Monthly Archive: September 2012

Sep 30

Vikings vs Lions: No Special Teams, No Win.

Packer fans are still crying about their loss to the Seahawks. They don’t seem to understand that their team sucked for an entire half!

Going into the game today, I was hoping for a divisional win. Frazier’s divisional record to date has been pathetic. And by “pathetic” I mean he had never been able to secure a win against a divisional rival as the head coach of the Vikings organization. Naturally, this is one of the reasons I do not believe him to be a good coach. A point of curiosity: this is the 1st road win for the Vikings against a divisional rival since the Vikings played the Packers at Lambeau on November 1st, 2009. We all know that we technically won at Lambeau in 2010, too, but we’re classy (unlike the Packer fans) so we don’t cry about it. And we surely don’t make t-shirts about it!

The Vikings came out with a win but I don’t believe that Vikings Nation should be overly enthusiastic about it. Read on and I’ll tell you why.

The game started out promising enough. Percy Harvin in the end zone, waiting to receive a kick and then, somewhere around the 35 yard line, you knew he was going to take it all the way. Fantastic! Later in the game, Marcus Sherels returned a punt for a TD, too! Which was also fantastic and put the Vikings in the NFL history books as the only team to ever have both a punt return TD and a kick off return TD in 3 games. It also put the Lions in the NFL record books as the only team to give up both a kick off return and a punt return TD in consecutive games. I like the Vikings’ record better. But I digress.

Now that I’ve covered the 2 TDs the Vikings scored during the game… Yeah. This is where the problem lies. The Vikings offense continues to struggle when it comes to scoring TDs. Field goal? No problem. Although, one field goal was a problem today. The 46 yarder that Walsh wasn’t able to hit. But aside from that, the team can put 3 points on the board repeatedly. The problem? You cannot win games against a strong team with field goals. Kick off and punt returns for TDs are rare. You can’t put a game plan together with that as your strategy. So what are the Vikings going to do?

It all comes down to coaching and I think it was apparent to everyone watching the offense trying to put points on the board today, Frazier, once again, did not do an adequate job of preparing and game planning for this team. Without the 2 big gives on special teams, the Vikings would have lost this game 13-6. And. There. Is. Your. Dagger!


Percy Harvin: 105 yard kick off return for a TD against the Lions.

The Weird

Percy in the shot gun with Ponder lined up like a sprig of parsley… pretty but functionless. Now, I love Percy as much as any Vikings fan does. But lining him up like that… I didn’t get it. Maybe I don’t have a great football mind, but he seems far more effective in a reverse or an end-around. Heck, he looked great as a tailback today. Why the shotgun, Musgrave? Explain it to me. Ponder’s out there – basically doing nothing, so, in my opinion, it’s a waste of an offensive spot. No one thought Percy was going to pitch the ball to him, for example. If Musgrave wants to get tricky, use Webb as a tailback or fake a field goal. There’s no need for a weird play just to be different. Make it count!

Where was Kyle Rudolph today? 2 receptions for 8 yards? This, after a 2 TD game last week? I need that explained to me, too, Musgrave.

The Good

Percy Harvin. He’s just generally awesome. Kick off return of 105 yards for a TD? No problem. Musgrave needs to find a way to get Percy more opportunities to score.

Marcus Sherels shows a great spark on the kick return game, thanks in large part to the Lions’ terrible special teams. He shook off a tackle though and had a full fleet of Vikings escorting him safely down the sidelines to score.

Mike Priefer apparently had a chat with his special teams members. And, in the good news department, they acted upon it.

Adrian Peterson had his first 100+ yard rushing game of the season. He ran, he juked, he twisted, he turned. His leg held up. I’m sure he spent time in the cold tub, and likely will tomorrow, but he’s making his way back to his previous self – both physically and mentally. I was worried that he would never be the same mentally after his surgery. I guess that time was a wasted endeavor.

Everson Griffen had 2 sacks on the day and was justifiably fired up about it. Letroy Guion also had 2 sacks. In the neutral zone – Jared Allen only had one.


Jerome Simpson celebrates EVERY catch!

The Bad

Christian Ponder’s QB rating is down to under 100. He only completed 61.5% of his passes today. He looked indecisive at times and disconcerted in others. In the good news department, Christian Ponder is the only QB in the NFL without an interception. Many thanks to the several DBs who have dropped errant passes that likely should have been intercepted.

Jerome Simpson’s big debut was anti-climactic. 4 receptions for 50 yards. No TDs – but a shoulder wiggle celebration after each catch. Hey, Jerome, catching is your job! Unless you’re catching while riding a unicorn or scoring a TD after doing a flip, save the celebrations for the times when you’ve done something special.

