Monday, July 28, 2008

Spoiler Alert - 2008 Vikings Season

Before training camp officially gets going let me go game by game and lay out for you how the season will play out for the Vikes.

Week 1 - @Green Bay - the emotional retiring of Brett Favre's jersey will be short lived. After Aaron Rogers throws three first half interceptions and completes just 2 other passes for 7 yards, they will take down #4 and he'll enter the game for the second half. Favre will make it close but the Vikings win. Also, it's a little known fact that Brad the Red Hot Childress Pepper is 4-0 when he has 2 weeks or more to prepare for a game.

Vikings 1-0

Week 2 - Indianapolis - not even I can foresee a win here. This team is very capable of beating Indy at home, but allow me to be realistic for a moment. Manning lights up the secondary, everyone believes this year will be more of the same and the bandwagon gets light. Peterson is the key to this game. Should he get some holes and run for 175, then there is no reason we can't win this. But we will be underdogs in our home opener.

Vikings 1-1

Week 3 - Carolina - The Panthers will get about 18 yards rushing and if we can slow down Steve Smith we win this one. But their run game is weak, their OLine is bad and their QB is average. Carolina's D is solid as their LBs and Secondary are top 10 in the league, plus you have Julius Peppers on the line. This will be a good test for Jackson to show he can play at this level and lead us to a win.

Vikings 2-1

Week 4 - @Tennessee - Vince Young's are the only thing that worry me here. Tennessee finished hot last year winning 4 of their last 5 before losing to San Diego in the playoffs. While they probably should, the really don't scare me. Behind a great defensive line are solid but not great second level defenders. This again will be a game for Jackson to show he is worth Childress's faith.

Vikings 3-1

Week 5 - @New Orleans - If the Saint's offense is clicking this will be a high scoring affair. New Orleans is a bottom 10 defense imo even with Jonothan Vilma being added. This will be the best chance for the Vikings offense to show some success. After this game I think we can adequately evaluate where Jackson is. So much of the spotlight is on Jackson and he'll be unfairly judged immediately. But I am a patient person, I encourage both of my readers to wait till now before we judge him. Anyway, Vikings win this road game and hurt Reggie Bush in the process.

Vikings 4-1

Week 6 - Detroit - Worst defense in the league last year and second worst running game. Kitna will be throwing to a great receiving corp, but we should be better defending the pass. This will be the first cushioned win of the season. We win and we win big.

Vikings 5-1

Week 7 - @Chicago - heading into the bye on the divisional road. The problem here will be us scoring then having to kick off. It will go something like Vikings +7, Hester scores on ensuing kick off (EVEN). Vikings score (+7), Hester returns kick off (EVEN). Vikings score (+7), Hester pulls a hammy and we go on to win by 28.

Vikings 6-1

Week 8 - BYE - time for a well deserved rest as we push for home field.

Week 9 - Houston - guaranteed win based on when you give BtRHCP two weeks he will put together an unbeatable game plan. Houston in the Dome doesn't really scare me, they were OK last year and didn't do anything to improve this offseason. Defense was bottom third, team was last in very tough division and they will likely remain there. This is a W.

Vikings 7-1

Week 10 - Green Bay - should be a challenging home game, but remember Brett Favre in his early years playing at the Dome? Expect that from Aaron Rogers. My personal prediction is that Favre is starting this game (for the Packers, NOT the Vikings) but the purple momentum is just too much to stop at this point.

Vikings 8-1

Week 11 - @Tampa Bay - Our first road game in a month and it is against a 2007 playoff team. But the Buccanneers were fortunate last year and will be one of the bigger NFC flops this year. The Tampa defense will provide a unique challenge as I think they match up very well against the Vikings. They have a solid LB corp which will challenge our run game, and they led the NFL in pass defense last year. But nothing about their offense scares me and the Vikes will win a low scoring game.

Vikings 9-1

Week 12 - @Jacksonville - This will be out most difficult game of the year. Both teams sport a top 10 defense and a very good running game. Our running game might be better but their offense is more experienced as a whole. Their offseason addition of Troy Williamson should be enough for me to pick the Vikings but I just don't see a W here.

Vikings 9-2

Week 13 - Chicago - back at home and taking on the Bears. By this game Caleb Hanie will probably be starting under center and handing off to Garrett Wolfe. This begins a nice portion of the schedule that should allow us to rattle off a few wins. The Bears are hard to figure this year but this should be a nice game to come home to and we pull this one off on national TV.

Vikings 10-2

Week 14 - @Detroit - see, I told you this was a nice little stretch in the schedule. I never have any respect for Detroit. Last year in Detroit they needed four INTs and a missed FG to beat us in OT. Even if they have delusions of a winning season, the Vikes will stomp at that dream this week.

Vikings 11-2

Week 15 - @Arizona - The Cardinal wide receives do scare me. But their OL, RB and QB do not. This game will be a Jared Allen special. Don't even worry about the run and just get to the QB on every play. Assuming some heat on whoever is QBing for Arizona the Vikings win this road game. It isn't very often we get a trip to the desert in December, so the team will be in great spirits and ready to roll.

Vikings 12-2

Week 16 - Atlanta - another team that is a mess and will be more of one in week 16. Nothing about Atlanta scares me. Peterson got his first NFL TD against the Falcons and he'll get 2 or 3 more here. I hope we win this game by 64 points. I still hate the Falcons and any retribution (no matter how meaningless) makes me feel better.

