Thursday, December 27, 2007

NFC Playoff Picture (Pre-Week 17)

6 of 7 teams are set, you all know who they are.

The Vikes are outside looking in and our hopes are riding in the arm of Brad Johnson.

I'm going to cry.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Let's play a game...

After watching MNF and listening to the long list of Bear QBs since the Jim McMahon days it got me thinking a little bit. It seems that the Vikings usually get to face a different Bear QB every time they play. While this isn't totally true it is pretty close.

  • In the last 12 meetings there have been 7 different starting QBs for the Bears.
  • 4 of the last 6 seasons have had different starters in each of the team's two meetings.
So with that in mind lets play a little game. I'll pick a starter and you match him to the stats...

1. Jim Miller - 2002
2. Chris Chandler - 2002
3. Kordell Stewart - 2003
4. Rex Grossman - 2003 (NFL debut)
5. Chad Hutchinson - 2004
6. Kyle Orton - 2005
7. Rex Grossman - bonus Sexi!
8. Brian Griese - 2007

a. 117 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
b. 381 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
c. 176 yds, 1 INT
d. 137 yds, 1 TD
e. 157 yds
f. 213 yds, 3 TD
g. 297 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
h. 34 yds, 3 INT!

I'd type the answers upside down but then the blood rushed to my head and it didn't really do any good.


If the playoffs were today...

we'd be in.

BUT, the playoffs aren't today, and we all know what can happen. This may be the most "un-Kool Aid" moment in PKA history, but let's remember what can happen...

I'm as sick as the rest of you both of you, but let's stay focused on winning Sunday so we don't have to worry as much about Denver next week.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NFC Playoff Picture (Pre-Week 16)

Our chances improved this week to...

58.2 % chance we are going to be IN

Wk 14 - 42.9%
Wk 13 - 21.9%
Wk 12 - 12.0%
Wk 11 - 4.9%
Wk 10 - 3.0%

If we go...

2-0 = 100%
1-0-1 = 100%
1-1 = 65.9%
0-2 = 0UT

As a reminder for all of you returning readers from last season. When the records are listed it is (overall, conference, division).


Division Leaders

1. NFC East - Dallas (12-2, 9-1, 4-1)
2. NFC North - Green Bay (12-2, 8-2, 3-1)
3. NFC West - Seattle (9-5, 8-3, 5-1)
4. NFC South - Tampa Bay (9-5, 8-2, 5-0)

Wild Card (overall, conference)

5. IN - NY Giants (9-5, 7-5) - loss keeps Washington alive and give MN a chance at #5!
Key Remaining Games - only AFC remaining
H2H Tiebreakers - Det, Chi, Phi none

6. IN - Minnesota (8-6, 6-5) - ugly win keeps them IN
Key Remaining Games - Was(wk16)
H2H Tiebreakers - NYG

7. New Orleans (7-7, 6-4) - 5-4 NFC record gives hope, must win out and hope for miracle
Key Remaining Games - none of significance
H2H over Sea

8. Washington (7-7, 5-5) - has to go 2-0 with touch schedule
Key Remaining Games - @Min(wk16), Dal(wk17)
H2H over nobody left

9. Carolina (6-8, 8-3) - NFC record is really good, but overall will keep them out
Key Remaining Games - none vs. playoff teams, but all are important
H2H over nobody

Vikings fans games to watch (in order of importance)

  1. Minnesota over Washington - Duh, I know but this one is pretty huge, it would almost lock it up.
  2. Philadelphia over New Orleans - knock out the Saints, PLEASE?
  3. Buffalo over NY Giants - not likely but it would be awfully nice.
  4. Dallas over Carolina - if Romo is healthy I'm not worried about this one.

5 straight wins is kind of exciting. Sweeping the Bears is kind of sweet. And being the team nobody wants to face in the playoffs is meaningless. Just keep winning, I get the feeling that last night showed that these guys were starting to believe their own headlines. Hopefully it was a wake up call while still getting the ugly win.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Live Blogging MNF!

Darren Sharper makes me look smart by picking off Orton to end the game. Ugly win. But eliminating the Bears, Eagles and Lions is nice. Especially since it narrows the playoff field.

The Vikings score the last 17 points of the game to win their 5th straight in spite of poor QB decisions.

Peterson struggled for 3 quarters but the 4th he had 37 yards on 5 carried and a TD.

more on this ugly game tomorrow (or some other day this week).