Chad Greenway. He had one really good week and today he was busy missing tackles or, even better, getting personal fouls. Clearly he did not try to pull up on the hit he applied to Calvin Johnson – but he pretended innocence on the field. Chad, please leave that kind of posing to the Packers. Next time, divert your hit or own it. Either way, he’ll likely get fined this week.

Harrison Smith missed 2 INTs; however, he also made some solid plays. His performance would be enhanced if he could actually grab some of those passes out of the air.


Ponder: 61.5% completion rate, no downfield targets.

The Ugly

Game preparation. Once again, Leslie Frazier didn’t prepare the offense to score and who could tell if the defense was prepared since the Lions’ WRs and TEs seemed very determined to not catch balls today.

Offensive scheme. The Vikings only posted 227 yards against a defense that typically allows 315 yards per game. Musgrave needs to step up or get out. I think we all know that I’m in favor of the latter.

With that, my Vikings brethren, I will leave you to Ponder whether or not the Vikings will be able to take their winning-streak to 3 against the Titans during the upcoming weekend.

What are your thoughts on the game?





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Sep 30

Week Four Picks

My picks this year are not nearly as good as my picks last year. I’m hoping to turn that around this week. I’m 25-23 in my picks… so here goes (potentially) nuthin’!

Browns vs Ravens: The Ravens are on a roll and the Browns have been inconsistent. Flacco looks like he might finally reach the expectations placed upon him when he was drafted, while Brandon Weeden has managed to improve his 5.1 QB rating. I’m going with the Ravens in this match up. Ravens 24, Browns 14.

Panthers vs Falcons: The 1-2 Panthers are taking on the 3-0 Falcons in this divisional match-up. Cam Newton has had his struggles while Matty Ice continues to duke it out with his draft-class colleague Flacco. I don’t see Cam having a banner day at the Georgia Dome. Falcons move to 4-0. Falcons 28, Panthers 19.

Patriots vs Bills: It’s like Bizarro World in the AFC East right now. The Patriots are saved from last place in the division due to the Dolphins losing 2 conference match ups. At 1-2, I’m sure Tom Brady is wondering what is going on. Meanwhile, Ryan Fitzpatrick may have fewer weapons on offense with CJ Spiller’s status being unknown at this point. I believe the Patriots will rally. Or, Belichick may be in for another fine for going after the officials. At $50K a pop, Brady needs to have a good game. Patriots 27, Bills 13.

Vikings vs Lions: At the start of the season, I would have predicted a loss for the Vikings in this match up, but our QB is the highest rated QB in the NFC North, the Vikings are coming off a big win and Stafford may not take the field due to a hip injury (although he is practicing on Thursday). With the Vikings on a roll and the Lions coming off a tough loss against the Titans, momentum is with the boys in purple. As long as Frazier bothers to prepare the team. Vikings 21, Lions 19.

Titans vs Texans: Now that the 49ers have lost a game (to our favorite team!), the Texans are regarded as the #1 team in the league. The Titans were able to beat the Lions – but some say that’s because Jim Schwartz suffered from an episode of Chillyism. Regardless, I don’t see the Texans giving this one up at home. Texans 24, Titans 14.

Chargers vs Chiefs: The Chiefs are looking like a real team while the Chargers still have Philip Rivers, who some say is past his prime. The Chiefs are tough to beat at home and the Chargers have lost in Kansas City before. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Chiefs’ newly established running game is going to bring this one home for them. Chiefs 19, Chargers 17.

49ers vs Jets: The Jets have lost Revis Island and the 49ers are probably 9 different shades of red from embarrassment after losing to what the league considers the “lowly” Vikings. I think the Jets are going to pay the price. 49ers 27, Jets 13.

Seahawks vs Rams: The Seahawks’ defense dominated the Packers’ offense. Like all Vikings fans, I celebrated each and every sack on ARodg during the MNF game that brought an end to the Officials’ strike. The Packers fan base – and the team – could not have been whinier after that game. The Seahawks defense will go after Sam Bradford in much the same way and we can look forward to the Rams fan base handling their loss with class. Seahawks 21, Rams 17.

Dolphins vs Cardinals: The Cardinals have shocked everyone with their 3-0 start on the season. The Dolphins could have a better record had Philbin not attempted to ice the Jets’ kicker last Sunday. The Cardinals are taking on the last-place Dolphins at home and Larry Fitzgerald will have a big day, I expect. Cardinals 24, Dolphins 10.

