Tag Archives: Minnesota Vikings

Quick Hits: 1/30/10

I think I am finally sober enough after drinking myself into unconsciousness after the Vikings again, crapped all over themselves – and all of us who cheer for the Purple.

To tell the truth, I actually thought that there was a chance to win it.  After all the fumbling and self-inflected wounds, I still thought the Vikings had a chance to kick a field goal as time expired.  Oh, tortured souls are we.

Since I don’t want spent too much time rehashing the game, here are my Mini-Hits versions for my points of interest.

  • Based on how the game ended, and ignoring the fact that he signed an extension, I am not sure Brad Childress should keep his job.  To all those you think I am just now piling on – please read some other posts.  I have never held Childress in the highest esteem.
  • The evening was very exciting on Facebook, as 90% of my friends grew-up in Minnesota and North Dakota.  The status updates were amazing.
  • So the NFL came out and said that the hit in the picture on Brett Favre should have been a 15-yard plenty.  Awesome.  So why was it not called?  The ref was right there.
  • The purple started running with some authority in the fourth quarter and then they would call a stupid pass play.  Just run the ball.
  • I thought that Joe Buck and Troy Aikman talked about the Saints defense and their coordinator way too much.  Even though Vikings out gained the Saints.
  • I have watched the Saints several times this year, and I thought they looked very average.
  • Even though the Vikings lost, I think it is safe to say we were the better team.

Vikings Side-Note:  Offensive Linemen Bryant McKinnie was kicked out the NFC All-Pro team.  What the hell?

Super Bowl Prediction

The Saints showed a ton of holes and the Colts defense is better than people think.  add that with Peyton Manning pretty much in the zone, and I see the Colts winning 34 – 17.

The Saints are not going to get away with the boarder-line hits on Manning.  There is no way.

US Soccer Bits

Timberwolves Talk

I follow the NBA and enjoy watching most teams, but they only team that I really have any connection with is the Minnesota T’Wolves.  For the casual fan, this season has probably been very difficult to watch.  And while I have yelled at the TV plenty of times, I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“A light at the end of the tunnel”?  Really?

Yeah.  I will do a full post on the state of the Timberwolves down the road, but this team as plenty of draft picks, will have cap room and have pieces for a competitive team.  Plus the rights to Ricky Rubio.

So I decided to play GM with ESPN’s Trade Machine and came up with this trade that would reshape the T’Wolves.

If you can’t read this picture, the Wolves give up Al Jefferson, Brian Cardinal and Mark Blount’s expiring contracts, and Ramon Sessions to the Phoenix Suns, the Wolves would get Amare Stoudemire, Jared Dudley and Channing Frye from Phoenix and Joe Johnson from Atlanta.  Atlanta would get Leandro Barbosa.  At best, there is a 0.005692% chance of this actually happening.   But let’s play pretend.  After this trade, the Wolves starting line-up would be

  • PG – Flynn
  • SG – Johnson
  • SF – Corey Brewer
  • PF – Amare
  • C – Frye

You would still have Kevin Love, Jared Dudley and others off the bench.  You would give your best player in Jefferson and back-up PG in Ramon Sessions – but Sessions is not your future – and Cardinal and Blount don’t play.  This is a just a dream, but I would love to think that anything can happen with David Kahn.  Like I said, this probably will not happen.  But my point is, THERE ARE OPTIONS!!

I will do a more in-depth look at the Wolves and the possibilities that are available this off-season, suitable free agents and draft picks.

Until then, I will relish the Wolves win over the Clippers!!

Wolves Side-Note:  Has Corey Brewer finally figure it out?  Looks like it.

College Basketball Hits

  • Jay Bilas’ Midseason Awards.
  • The Minnesota Gophers were dominating the MSU Spartans, but then end up losing 65-64.  I still can not figure this team out.  They really have no “go-to player”.  Then again, neither does Purdue.
  • Ohio State took a hit with Evan Turner out after breaking two vertebrae is his lower back.  But since he has returned he is leading the No. 24 Buckeyes in points per game (18.4), rebounds per game (9.9), and assist per game (5.5).  It may take while, but this Buckeye team is not cupcake.
  • UNC has fallen out of the Top-25 for the first time January 2006. Currently the Tarheels record is 13-7 and are 2-3 in the ACC – but there is still time.

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Happy Holidays

I am sure everyone is busy trying to get loose ends taken care of before the end of the year.  I have all my shopping done – which means my wife completed out shopping – I did buy her gift, all by myself!  And I did a fine job, thank you very much.

I hope you have a good holiday and safe travel as we take time to forget about work and focus on family and friends.  With this “time-off”, there will be plenty of sporting events to watch.  The other day we had  No. 2 Texas beat No. 9 Michigan State and No. 1 Kansas beat a tough California team.