2nd time this season the Vikes were at least -3 in turnovers and won. And 2nd time the Bears turnover over their opponent at least 4 times and lost.

** My wife just said that one person probably looked at this live blog and it was probably by accident. Isn't she sweet? She's wrong at least 3 people looked.

** That intentional grounding was the worst call of the night.

13-20 - The lead for the first time tonight. The experienced Bollinger gets confused (um, hand off right, not left shouldn't be too hard) in the backfield but Peterson is kinda good and give us the lead. Then the nimble Bollinger takes in the 2 point conversion. Quarterback controversy? (JUST KIDDING)

Now we need to keep the pressure on Orton and get the pick when he throws it up for grabs.

Right before the touchdown injuries took over. Tillman has been having a great game for the Bears is injured (knocked on his ass, throws up on sideline). Then Jackson tweaks something (he is kind of a wimp in his short career). Then Sydney Rice goes to the locker room to amputate his left fibula I think.

** Offensive line has been really bad today. Birk missed an Urlacher blitz twice and there have been a handful of times a Bear D-lineman was able to beat his man and tackle Peterson at the line of scrimmage. They have been great the last month but tonight they have struggled. But we now have the ball on the 5 and a score here is hopefully going to be enough.

I predict we score here and get an Orton pick as he tries to force some throws in a failed comeback.

End of 3rd QTR: 13-12

I feel like I know less about football after watching 3 quarters of "football."

I really think we can get this W with just a FG and no more turnovers. We are getting pressure on Orton and he has looked awful ever since the Henderson hit. Their offense is doing nothing, we are doing next to nothing but we just need 1 drive to get it done.

Just one big run by Peterson or one more big pass play might be enough.

** I like the ESPN crew, but Urlacher's 2 recent sacks are not because he is playing "at a Honolulu level." Urlacher stood at the line of scrimmage, then jogged to the QB, UNTOUCHED. Any MLB whether college, XFL, World League, English Premier League, whatever would sack the QB if you don't block him.

** Jackson now is responsible for all 4 turnovers. I'm going to cry.

** Jackson now has a career high in passing yards.

13-1312 - FINALLY somebody made a play. Ferguson makes a great play (but could have had the 6 points himself). But nice job Robert and way to pad Jackson and Peterson's stats. Tie game, wait, WHAT? Oh holy freaking flying poop. This better get us going cause if we lose because of a freaking bad snap that is going to suck.

** EJ Henderson, that's what I'm talking about! Now somebody needs to be able to catch the short punt. Next play is another blitz and Orton throws it before the corner is within 5 steps. Get those hits on him and let the defense score (the offense might not do it tonight).

** NOOOOOO! Winfield will not return this game. That's not good.


Jackson has looked very good with the exception of about 2 throws, but 11/16 and 129 yards has been a full game for him and he did that in just one half. I wrote a bit too soon. That last INT was a TERRIBLE throw. Then he totally missed Ferguson for a big gain. Nice scramble +15 yards (albeit weak again). All in all an average half. Led team to 3 points to end the half shows a little moxy, but please no more turnovers.

Turnovers are frustrating and have given the Bears 10 points. The Bears clearly earned their TD but getting the ball inside the 10 with less than a minute left is unacceptable.

The Bears offense is terrible and their defense has been OK. They are so focused on shutting down Peterson and making Jackson beat them. So far it is working.

2 things need to change...

1 - there has been absolutely no pressure on Orton. He needs to be hit hard a few times and then some constant pressure.

2 - Peterson has to get some running room. I know they are keying on PJ and they don't want to get embarrassed again, but there has to be some plays in the KAO that will let him get the ball in space.

6-3 - Sorry, ESPN. This game is rather boring. Bears up despite a couple more penalties and needing 2 plays to get a yard. Actually that last 12 men in the huddle penalty may have been a +3 penalty for them.

3-3 - Finally the punter battle ended for now. Nice little drive, nothing special. TJax actually did a couple nice things on this drive including standing in the pocket to deliver an 18 yd pass when he know he was going to get leveled by Briggs. Plus a penalty to boot (kind of a week RtP, but we'll take it).