Raiders vs Broncos: This is always a tough game to predict. I’ve gotten this one wrong more times than I’ve gotten it right. Manning’s arm isn’t looking like the Manning of old but is Peyton really going to allow Carson Palmer to out-duel him in Mile High Stadium? I suspect not. Broncos 20, Raiders 19.

Bengals vs Jaguars: The Bengals are coming off a win and the Jaguars are trying to find a groove. Two 2nd year QBs are facing off in this match up in Jacksonville. I believe the Bengals will win one on the road. Bengals 24, Jaguars 20.

Saints vs Packers: Like a good Vikings fan, I wish both of these teams could lose this game. Unfortunately, that cannot happen. Since this game is playing out in Green Bay and due to the Saints’ performance to date (0-3!), I will reluctantly take the Packers for this game. Especially now that the NFL officials are back – the Packers will take credit for resolving their dispute and we’ll continue to see favorable calls for the lamest team in the league. Packers 24, Saints 21.

Redskins vs Buccaneers: RGIII started the season strong and has been working to find a consistent rhythm ever since. Josh Freeman has held his own against some good teams – but doesn’t always seal the deal. Even though the stadium will only be half-full in Tampa, the Bucs have home field advantage, which I think will be the difference here. Bucs 17, Redskins 14.

Giants vs Eagles: Popular opinion gives this match up to the Eagles. I personally don’t think that they’ve looked too hot through 3 games. On the other hand, neither have the Giants. I’m going to go with Coughlin over Reid on this one. Giants 21, Eagles 20.

Bears vs Dallas: Two words: Jay Cutler. As much as I don’t like Tony Romo, I think the Cowboys have what it takes to get the job done in the house that Jerry built. Cowboys 20, Bears 17.

These are my picks for week 4. I’m hoping for a better showing than I’ve had the last 3 weeks!


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Sep 26

Week Three Picks Recap

Well, coming into Week 3, I was at 18-14 in my picks. Let’s see what happened after Week 3 was in the hopper.

Giants vs Panthers: Panthers by 7
Wrong. The Panthers could only score 7 points.

Rams vs Bears: Bears by 4
Right. The Bears looked better – but beatable!

Bills vs Browns: Bills by 7
Right. But Spiller took a spill.

Buccaneers vs Cowboys: Cowboys by 3
Right. Cowboys eke out a win despite themselves.

Jaguars vs Colts: Jaguars by 3
Right. Indeed, the Jaguars win.

Jets vs Dolphins: Jets by 7
Right. But by 3 in OT.

49ers vs Vikings: 49ers by 10
Wrong. And, I must say, I’m happy to be wrong!

Chiefs vs Saints: Saints by 3
Wrong. Saints 0-3. I like it.

Lions vs Titans: Lions by 7
Wrong. Stafford went down with an injury, Shaun Hill got them in position to make a comeback… but, alas, it was not to be.

Bengals vs Redskins: Redskins by 7
Wrong. Dalton out-performed RGIII. Fascinating.

Eagles vs Cardinals: Cardinals by 3
Right. Although the score was much more in favor of the Cardinals. What the heck is going on in AZ?

Falcons vs Chargers: Falcons by 7
Right. Falcons have momentum.

Texans vs Broncos: Broncos by 3
Wrong. Broncos started really slow and could never catch up.

Steelers vs Raiders: Steelers by 7
Wrong. Last second FG sealed the deal for the Raiders after DHB went down in a scary collision.

Patriots vs Ravens: Patriots by 7
Wrong. Patriots have lost their mojo. Or the Ravens found theirs.

Packers vs Seahawks: Packers by 7
Wrong. Hilarious!

So, with my 7-9 performance this week, my new total is 25-23.  I’m going to need to step up my pick performance if I’m going to do as well as I did last year.


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Sep 23

Vikings vs 49ers: Shock and Awe on the Field

Ponder looked like a pro against the 49ers.

The expectation of nearly everyone prior to the game today was that the Vikings would have no chance against the 49ers.

In the immortal words of Charlie Sheen… Duh… Winning!

There was tiger blood on the field today as the Vikings started with a very strong first drive. It looked like it might stall in the red zone after 2 consecutive incompletions by Ponder. However, the Vikings managed to get to the 2 yard line on a great catch by Rudolph… and then another stall as Musgrave called 3 running plays up the middle in a row. He’s awesome, isn’t he? Run isn’t working up the middle? Let’s try it again! In a move I did not see coming, the Vikings went for it on 4th and goal and a Ponder to Rudolph connection put 6 points on the board for the Vikings. Wow. I did not anticipate any of our coaching staff actually having the guts to make a bold move. Of course, when you’re playing the team that everyone is talking about (hint: that’s not the Vikings), you either go big or go home.