Vikings 13-2

Week 17 - New York Giants - We will even rest our starters and win this game at home. Eli Manning has always been our bitch and will continue to be so. The Giants will be fighting for a final playoff spot this week but they will be no match for the Vikings D as we do what we can to keep momentum going into the post season.

Vikings 14-2

I know that 14-2 is a little conservative and leaves room for the Cowboys to sneak into homefield, but as you know I look at every game with an unbiased eye and am compelled to give my honest evaluation.

Friday, July 11, 2008

To Favre or Not to Favre - that is the question

For those of you who check in for my daily postings you may have noticed that I have yet to comment on the Favre Saga. I have gone around on this issue and had landed squarely on it will never happen. But the news today of Favre forcing the Packers to make a decision by requesting an unconditional release.

This is a brilliant saga to watch unfold. The Packers are sitting in an absolute lose-lose situation. That, first and foremost is what I enjoy seeing the most. Best case scenario they release Favre and he has a better season than Aaron Rogers with any team. Packers' front office looks terrible. Worst case they keep Favre have a mildly successful season but miss the Super Bowl. Another year of stunting Rogers' growth and there is every reason to believe he would force the Packers to make a move with him.

While I want to see the demise of the Packers, I'm more concerned about the success of the Vikings. So what does this mean for the Purple.

When news first surface that Favre was possibly rumored to potentially think about maybe coming out of retirement I wasn't too interested. Quickly Peter King thought it would make sense for Favre to wear Purple, then I was intrigued but not interested. Not only was I not interested but my initial reaction was that we don't want him and I convinced myself we also don't need him.

The more I sit on this and the more it becomes a possibility that he could end up playing 8+ games in the Dome, the more I am coming around on this.

FIRST and foremost, the chances of Favre wearing purple in Week 1 are thin for a myriad of reasons.

1 - The Packers just cannot let that happen. It would be bad if Favre left and went to the Super Bowl with Tampa Bay. But if he takes the Vikings, a division rival, to the Super Bowl it would be incredibly embarrassing and people might lose their jobs in Green Bay.

2 - I really believe that Brad Childress would not want him.

  • 2A - Jackson is Childress' guy. He has put his reputation on him and I get the feeling he wants to prove that he was right.
  • 2B - Favre takes a lot of chances his QB style is exactly what Childress is trying to teach TJax NOT to do.
  • 2C - Chilli is big on what message is he sending. And the message he is sending to "his guy" is that you are not good enough to get it done.
3 - Who knows if Brett wants to be here. He has been around long enough to know what playing for a team like Minnesota or Chicago would do to his reputation and legacy.

So I really will be SHOCKED if Favre becomes a Viking. I think he wants the Pack to bring him back and this is his way to force that issue.

But knowing it is a much longer shot than your national pundits are making it out to be, lets discuss Brett Favre as a Viking. In the last 24 hours I have changed my position. I want to see Favre in purple.

IF you have a problem with this because we hate the Packers and we hate Brett Favre. How can we want to see the face of our most hated rival on our team? To this I have to say GET OVER IT. If (and I think this is a big IF) Favre can lead our team to the Super Bowl it would mean nothing less to me. If you honestly believe that you would enjoy it less, you are absolutely kidding yourself.

IF you are OK with Favre but you think, we could have a long term future with Jackson. Wouldn't this one year experiment stunt his growth and shatter his confidence? I like TJax and I can buy this argument, but it has two fatal flaws.
  1. Jackson has done nothing to prove that he has a long term future in this league. We are excited about his potential based on two quarters at Denver and the information being disseminated to us out of Winter Park this offseason. Maybe he is more confident and maybe he's ready to take the next step, but MAYBE HE'S NOT. The likelihood of him throwing more INTs than TDs is just as likely (probably more) than him having a monster turnaround. I am excited for Jackson's future, I really am, but Favre is a much more quantifiable entity and you are kidding yourself if don't think he gives us a better chance to win NOW.
  2. This is a win now league. And as I just stated above Favre gives us a better chance to win NOW.
IF Jackson were more of a sure thing then you don't sacrifice his future for a 1 year window with Favre, but Jackson might be the one piece that keeps us from the Super Bowl this year. I like his future but you have to roll the dice with Favre.

IF Favre is out there we can't let him go elsewhere. Don't let him go to Chicago. Don't let him go to Tampa. Letting him go elsewhere and succeed would be a massive swing and miss.

IF, IF, IF Favre gets his unconditional release the Vikings absolutely have to do what it takes to get him on their roster. John David Booty will have to give up his jersey and then we can all book our hotels in Tampa.

Finally, this needs to be done because as much as some of us may not want to see Favre in purple, what this would do to Packer fans is indescribable. They would put on a brave front and try to spin this somehow. But their team was 13-3 a year ago, went to the NFC Championship game, LET BRETT FAVRE GO and he wins it all with their rival. They can spin that however they want, but Favre finally gets to a team good enough to win the Super Bowl cause the 2008 Packers are not good enough to get it done!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Duante Culpepper's Summer To Do List...

1 - Turn down a 1 yr, $1,000,000 offer to play for the Packers

2 - Set a World Record on Madden 2002 (yes, that is the one on which Culpepper graced the cover)

3 - Call up my buddy Smoot to go boating on the lake sometime! (waiting for a call back)

4 - Try to find a job. (eh, he's still got time to work this one out, what's the hurry?)

Kool Aid Drinkers