MN First Downs - 7
Chi First Downs - 0

MN Turnovers - 2
Chi Turnovers - 0

nets out to 3-3

** HOLY CRAP (holding back the language cause this is a family site, but what the f*$K), you have to love 4/4 for 53 yards from Jackson but fumbles are going to be the end of us. You've got to be kidding me. This is what I was talking about in my preview. On paper our defense should dominate and our offense should have every opportunity to be effective, but if you are going to give the Bears the ball every time you ain't going to win. UGH

3-0 - TJax to Ferguson to Vasher's helmet to Urlacher to false starts to Robbie Gould.

Mistakes will ruin my MNF experience. I want to see play-action and let Jackson use that arm to get us a quick one.

** UGH - nice pick by Urlacher. Can't have that happen. Thank you for the false start that will "hopefully" lead to 3 pts or less.

** Great tackle by Winfield, that was huge. Keeping Hester contained every time he touches the ball is huge. Every time he touches the ball I hold my breath and getting him for a 1 yd gain makes me happy.

Are you ready for some Football?! - So excited, I miss being on MNF. So far the ESPN crew isn't doing us any favors. Jaworski is calling Purple Jesus the best back ever and Kornheiser was almost happy to take us through the demise of the 2007 Bears. At least Keyshawn picked the Bears to win, we got that going for us.

Can't wait to watch...

  • Purple Jesus run all over.
  • Hester never touch the ball!

Importance of tonight! - I get the feeling that Viking Nation is assuming the playoffs. This team has played so well to get into a wild card spot and it feels like the rest of the regular season is a formality. But this game is huge. Lose a couple games and we'll be done after week 17. New Orleans is more than capable of winning out and taking our coveted playoff spot.

You HAVE to win a home divisional game against a team that you should beat.

Stay tuned for further insightful analysis throughout the game!

This is your purple pants, purple jersey leader!

Listening to the KFAN pregame I learned that this is actually the 2nd time in team history that the Vikings are all purple. 1964 was the first. The Lions came to town with their white jerseys. The Vikings dressed in their white jerseys. After 1 quarter of trying to play with both teams in white, the Vikings changed to their purple jerseys to go with the purple pants they were already wearing.

Vikings v Bears Kool-Aided Preview (wk 15)

Well, I haven't given a preview since week 6 for the first Bears game. And it is probably good because we tend to lose the games I preview. But I am fearless and the Vikings are virtually unbeatable so here I come with a minor preview.

On paper this one could get ugly in the home team's favor. The Bears are injured all over, haven't played well in weeks, are searching for anybody to be a competent QB and the seem to be a grumpy group right about now.

But Beware the Bear? I don't think so. They have lost 3 of their last 4. A Bears fan might try to convince you they were all close against potential playoff teams and they beat Denver. But these games were not as close as they appear...

  • @Seattle - late FG by Chicago made this closer than it really was. But this was one of the best games for Benson (89 yds, 1 TD) and Grossman (266 yds, 65%) this season.
  • Denver - nice OT win at home, but this was a Hester special. He is special but the 22 guys who play offense and defense did not play well enough to win this game.
  • NY Giants - this was their best game in recent memory (although it was a loss). It took 4th quarter collapse to give this one away. 5 penalties in the 4th, a couple replay calls in the vaGiants favor and a general inability to stop the Manning led Giants ended this one for the Bearsies.
  • @Washington - another close but not really game. A FG with 30 seconds made this into a 1 possession game.
I think this Bear is in hibernation.

Two things scare me about this game...

1. Kyle Orton - Dan Marino he is not, but if you are reading this you too have see a Vikings defense make a non-starter QB look like he is All Pro. Orton does have a nice arm but he hasn't taken a snap since 2005. And even then he had 9 TDs to 13 INTs. He shouldn't scare anybody, there is a reason that he has been stuck behind Grossman and Griese for 2 years. But he does, only because I've seen it before.

The Bears shouldn't have a run game that accumulates more than 50 yards all day. I'm guessing the Lovie and company have gameplanned to spread us out and throw on us from the opening snap. Hell, I wouldn't be shocked to see a no huddle. Out of character? Yes. The right gameplan to beat the Vikings? Yes. Orton can throw, but we have to adjust to him, get pressure on him and make him make mistakes.

2. Devin Hester - my most hated player in football. He is amazing and perfectly capable of beating the Vikings. In recent memory the Bears have done all they can to prove that a special team's TD doesn't actually help win you games. In the most recent Super Bowl I was convinced that if the Bears got a Hester TD they would beat the Colts. I was wrong. In week 6 when Hester took back a punt to give Chicago the 0-7 lead I thought it was over. Again, I was wrong. I don't want to take that chance again. I don't care if kicking the ball out of bounds gives them a 20 yard bonus in field position. If their offense, which will be one dimensional can go down the field on a consistent basis then we don't deserve to win. But that is better than giving Hester 6 points.