The first half was a strong showing by the Vikings; however, the defense got progressively worse as the game neared half-time. Poor coverage in the secondary (of course) but also minimal pressure on the quarterback. Allen missed a sack, Randy Moss was wide open – it really looked like the 49ers were going to march right down the field for a touchdown just before the half. Instead, the Vikings D finally held AND Letroy Guion blocked a field goal. I know what you’re thinking – but I’m not even kidding. And then, the Vikings get the ball back, march it downfield and Walsh stuffs a 52 yard field goal. First placekicker in the Vikings’ history to have 3 consecutive games with 50+ yard field goals. So – the Vikings went into the locker room at half-time with a 17-3 lead.

Starting the 2nd half, a Blair Walsh kick off, 9 yards deep in the end zone, resulted in the 49ers returning it 94 yards, nearly for a TD. The Vikings’ D held the Niners to 3, miraculously enough. Unfortunately, the Vikings went 3 and out for their 1st offensive series of the 2nd half. Later in the 3rd, Walsh had another deep kick off that the 49ers again returned, this time for 50 yards. Special teams for the Vikings are decidedly unspecial. Toby Gerhart tried hard to give the game back to the 49ers 3 different times, and the refs gave Harbaugh more challenges and time outs than were legal under game rules. But despite ALL of that, the Vikings managed the biggest upset of the weekend. Kinda makes me wish I had picked them to win, but let’s all be honest: no non-homer Vikings fan thought that they were going to win today, and yet, win they did.

Greenway produced big today!

The Good

Chad Greenway. 8 tackles in the first half alone. He was all over the field. He ended the day with 10 solo tackles, 3 assists and 2 sacks. For those who’ve been saying he needs to earn his contract, I assume he salutes you.

Christian Ponder. He made a lot of good decisions today, not the least of which was his 23 yard run for a TD. He came out strong and stayed focused the entire game. He said during the post game presser that he had prepared differently for this game – as had the whole team. Well, whatever they did, it should be the weekly standard. He ended the day 21/35 for 198 yards and 2 TDs, no interceptions (although one could argue he should have had at least 1).

Adrian Peterson’s productivity may be down, but he’s testing his leg and not getting hurt as he gets back into a rhythm. On the post-game Fan Line show on KFAN, they pointed out that he wasn’t making good decisions about which way to run. I agree with that to an extent, but I think it’s partly still being afraid to really let loose on his leg. I think he needs a little time and he’ll be back.

Antoine Winfield. Not only is he a tremendous player for the Vikings but he also addressed the team this week and I credit him with their new-found sense of purpose.

Kyle Rudolph. That guy can catch anything apparently. 2 TDs on the day.

Toby and AD need to have a heart to heart about how to hang onto the ball.

The Bad

Charlie Johnson. What is that guy still doing on the roster? Watching him play, it’s beginning to make sense that Peyton Manning has a neck issue.

Toby Gerhart making Adrian Peterson look like he really knew how to hang onto the ball in 2009. Frazier and Musgrave made a HUGE error in continuing to give him carries when the on-going fumbles (and the horrid officiating) could have still impacted the game. The coaching staff needs to be willing to bench primary players when their focus isn’t there.

The Ugly

Chris Cook. He’s crappy both on and off the field. He needs to be benched – or, better yet, cut like I wanted him to be last year.

Special teams coverage on kick offs. What a bunch of inept buffoons! 94 yard return, 50 yard return. For Odin’s sake – put Audie Cole in there or someone equally as solid if these starters can’t stop a damn return on balls 9 yards deep in the end zone.

Half-time adjustments. The coaching staff decided to go ahead and demotivate the team back to their usual 50% level of effort entering into the 3rd quarter. Luckily, the team remembered the inspiration provided by Antoine Winfield earlier this week and re-engaged for the win. It’s worth noting that Frazier said in his post-game presser that the coaching staff didn’t prep enough for the Colts and they decided to really focus in on this game. Guess what, Les… you should be doing that EVERY week. You should have been doing it since the day Chilly was shown the door! Frazier, Musgrave and Williams – what we need is for them to be fired and for the little old lady from Poltergeist to come to Winter Park to say “This house is clean.”