So here are some very Quick Hits before I go into a Christmas Cookie Comma.

Final Four = Two Conferences?

There is a very good chance that in the Final Four, we will have two teams from the Big 12 (Kansas and Texas) and two from the Big Ten (MSU and Purdue).  What is missing?  A team from either coasts, the SEC, Big East or the ACC.

Look at the rankings and tell me other than Kentucky, who looks like a legit team?

  • No. 3 Kentucky – Even though I think they are legit – at this point – the Calapari Crew is a John Wall injury away from getting knocked out in the second round of the NCCAs.

Kentucky Side-Note:  Patrick Patterson needs to buy John Wall a very nice Christmas present for getting him easy buckets, and raising his draft stock.  Patterson is ranked No. 9 on Chard Fords Big Board.

  • No.5 Syracuse and No. 6 West Virginia – I have more faith in the Orangemen than the Mountaineers.  But to be fair, I have not seen much of either team.
  • No. 7 Duke – While Kyle Singler is the pre-season All-American, Jon Scheyer is the most important player in Durham.  And if Scheyer goes down, they only have two guards who can really play in Nolan Smith and freshmen, Andre Dawkins.
  • No. 8 Villanova – Could struggle mightily against teams with height and they also do not have the depth like the other teams.  ‘Nova has only two players over 6’8″ in freshmen Mouphtaou Yarou and Maurice Sutton.  Both play around 17 minutes a game, but thats against the cupcakes.
  • No. 10 UNC – While this team is loaded with NBA draft picks,  I am not sure which is the “go-to-guy”.  But I am sure that Roy Williams doesn’t know either.  My suggestion – Will Graves needs more touches.

Note To Media – Everything Will Be Fine With The Vikings!

I am so sick of hearing about a schism – or a feud involving Head Coach Brad Childress and Brett Favre.  Did you notice that I did not have to tell you what Favre’s role is, we know it.  Childress…um…not so much.

This happens to every team, but when it is Brett Favre, it becomes front page news.  Granted, when it is Randy Moss or Terrell Owens, it’s pretty much the same.  Isn’t “ego” great.

If there really is an issue, and Childress is talking about Favre and not to Favre, there is an issue and ultimately Childress is biting the hand that has fed him a nice-new contract extension.  But this happens, you hug-it-out and then you move on.  The have won the division and already locked up their playoff spot, and are playing only because the games are on the schedule.

It will be OK, everyone breath.  Have some egg nog and just one more cookie with the Hersey Kiss in the middle.

*If you go to the serach engine on ESPN.com and type in “Brad Childress” – you get 1948 articles/stories/podcast where Childress is mentioned.  Roughly 92.3% is from the last three days.  Seriously ESPN, way to be your own bull @#$! hype machine.

Mini-Hits

Happy Holidays everyone.

2009-10 Vikings Forecast

This is the last Sunday until early February that we will have without the NFL.  With that season about to start, I think it is time to give an a forecast of what the Vikings could – and should – accomplish in the 2009-10 season.

1. After Bernard Berrian, the receivers lack much proven ability. Sydney Rice has yet to prove he is a worthy No. 2, and Bobby Wade is going to give what you think he will and not much more.  Percy Harvin should be a great asset for the receiver core and I like Darius Reynaud – the former West Virginia Mountaineer – he will get major looks on special teams.Adrian Peterson

2.  Center of Attention! There is plenty of reason to believe that the offensive line should be as good as they have been in the pasty few years, but long time starting center and Minnesota native Matt Birk, is now in Baltimore and the Vikings are looking to second year player John Sullivan, to take over for the Pro Bowler.

3.  The Vikings offense skill players maybe the best in the league. Adrian Peterson is a gimme.  But then you have RB Chester Taylor, Berrian, Harvin, and TE Visanthe Shiancoe.  There are plenty of targets for Brett Favre.

4.  Brett Favre must stay withing the system. If, and it is a major IF, Favre can stay within the system, the Vikings should be even more lethal then they were last year.

5.  The linebackers were good last year, and they were without EJ Henderson. For many years the linebackers were the weakness of the Vikings defense.  Look how quickly things turn around.  The squads leading tacker, Chad Greenway, Ben Leiber, along with Henderson make the most complete trio of linebackers in the NFC North.

6.  The pass defense is like the pass offense – needs to prove they are good enough! With two new safeties – Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams, the Vikings would have been stupid not to resign Pro Bowl CB Antoine Winfield.  Cedric Griffin‘s time is now.  He needs to show that he can balance the field and tackle like his counter-part, Winfield.

7.  If the Vikings don’t reach at least the NFC Championship game, Brad Childress should be gone. He has too many tools in the tool box that if can’t fix the problem, it’s not the tools’ fault.