Fearless Prediction

This is tough. On the one hand I think right now these teams are going in opposite directions. The Bears haven't been very good on the road and last meeting was dominated everywhere except the final 3 min and final score (31-17 with 3 min to go before a minor collapse by the Vikes). And in addition to that the Vikings have been dominant winning 3 straight by 20+. On the other hand this is a division game that has the makings of a tight game as both defenses have been known to play well.

I expect the Bears to come out throwing on offense and putting 10 guys on the box to stop Purple Jesus on defense. As is often the case that formula isn't good for the Vikes. So can Jackson continue to play well when teams are forcing him to beat them. Can PJ get into that second level and run all over the Bear D? And if we know they are going to pass can we slow it down? Can we make them go in short chunks and then pounce when Orton makes a mistake?

I can't pick against the Vikes but this one is far from a slam dunk. The Vikings win and increase their dominance over the Bears as they move the franchise series to 50-42-2.

Minnesota - 27
Chicago - 23

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I guarantee the Vikes will win the Super Bowl...

OK, I'm just kidding, but what is to stop me from making such an outlandish statement? Is that a level of crazy different from Jon Kitna's level after he "guaranteed" 10 wins for the Lions? Is it more improbable than Anthony Smith guaranteed a win over the Patriots?

I don't think so, and really it is time for the empty guarantees to stop. Here are just a few of the guarantees I was able to find...

Jon Kitna - pre-season guarantee that the Lions would win 10 games.

While at the time this one seemed the craziest (c'mon it's the LIONS), when they were sitting at 6-2 it seemed like it was possible. But then the Lions remembered that they are the Lions and the recent 5 game losing streak brought this one back to reality. The best part is, Kitna still hasn't given up the dream of 10 wins...

"We can still reach it," Kitna said Wednesday. "Once that's eliminated and we can't, we'll be disappointed."
I'll help him with the math.
  • The Lions' current record is 6-7, that's 6 wins.
  • The NFL schedule is 16 games (3 remaining)
  • If the Lions win all 3 remaining games they'll have 9 wins
  • 6 + 3 = 10 9
Well I guess a playoff win could give them 10, but since the are a game out and have lost tie-breakers with 2 other teams they are currently tied with that seems unlikely. Oh the Lions have won only one playoff game in the last 50 years. Most importantly, would that really count? I don't think Kitna qualified his prediction as "I think we'll go 9-7 then win a wild card road game for 10 wins." No. I guess 10 wins is 10 wins, and if the Lions won a playoff game the city would likely riot, but enough is enough.

Anthony Smith (being laughed at on right) - guaranteed the Steelers would beat the 12-0 (now 13-0) Patriots

Why on earth would you do this to yourself and your team, Mr. Smith? First of all, nobody knows who you are so I guess if your intent was to become a household name - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Unfortunately for you around most households your name would be mentioned in a sentence like this..."ya that Smith guy for Pittsburgh? What an idiot (or douche, or retard)!"

The best part of his "guarantee" was how the Patriots burned Smith for the first two touchdowns of the game and 3 overall. I'm not a huge Patriots fan, but that was awesome. (for the record I thought Brady then running to jaw with Smith was beneath him and classless but whatever). Was that M-V-P they were chanting at Foxboro in the 4th quarter? No, that was "Gaur-an-Tee" after Brady threw for just about 400 yards and 4 TDs.

Randy McMichael - guaranteed his 0-7 Rams would beat the Browns

I wonder why nobody heard of this one? Could it be that nobody cares about an 0-7 team? Could it be that it was blown off as just another dumb football player talking out of his butt-pads?

Of course the Browns won and the world moved on (so will I).

I'm sure there have been a few more of these guarantees during the 2007 season but seriously isn't enough enough? When will these guys give it up. Guaranteeing a win is just plain stupid, selfish and stupid.

Here are 4 elements of guarantees that are the most bothersome...