I saved most of my ire this week for the replacement officials. I haven’t said much about them to date because I think they are trying very hard in a difficult situation; HOWEVER – to not be able to count the number of time outs a team has. To give a head coach 2 challenges to which he is NOT entitled is unforgivable. Even fans at home have that basic level of ability. Those officials could have really impacted this game and so now, after that kind of absolute ineptitude, I will now officially say: NFL, you need to settle with the real officials. Real officials, you need to get reasonable with your demands and find a way to get back onto the field. Enough is enough.

Skol Vikings Nation!


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Sep 23

Week 3 Picks

Ok. I think many of us were caught by surprise by some of the upsets last week. Let’s see if I can do better this week!

Giants vs Panthers: Panthers by 7

Rams vs Bears: Bears by 4

Bills vs Browns: Bills by 7

Buccaneers vs Cowboys: Cowboys by 3

Jaguars vs Colts: Jaguars by 3

Jets vs Dolphins: Jets by 7

49ers vs Vikings: 49ers by 10

Chiefs vs Saints: Saints by 3

Lions vs Titans: Lions by 7

Bengals vs Redskins: Redskins by 7

Eagles vs Cardinals: Cardinals by 3

Falcons vs Chargers: Falcons by 7

Texans vs Broncos: Broncos by 3

Steelers vs Raiders: Steelers by 7

Patriots vs Ravens: Patriots by 7

Packers vs Seahawks: Packers by 7

Those are my picks this week!

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Sep 17

Week Two Picks Recap

I was 10-6 coming into this week. And… here’s how I did.

Bears vs Packers: Bears 28, Packers 20.
Wrong. While these 2 teams looked terrible, the Bears gave new meaning to “pathetic”.

Chiefs vs Bills: Bills 20, Chiefs 14.
Right. Bills more than doubled the Chiefs’ score.

Saints vs Panthers: Saints 19, Panthers 14.
Wrong. Carolina pulls out a win.

Browns vs Bengals: Bengals 28, Browns 3.
Right – but not as decisive a win for the Bengals as I thought it would be.

Vikings vs Colts: Vikings 21, Colts 17.
Wrong. I was right that it’d be a close game. I did not count on the Vikings defense staying behind in MSP.

Texans vs Jaguars: Texans 28, Jaguars 13.
Right. Texans win.

Raiders vs Dolphins: Raiders 21, Dolphins 19.
Wrong. Last year the Dolphins kept disappointing me when I’d pick them to win. This year it looks like it’ll be the Raiders.

Cardinals vs PatriotsPatriots 42, Cardinals 10.
Wrong. And the result is inexplicable.

Buccaneers vs Giants: Giants 24, Bucs 17.
Right. Although there were some scary moments.

Ravens vs Eagles: Ravens 27, Eagles 14.
Wrong. Eagles by 1. Is there no justice?

Cowboys vs Seahawks: Cowboys 24, Seahawks 17.
Wrong. Does “Any given Sunday” even work as an excuse at this point?

Redskins vs Rams: Redskins 28, Rams 19.
Wrong. Seriously?

Jets vs Steelers: Steelers 21, Jets 19.
Right. Praise Odin.

Titans vs Chargers: Chargers 21, Titans 14.
Right. It felt nice to say that.

Lions vs 49ers: 49ers 28, Lions 17.
Right. Stafford never gave up but the Lions’ defense did.

Broncos vs Falcons: Falcons 28, Broncos 21
Right. 27-21, Falcons. I hadn’t anticipated that Peyton would start the game with 3 INTs!

8 Right, 8 Wrong.  That puts me at 18 – 14 on the year. That’s no good. But I suspect there are a lot of people with me this week.

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Sep 16

Vikings vs Colts: Discipline Deficiency

The Vikings go down in flames in Indianapolis.

I have been a Vikings fan since I was 5. I have never been angrier with this team than I was today. Before the game, Greg Coleman was talking with Paul Allen about the team’s “swagger” and said they were taking the field with “high energy” after last week’s win. We all know that Coleman and PA are both of a couple of homers – and we also know that I am not – but I was dumb enough to believe them before the game started. You can trust that I will not make that mistake again. It’s worth noting that it’s taken me all afternoon to write this at a glacial pace. I want to be objective – not angry – when I talk about why we lost.

I took a lot of flack on Twitter today for being “negative” and calling for Frazier to be fired. Although, I’m taking less crap than I used to about wanting Frazier gone as more people get on the bandwagon. Let’s be clear on one thing: we lost today because of coaching. Read on and I’ll tell you why.

The Good

The good news about this game is that we never have to see it again. Unless, of course, you have it on DVR and are masochistic enough to want to re-watch it. Also good about this game, for those of you watching for trends, is that it marks the 24th consecutive game that demonstrates Frazier’s inability to motivate and prepare this team prior to the game. While that in itself isn’t good, I like that it’s clearly laying down a trail that anyone can follow to come to the conclusion that Frazier cannot motivate this team.


