Friday, September 07, 2007

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.

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