It is NOT a show of confidence. It is foolishness. If you are confident in your and your team's abilities why do you need to put your self out ahead of the team and put them on the defensive? Why is it necessary to speak for your team on this issue? And why does the media need to know?
"I come out every game to win. In this league, if you walk into an arena planning to lose, you're not a guy anyone will want to play with."
You can give this quote to anybody who jumps on the guarantee bus, but this one belongs to Anthony Smith (if you say "who?" nobody blames you). But it is so misguided. Coming out every game to win is one thing, telling the world that you think you'll win is another.

Don't qualify the guarantee. The common PR spin now is that after you make the guarantee and it catches fire then you have to qualify it. It now becomes "IF" we play our game we will win. Or "IF" we don't make mistakes we will win. Now you are stupid and a pussy. Why not just say I guarantee we will win IF we score more points than they do.

PLEASE back it up! So rule #1 is don't do it, but if you are going to do it then you better be prepared to back it up. I know you can't control your entire team, but you better hold up your end of the bargain. Anthony, if you are going to make a guarantee don't personally get burned for 3 TDs in the first half. Jon, if you are going to guarantee 10 wins don't throw more INTs than TDs in your 5 game losing streak.

If you have to guarantee, you are probably going to lose. When was the last time a favored team guaranteed a win? If you have to come out to tell the world you "are going to win." Then a little light should go on that tells you your team sucks. Maybe it is because winning teams let their play do the talking.

In the end it is pointless, especially in football. But these guarantees are becoming the chic thing to do in the NFL. As I've already state enough is enough, it is annoying and comical. Anthony Smith went from a nobody to the butt of jokes. Jon Kitna went from a mediocre QB to, well still a mediocre QB who is also the butt of jokes.

I guarantee that the guarantees are who we thought they were!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

NFC Playoff Picture (Pre-Week 15)

This great blog was sent to me. It calculates each team's percent chance of making the playoffs.

After the 0-34 debacle @Lambeau we actually stood a 3% chance of making the playoffs.
We now sit at an overall chance of 43%

If we go...

3-0 = 100%
2-0-1 = 100%
2-1 = 74.5%
1-1-1 = 55.6%
1-2 = 6%
0-3 = 0%

As a reminder for all of you returning readers from last season. When the records are listed it is (overall, conference, division).

Division Leaders

1. NFC East - Dallas (12-1, 9-0, 4-0)
2. NFC North - Green Bay (11-2, 7-2, 3-1)
3. NFC West - Seattle (9-4, 8-2, 5-1)
4. NFC South - Tampa Bay (8-5, 7-2, 4-0)

Wild Card (overall, conference)

5. IN - NY Giants (9-4, 7-4) - road win @Philly may have clinched the to wild card
Key Remaining Games - Wash(wk15)
H2H Tiebreakers - Det, Chi, Phi, Was (for now),

6. IN - Minnesota (7-6, 5-5) - everything worked for them this week
Key Remaining Games - Chi(wk15), Was(wk16)
H2H Tiebreakers - NYG, Chi(for now)

7. Washington (6-7, 4-5) - head to head over Det and AZ, AND gets to play MN
Key Remaining Games - @NYG(wk15), @Min(wk16)
H2H over Det and Arz

8. Arizona (6-7, 3-6) - plenty of NFC games remaining but they need help
Key Remaining Games - @NO, Atl, Stl
H2H Tiebreakers - Det

9. Detroit (6-7, 4-7) - heartbreaking loss to Dallas, a win would have made things interesting
Key Remaining Games - @GB(wk17)
H2H Tiebreakers - Chi

10. New Orleans (6-7, 5-4) - 5-4 NFC record gives hope, must win out and hope for miracle
Key Remaining Games - AZ(wk15)
H2H over nobody

Vikings fans games to watch (in order of importance)

  1. Washington over New York Giants - we can beat Wash, but if NYG loses we can catch the 1st wild card spot.
  2. Arizona @ New Orleans - either way one is eliminated
  3. San Diego over Detroit - like it matters, nobody thinks the Lions are going to make it

For really the 3rd week in a row everything worked in our favor. We won and the teams we needed to lose, lost. If we can win the next two home games (Chicago and Washington) that should essentially wrap it up and make the Denver road game meaningless. We are playing well, but not well enough to assume a W.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Who would have thunk?

One month ago I had a handful of scathing posts in my head just ready to be typed. Posts like...