The Secondary: where was it?

The Bad

Christian Ponder. Yeah, his stats look decent on paper. But – he inspired no urgency in the offense. Percy was open several times… and he just plain didn’t see him. He would jack-rabbit out of the pocket instead. He wasn’t going through his reads fast enough during most of the game. And he had not even one pass longer than 20 yards.

A lot of people are going to nay-say me on this because of his performance in the 4th quarters of the last 2 games – but he needs to get serious and start playing like a pro. All 60 minutes. Last week, after the game, he said he needed to come out with urgency and focus. He was right, but for the second week in a row, he did not do it. Why? Because he’s not held accountable for his performance by Leslie Frazier. And how did he explain it during the post-game presser? “That’s life in the NFL.” Way to hold yourself accountable for moseying on the field, Christian. Keep in mind that if the Vikings had played no-huddle or hurry-up offense on that last scoring drive, they likely would have had enough time to tie up the game after the Colts scored the field goal.

The front 4. Just 2 sacks on the day – but none from that front line. Robison missed tackles, Jared Allen made a bad decision along the sidelines and Kevin Williams missed several tackles, too. Jared Allen’s performance for me right now is reminiscent of his 2010 season. I don’t think he’ll be breaking any sack records this year, although I hope he proves me wrong.

Offensive coaching. Musgrave could not be more predictable if he tried. He lacks imagination and he lacks guts. 2 hideous gaps to have in an offensive coördinator.

Defensive coaching. Williams certainly lacks creativity. It’s sad that the fan-base gets excited when the defense manages one blitz in a game. What happened to the smashmouth football of yesteryear? I’m sure we all remember when we had the Williams Wall and a top 5 defense. Frazier is still there. Pagac is still there. You can’t tell me that not having Pat Williams is the difference. So, what is going on other than weak coaching and weak game planning?

This is what a person looks like when they shouldn’t be a head coach in the NFL. Confused & over-matched.

The Ugly

Lack of offensive urgency. Lack of defensive passion and focus. And, again, that speaks to Frazier’s inability to motivate this team to play. We have pro-bowlers on this team, but you can’t tell that by watching them play. Kevin Williams, Percy Harvin, Chris Kluwe, Jared Allen, Antoine Winfield, Adrian Peterson – all pro-bowlers. We can only count on AD, Percy & Kluwe to show up & play with heart. Yeah – I know Kluwe is a punter – he still averaged almost 54 yards per punt.

Horrid tackling errors abounded in the front 4, the back 3 and the secondary. At what point do you pull Jasper Brinkley and give Audie Cole a chance? Since there’s NO WAY we’re winning against the 49ers, I say next week is the time to bench a few starters and develop our young talent. If that defense can’t hit the field with a singular mind & purpose to win games, then they do not deserve to be on the field. End of story.

11 penalties for 105 yards. Due t0 65 yards in penalties, the Vikings only had 23 net yards of offense in the entire 3rd quarter! So many people were making mistakes, I’m not going to take the time to list all of the offenders out – but it was atrocious. And let’s all realize that coaching and a coach’s ability to hold people accountable plays into discipline, which in turn, affects penalties.

This team needs an iron fist – not a supportive buddy – as a coach. They need to stop, collectively, feeling entitled and they need to focus and get serious. I’m not suggesting that they need an immovable Brad Childress who would create a toxic atmosphere in the locker room. I’m saying that they need someone who will not tolerate this mediocre and inconsistent level of play, who has the guts to bench starters and who has a vision that’s more than “We hope to bring a championship to this organization”. Frazier will never lead an NFL team to a Super Bowl. It doesn’t matter if he moves on to another organization. He’s no Tony Dungy. He’s no Brian Billick. And, he’s no Tomlin. He never will be. I don’t care how long we give him to “develop”. The leadership skills are not there and neither is the vision. And those are hard skills to develop without a mentor and active development. Who’s going to develop Frazier? Spielman? The Wilfs? No.

When you think about great coaches… Bud Grant, Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick to name a few, they did (or do) not stand along the sideline looking flat and emotionless. There was (is) animation, interaction, actual facial expressions! Now, Bud Grant was not overly emotional, but his intensity would radiate out of him. He personified “silent waters run deep”. Frazier doesn’t have intensity. He has a flat aspect that belies what I believe is doubt beneath the surface. I think he knows that he’s in over his head. And I think that’s one of the reasons he brought in his buddy Singletary. However, I don’t think Mike is doing him any favors. Just how long are we going to put up with this? Some suggest 5 years. Personally, I think that’s the wrong answer. If we go 3-13 or 4-12 this year, I think Frazier needs to go.

