as long as Grossman is QB.
  • BOLDER Prediction - the Vikings will win the NFC North! It should be noted that I am a registered Kool-Aid Drinker and will proudly stand by the Vikings. But I think this could be the surprise team of the NFC. Tarvaris is totally unproven, this I know. But we have what could be one of the best running games in the league, which will ease his transition. The Vikings defense is good good enough to win some games and keep us in the rest. There has to be a few things that come together but I'm hopeful and this will be the surprise team of the NFC.
  • Bring on the Kids - The Vikings have a TON of 1st and 2nd round kids playing for the first time this season or will be counted on this year. 2 true rookies, a couple guys who are essentially rookies and a couple with 1 yr experience who will be counted upon heavily. 1st and 2nd round picks have to contribute and we have several. Watch this young core of players as they grow this could be the start of a special team.
    • QB - Tarvaris Jackson - 2nd round pick (2006), essentially his first season
    • RB - Adrian Peterson - 1st round pick (2007), ROOKIE
    • WR - Sydney Rice - 2nd round pick (2007), ROOKIE
    • LB - Chad Greenway - 1st round pick (2006), missed rookie season due to injury
    • CB - Cedric Griffin - 2nd round pick (2006), played a lot but will be crucial this year
    • OL - Ryan Cook - 2nd round pick (2006), starting RT
  • Game by game official PKA predictions.
    • Atl - W (1-0)
    • @Det - W (2-0) - 10 wins are just not in the cards for Det
    • @KC - W (3-0) - run D too much for LJ and they have not passing game
    • GB - W (4-0) - now things get interesting
    • bye
    • @Chi - W (5-0) - bye week gives 2 weeks to prepare and we'll avenge 0-2 from last year
    • @Dal - W (6-0) - TO will be hurt by now and we steal this one
    • Phi - W (7-0) - at home we win
    • SD - L (7-1) - I'm anxious to see our run D vs. LT but Chargers if healthy win
    • @GB - W (8-1) - Aaron Rogers first NFL start won't be pretty
    • Oak - W (9-1) - Raiders suck
    • @NYG W (10-1) - Giants suck
    • Det - W (11-1) - Lions suck
    • @SF - W (12-1) - 49ers suck
    • Chi - W (13-1) - like I even need to justify this one!
    • Was - W (14-1) - nothing about the 'skins scares me
    • @Den - L (14-2) - obviously resting our starters
There you have it 14-2 is the official prediction (9-7 would be my realistic prediction). Home field advantage and the odds on favorite to be the next great NFL dynasty!

Kool Aid Drinkers