  • Why it is time to end the Brad Childress Experiment
  • the KAO is seriously the worst offense EVER
  • Why it is time to end the Tarvaris Jackson Experiment
  • How many games do we have to lose to get a franchise QB in 2008 Draft
  • Will we hire Schottenheimer, Cowher or Tim Brewster to lead this team in 2008
  • Will the offense be able to cross the 50 with Purple Jesus injured
  • Why would anybody on this defense stick around to watch another year of playoff D coupled with the worst offense EVER
I think you get the picture. Fortunately I was always too busy with work and gopher blog to ever type those posts.

Flash forward 4 weeks and the Vikings are playing great. The offense is able to move the ball, the defense is dominating and we are fans of the hottest team in the NFC (that doesn't have a star on the helmet). We are riding a 4 game win streak (5 out of 6) and the biggest shocker we are IN THE PLAYOFFS (for now).

Seriously, at 3-6 who actually thought that in week 14 we'd be a wild card team. Let me tell you, I drink the kool-aid pretty hard and after the Green Bay loss I had written off the playoffs completely. Even if I thought they had a little run in them I thought that the missed FG @ Detroit and losing to the Eagles at home would doom their playoff hopes. But I was wrong (first time for everything) and now we can start planning our trips to Seattle for the playoffs!

What exactly has moved us from 2008 Draft watch to Jan of '08 still playing? The run game would be the obvious answer but I think it is also the wrong answer. The run game has been solid since week 1 and we still struggled to a 3-6 start.


I stated in an earlier post that I hadn't seen anything that would give us any indication that Jackson would grow to be a competent NFL QB. But I also wanted him to play out the rest of this season so we'd know for sure. It was a simple 3 step plan. Let him play, evaluate in Jan, then most likely move on to a new QB for 2008. Letting him play out the season was a no brainer. Neither Holcomb or Bollinger gave you any better chance to win than TJax did. What is shocking is the turnaround we have seen.

(Notice the AWESOME photoshop to the right)

Comparing Jackson's first 5 games this year to his most recent 4 looks like this...

TDs INTs Best QB Rating Record
First 5 games 2 5 75.1 3-2
Last 4 games 4 2 139.2 4-0

In all four of his most recent starts his QB Rating was higher than his best from his first 5. We aren't exactly looking at Marino in his prime here but there is no reason not to be pleased with the improvement he has shown.

For my money the San Francisco game yesterday was the most impressive. The 49ers did all they could do to shut down the running game and make Jackson beat them with his arm. Take away Taylor's 84 yard run and the defensive TD and Jackson still beat them by moving the ball downfield and leading us to 13 points. Again, he won't be winning an MVP trophy based on this game but he did more than just "not lose" for us. On a day when Purple Jesus had a grand total of 0 yards rushing and Taylor has only 17 if you take away just 1 attempt, Jackson combined with the defense to win this game on the road.

2. Coaching and the KAO

This just in, Kirk Herbstreit is reporting that Brad Childress was actually fired 5 weeks ago. This offense has been balanced, making adjustments and creative and for a month now. Who are you and what did you do with the Kick Ass Offense? When comparing the offense of the last 6 games to the offense of the first 7 you get something like this...
  • +65 yards per game
  • +7 offensive points per game (taking away defensive scores)
  • Defensively giving up -20 yds per game and -2 points per game
When the offense gets better, it helps the defense out a little bit and you get a net gain of 85 yards per game and 9 points. And those numbers include the 0-34 game @ Lambeau.

But this really is less about production and more about the offense looking prepared, able to handle defensive adjustments with adjustments of their own and an expansion of the playbook to include more than 7 yard slants or deep balls. We actually throw 12 yard passes and utilize the play-action to get the ball downfield.

So first I was ready to jettison our young QB, and next I was ready to cut ties with Brad the Red Hot Childress Pepper (copyright Eric). But here again Brad finally seems to be showing signs of life. It only took him 23 games into his career to get adjusted and into a coaching groove. I am neither endorsing or demonizing the head coach at this point but at least he has proven that he deserves to stick around.

3. Big Play D

I think this is largely due to an improved offense that doesn't put the defense in bad situations. And most importantly the defense is taking advantage of offensive mistakes. This doesn't take a lot of explanation.

And what comes next?

We have 2 scenarios that I see here.

The We Should Have Seen This Coming Scenario - this is the one we are used to. Vikings do something like win 4 straight to get everything assuming playoffs and maybe a little playoff run. Then they lose 2 straight at home, have to win @Denver to get in, but lose in a snap over the punter's head for a Bronco TD. We've seen this before and it is almost an annual event.