Lastly: The defensive secondary. If other teams don’t just start throwing downfield on us from the start of every game, they’re stupid.

What’s your take?



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Sep 12

Week 2 Picks

I am hoping to do far better than I did last week now that we’ve been able to see a full game performance of this year’s NFL teams.

Bears vs Packers: In week 1, Chicago was running hot while the 49ers had the Packers running scared on their home field. While Green Bay is making some adjustments to their secondary, the Bears are getting ready to welcome Brian Urlacher back to his rightful starting job on defense. Will the Packers lose a second game at home? I think they just might! Bears 28, Packers 20.

Chiefs vs Bills: According to reports, T-Jack isn’t ready to be a back-up with the Bills, so the Bills better hope that Ryan Fitzpatrick is kept safe by their o-line. The Chiefs are notoriously hard to beat at home, but the Falcons tore through them like, well, a falcon tears into a field mouse. I don’t see things getting better for them on the road. Bills 20, Chiefs 14.

Saints vs Panthers: Neither of these teams lived up to the hype in week one. Although the Saints looked a little slow. Maybe that investigation into their systemic abuse of prescription pain killers has merit. Stay classy, N’Awlins! Drama aside, I think Brees is still the better QB in this match up. Will that be enough? Potentially. Saints 19, Panthers 14.

Browns vs Bengals: Boy, this game ought to be a lot of fun. Brandon Weeden has a QB Rating of 5.1 (yes, literally, five-point-one), while Andy Dalton is tearing up the leader board – to #26 with a 65.3 QB Rating. Something is telling me that this isn’t going to be a Brees/Brady aerial-fest where 700 yards are thrown in 1 game. My intuition (supported by a great deal of logic) tells me that a QB with a 5.1 QB Rating isn’t going to give his team too much of a chance, especially on the road. Bengals 28, Browns 3.

Vikings vs Colts: The Colts won the “Suck for Luck” Bowl of 2011. That didn’t make them too lucky this last week. They just managed to sell out their home opener earlier this week at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Vikings, who had a severe case of MPD (Multiple Performance Disorder) in Week 1 seem to be flying high off of their OT win off the leg of one Blair Walsh. Let’s hope they use that momentum to pillage the Colts clan for a win. Vikings 21, Colts 17.

Texans vs Jaguars: Oh, I could write a lot of snazzy verbiage around this one or I could just go right to the pick. Texans 28, Jaguars 13.

Raiders vs Dolphins: Sweet baby Odin. Who knew that the long snapper was such a critical position? I think all of us Vikings fans can agree that when Cullen Loeffler was injured last season, Jared Allen was a HECK of a lot better than poor #50 for the Raiders. The Raiders were a hot mess in game #2 of MNF but the only QB with a rating worse than Ryan Tannehill is… Brandon Weeden. 39.0 ain’t so hot, Ryan!  Even so, something tells me it’s enough to beat the Dolphins. Raiders 21, Dolphins 19.

Cardinals vs Patriots: I believe it’s going to be a tough week to be a Cardinals fan. As good as Larry Fitzgerald is, he can’t make John Skelton turn into Tom Brady. The Patriots, meanwhile, are showing up with… Tom Brady. Patriots 42, Cardinals 10.

Buccaneers vs Giants: The Giants did not look like Super Bowl Champions in Week 1. My friend John used to say, “It’s not how you start the season, it’s how you end it.” We’ll see about that. I don’t think the Giants will drop 2 games in a row at home so I’m picking Eli over Josh in the Meadowlands. Giants 24, Bucs 17.

Ravens vs Eagles: The Ravens put on quite a show against the Bengals on MNF. The Eagles barely held up against a team led by a QB with a passer rating of 5.1. In this ornithological match up, I’m betting that the other purple team prevails, even on the road. Ravens 27, Eagles 14.

Cowboys vs Seahawks: The Cowboys were hot enough last week to defeat the defending Super Bowl champs on their own field. Tony Romo’s under pressure melting habit didn’t happen as expected. Meanwhile, the Seahawks lost to a team that a friend of mine (a Cardinals’ fan) said wouldn’t be winning any games this season. The prevailing wisdom is that it’s hard to win in Seattle. Barring a disasterous meltdown on Romo’s part, I think the Cowboys will go 2-0. Cowboys 24, Seahawks 17.