8.  The defensive line is the deepest in the league. Seriously – take a look.

9.  The back-up QB’s will see very little game time this season. Favre is the most durable QB of all-time.  with the added incentive of coming back to the league, unless Favre is nearly dead, he will be under center.

10.  Know who you are. Like Shaq going to Cleavland, or some other major player going to a VERY good team, you have to remember what makes you a VERY good team.  And in Minnesotas case, it is Peterson and the defense.  While this team as many weapons, the team’s bread and butter is the typical smash mouth football.  That being said, MN did a nice job last year switch gears with Berrian and Taylor, and I would imagine that Harvin will add another layer into the much deeper playbook that Childress will use with Favre.

PREDICTION – 12-4  and play in the NFC Championship game.  I am not saying if the Vikings will win or lose, but they will make it there.

Minnesota Vikings and Tarvaris Jackson – Back Together Again

Tarvaris Jackson
Tarvaris Jackson

We thought it was over.  We thought the better choice had been made.  The bad decision was made better.  Yet here we are again.  With our hopes and dreams tied to a quarterback no one in Minnesota knew prior to the moment he was drafted a few years ago.

After a rough start, Tarvaris Jackson was pulled and replaced by 38 year-old veteran Gus Frerotte.  Other than a starting stint with the Washington redskins, Frerotte has mostly been a back-up quarterback  for seven different teams.

Jackson is a young, inexperienced, mobile quarterback who has yet to show the ability to plays and decisions when the game in on the line.  He does not know now to “manage” the game and at times tries to make plays all by himself.

Frerotte is more of a typical NFL quarterback.  He sits in the pocket and used his strong arm to get the ball to teammates and lets them make plays.

After the change was made, success slowly came with Frerotte, and he has lead the the Vikings to an 8-5 record.  Going into Sundays game at Arizona, Minnesota is in first place in the NFC North and would be the 3 seed if the playoffs started this week.

Last week, during a win over the Detroit Lions, Frerotte left the game with a back injury. Jackson was called on to lead the Vikings to the win and  played well enough to do just that.  Barring a Christmas miracle, Jackson will start the game against the cardinals.

How will this affect the Vikings game plan?  What does that mean for Adrian Peterson?  How do the natives feel with Jackson under center and the playoffs are on the line?

So instead of trying to speak for all that proudly wear the purple and yellow, I asked some of the guys in my fantasy football league how they feel and what the think will happen.

The major concern for me is how, and if, the Vikings will change the playbook.

The major critique of the Vikings early in the season, was that coach Brad Childress decided to cut the play book in half trying to protect Jackson from self inflected mistakes.  The coaching staff also tried to play on Jackson’s mobility.

Yet, if you never throw the ball down field, opposing safeties are going to creep in the box and wait to pounce on the run with either running backs Peterson or Chester Taylor.  Or on the occasion the Vikings do pass, the Cardinals will bring a ton of pressure.

Chris, first of our fantasy footballers, stated, “Even though T-Jack is mobile and can be a definite threat out of the pocket, if he can’t move the ball in the air, defenses only have two things to concentrate on, 28 and 29.  No matter how good of a 1-2 punch Peterson and Taylor are, opposing defenses will be able to stack the box if T-Jack can’t find targets downfield.”

Matching-up against a Cardinals defense that only gives up 96.5 rushing yards per game, you would imagine the Vikings to pass more with Jackson than they did in the first two games.  But if the first two games of the season are any indicators, don’t be to sure.

Eric throw out the idea of a different formation; “Run split backs!  Let the Cardinals key on Peterson, and then give Taylor the ball.  It won’t take long for the magnets teams have on Peterson to abandon him.”

I love the idea of using both backs and keeping the cardinals on the heels.  Taylor’s play has been strong in recent weeks and might be the best “back-up” in the NFL.   Once a team gets used to running at Taylor, then you give the ball to Peterson, who has another gear.

Jackson’s accuracy has been an issue since coming into the league.  In his first two starts, Jackson’s completion rate was on 52%.  Last week, coming off the bench, Jackson went 8-10 for 105 yards and 1 touchdown.  So which will we get?

Looking at this start for Jackson, fantasy footballer Ben stated that “the fact of the matter is that T-Jack has been given a chance to resurrect his status as starter position with a NFC North play-off contender.”

Going to Arizona, Jackson will have a shot at leading this team to a win and regaining some of the faith lost by the fans.  I do think if Frerotte is healthy next week, we will see him starting regardless of how Jackson plays this week.

So to Jackson, be smart, stay positive.  You have weapons on offense, and don’t be afraid to use them.

All we need is one win.  And on Sunday, that’s the best you can do.