The Playoff Run to the Super Bowl Scenario - We stay hot, we are a legit team that just took a 1/2 season to get going. We win 3 straight road games in the playoffs and play spoiler to the Patriots in Arizona!!! I'm drinking the Kool-Aid now BABY. Book your hotel rooms now before they are gone! SKOL VIKINGS!!! Woooo-HOOOO!

Monday, December 03, 2007

NFC Playoff Picture (Pre-Week 14)

Well, time to bring back the playoff outlook. We had to get to .500 before I got pumped for a playoff run. Hottest team in the NFC!!

As a reminder for all of you returning readers from last season. When the records are listed it is (overall, conference, division).

Division Leaders

1. NFC East - Dallas (11-1, 8-0, 4-0)
2. NFC North - Green Bay (10-2, 7-2, 3-1)
3. NFC South - Tampa Bay (8-4, 7-2, 4-0)
4. NFC West - Seattle (8-4, 7-2, 4-12)

Wild Card (overall, conference)

5. IN - NY Giants (8-4, 6-4) - NFC win over Chicago is huge with only 4 weeks left.
Key Remaining Games - @Phi (wk14), Wash(wk15)
H2H Tiebreakers - Det, Chi, Was (for now), Phi (for now)

6. IN - Arizona (6-6, 3-5) - next two road games are huge
Key Remaining Games - @Sea, @NO, Atl, Stl
H2H Tiebreakers - Det

7. Detroit (6-6, 4-6) - currently ahead of Min based on division record.
Key Remaining Games - Dal(wk14), @GB(wk17)
H2H Tiebreakers - Chi

8. Minnesota (6-6, 4-5) - although currently out, things look good
Key Remaining Games - @SF(wk14), Chi(wk15), Was(wk16)
H2H Tiebreakers - NYG, Chi(for now)

9. Carolina (5-7, 5-4) - 5-4 NFC record gives them hope
Key Remaining Games - Sea(wk15), Dal(wk16), @TB(wk17)
H2H Tiebreakers - AZ

Still Clinging to Life

10. Washington (5-7) - a ways out
H2H over Det and Arz

11. Chicago (5-7) - plays Was this week, loser is essentially eliminated
H2H - Phi

12. Philadelphia (5-7) - tough remaining schedule
H2H over Det and Min

13. New Orleans (5-7) - don't hold your breath Saints fans
H2H over nobody

Vikings fans games to watch (in order of importance)

  1. @Seattle over Arizona - need to get to that 6th spot
  2. @Philly over NY Giants - with H2H in our favor catching NY isn't out of question
  3. Chicago over @Washington - lets get one of these teams out for good
  4. @Dallas over Detroit - should be a sure thing right?

Things really look pretty good for Minnesota. All of our games are highly winable, Detroit has a really difficult schedule (Dal, @SD and @GB, ouch) and Arizona isn't playing great either. Obviously we have to take care of business ourselves, but we are close to controlling our own destiny as you can be without really controlling your own destiny.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

NFC Power Rankings Week 13

Reminder that power rankings are not just based on records. Team's recent performance is much more valuable to their current ranking than how they played in weeks 1-8 or so.

  1. Dallas (11-1) - beat the only NFC contenders
  2. Green Bay (10-2) - not as close to Dallas as Packer fans think
  3. NY Giants (8-4) - struggling but still picked up win @Chi
  4. Tampa Bay (8-4) - stays under the radar but has a 4 game win streak
  5. Seattle (8-4) - getting better or not playing anybody good?
  6. Minnesota (6-6) - very hot team that isn't just winning, they are dominating
  7. Arizona (6-6) - beat a plucky Browns club, not bad
  8. Carolina (5-7) - dominated SF, but good luck vs. Jax
  9. Washington (5-7) - playoffs seem distant and really unimportant
  10. Philadelphia (5-7) - I'm not impressed, but they are in the mix
  11. Detroit (6-6) - the 10 win guarantee doesn't look too realistic Mr. Kitna
  12. St. Louis (3-9) - Rams are looking competent again
  13. Chicago (5-7) - time to cheer for Bears to win, beat Washington (get lower draft pick)
  14. New Orleans (5-7) - cold, hot, and now cold again
  15. San Francisco (3-9) - so bad, yet so scary for Vikes this week
  16. Atlanta (3-9) - long season gets longer

Kool Aid Drinkers