Redskins vs Rams: RGIII looks like the real deal with the highest QB Rating in the league, not to mention a win against the Aints at home. The Rams, however, managed to lose one against the Lions and Sam Bradford, while appearing to have improved, is still looking to find a rhythm on the field. Redskins 28, Rams 19.

Jets vs Steelers: Mark Sanchez played angry and the Jets won big over the Bills. The Steelers lost a sloppy game against the Broncos. I believe Big Ben will be the one playing angry the week and the Gang Green will feel the wrath on Heinz Field – but   Steelers 21, Jets 19.

Titans vs Chargers: The Chargers manhandled a bungling Raiders team in week one while the Titans were dominated by the Patriots. The Chargers looked fired up on MNF and if they can keep the intensity, they’ll register a win at home.  Chargers 21, Titans 14.

Lions vs 49ers: The 49ers pulled off a huge win on Lambeau Field. I’m still laughing about it (like all of Vikings Nation, I assume). The Lions beat the Rams in week one as well (which is why the Packers are at the bottom of the NFC North, where they belong). While the Lions are a much improved team, the 49ers are picking up where they left off last season.  49ers 28, Lions 17.

Broncos vs Falcons: Peyton Manning and the Broncos won in week one, with a solid assist from the defense in putting up points. Meanwhile, the Falcons looked impressive against the Chiefs. Both teams have momentum, but the Falcons have the home-field advantage. Falcons 28, Broncos 21

These are my picks this week. Disagree? Have your own? Leave a comment!


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Sep 11

Week One Picks Recap

My aspirations exceeded my performance in the Week 1 pick realm. Disappointing to say the least! At least to me.

Cowboys vs Giants: Giants 27, Cowboys 17.
Wrong. Romo didn’t choke and led the Cowpokies to a win against the Super Bowl champs. It’s been 12 or so years since a Super Bowl victor lost the first game of the season. Just my luck that Romo decided to have a good day.

Colts vs Bears: Bears 24, Colts 14.
Correct. The Bears indeed won this match up. Hopefully the Colts will be a little depressed about that still this weekend so the Vikings can go 2-0.

Eagles vs BrownsEagles 17, Browns 13.
Correct. Eagles over the Browns in Cleveland by 1 point.

Rams vs LionsLions 20, Rams 14.
Correct. The Honolulu clad NFC North up-n-comers secured a win at home.

Dolphins vs Texans: Texans 27, Dolphins 10.
Correct. Got fairly close with the score, too!

Falcons vs Chiefs: Chiefs 19, Falcons 14.
Wrong. Chiefs couldn’t get it together and the Falcons swooped in like the raptor their name honors, going for the kill.

Jaguars vs VikingsVikings 14, Jaguars 10.
Correct. Vikings win it in a scary OT performance that continues to terrify.

Redskins vs Saints: Redskins 17, Saints 13.
Correct. And did you hear that the FBI is now investigating the Saints for controlled substance issues that could end up in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines? Listen NFL fans: after all the shenanigans this unethical Saints’ organization has been up to, I don’t want to hear the words “Love Boat” again!

Bills vs Jets: Jets 20, Bills 14.
Correct. I heard one commentator call Sanchez “angry”. Maybe anger is a good emotion for him.

Patriots vs Titans: Patriots 28, Titans 13.
Correct. The NFL commentators called the Patriots “quiet excellence in execution”. That sounds about right.

Seahawks vs Cardinals: Cardinals 14, Seahawks 10.
Correct. Ha! I had a LOT of people give me grief about this selection. Don’t bet against Minnesota (Larry Fitzgerald, I mean.)!

49ers vs Packers: Packers 27, 49ers 21.
Wrong. I have to admit, if I’m going to be wrong about something, THIS is a great thing to be wrong about. You know all is right with the world when the Vikings win and the Packers lose.

Panthers vs Buccaneers: Panthers 20, Bucs 13.
Wrong. Didn’t see Josh Freeman coming out on top of this one. Maybe Cam Newton was a one-year wonder?

Steelers vs Broncos: Steelers 21, Broncos 13.
Wrong. Broncos pull out a win at home with a healthy assist from their defense. Manning didn’t look GREAT to me but maybe the wobbliness of his throws will dissipate over time.

Bengals vs Ravens: Ravens 24, Bengals 14.
Correct. The Ravens really gave the Bengals a schooling.

Chargers vs Raiders: Raiders 19, Chargers 14.
Incorrect. I had not anticipated that the Raiders would implode. Wow. MNF Hilarity.

I was hoping to break .500, and I went 10 of 16. Pffft.


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