Category Archive: AFC

Aug 09

2015 Preseason: Hall of Fame Game

It’s a new season. A new chance for the Vikings to triumph. The question we always ask ourselves as Vikings fans is: will they?

The Hall of Fame Game is never played at anything that even resembles the same intensity as a regular season game. I think we can still learn a little about what the Vikings will look like this year. Let’s break it down.

Football is finally here!

Football is finally here!

The Good

  • The Vikings won. Preseason or not – I’ll take it.
  • Everson Griffen looks to be a great shape.
  • Marcus Sherels still looks speedy. He’s always been a favorite of mine so I’m hoping for some improved decision making from him this year.
  • Bridgewater’s first play was a snappy screen to Kyle Rudolph for an immediate first down. He was great for most of the first drive. One throw was a little low – but hey – it’s the preseason!
  • Zimmer had the defense looking aggressive early in the game.
  • Audie Cole sighting! Tipped a pass during the Steelers’ 2nd drive and is currently the starting mike, according to the unofficial depth chart. I like that move.
  • Matt Asiata picked up 18 yards on a great run. The o-line did a great job moving the action away from the ball carrier.
  • The Vikings scored a touch down in the 1st half!  Mike Kafka to MyCole Pruitt for 34 yards.
  • The Vikings managed to avoid a ton of penalties, although Trattou had a face-mask at the end of the first half and Waynes got flagged for holding at the start of the 2nd half. Sloppy mistakes.
  • Stefon Diggs had a great punt return and, according to the analysts, he’s been making some seriously good catches in practice. If he makes the team, we may have a chance to assess his skills in a higher pressure environment.
  • Brian Peters stripped a ball for a turnover right after the Vikings had turned the ball over (as referenced below in the “Bad” section).
  • Joe Banyard looks to be fairly speedy – good acceleration coming out of the backfield.
  • Heading into the 4th quarter, the Vikings defense still looked aggressive. I hope that is the theme for 2015 – I would love to see the Vikings have a disruptive defense feared by the other 31 teams. Impossible, you say? Well – a girl can dream…
  • It was nice to see the Vikings scoring touchdowns instead of field goal after field goal. Let’s hope that type of performance continues into the regular season.
Blair Walsh isn't performing like he did rookie year.

Blair Walsh isn’t performing like he did rookie year.

The Bad

  • The first drive ended in a non-converted 4th down attempt. Would have been great to see some real holes opened by the o-line on a 4th and 1. Even with a fullback, the Vikings couldn’t convert. No reason to not be aggressive in the play calling in the preseason; hope Zimmer takes some calculated chances in the regular season.
  • Steelers converted a 4th and 1 on the drive immediately following the one in which the Vikings did not. Preseason or not, we need to see those results reversed.
  • Still seeing a plethora of missed tackles out there. Gotta assume that Zimmer isn’t going to be happy with that, whether this is preseason or not. He strikes me as the kind of guy who isn’t going to accept low effort/lack of heart performances from anyone who wants a starting spot.
  • Blair Walsh didn’t make his first 48 yard field goal attempt. He didn’t consistently boot the ball out of the back of the end zone, either. Was his rookie season an anomaly? Is this the performance he’s settling into?
  • Mike Kafka… really?
  • Jeff Locke often makes me miss Chris Kluwe for actual football reasons, not just his social commentary.
  • Chase Ford basically handed a mishandled ball to the Steelers defense, causing a turn-over that will go down as an interception for Heinicke.
This capuchin monkey isn't happy with this stuff!

This capuchin monkey isn’t happy with this stuff!

The Ugly

  • Steelers converted a 3rd and 14 with ease. Yeah, I know it’s the preseason, but let’s recognize that the Vikings’ defense has had a history of allowing the opponent to convert 3rd downs with relative ease. I’m hoping for a big change there this year as Zimmer heads into his 2nd year as a head coach.
  • Vikings came out of the gate in 2nd half with Heinicke at the helm and… punted it away after failing to convert a 3rd down. Locke punted it right out of the end zone for a touch back.

The Inexplicable (at least for now)

  •  Trae Waynes was a 1st round pick? He got totally burned, committed blatant pass interference and generally didn’t impress. Had to agree with Collingsworth (as much as that hurt): good thing he’s getting his ego right-sized in the preseason. Cris also said he was going to be a very good player in the league. I’ll be the judge of that, Cris!
  • Mick Tinglehoff wasn’t mentioned until very late (less than 4 minutes remaining) in the 4th quarter. I understand he wasn’t a first-ballot nominee, but the Vikings were one of the two selected teams to play the game and they should have mentioned him earlier and they should have provided him the same coverage. Especially given his short term memory loss from playing the sport (which the announcers mentioned in passing).

And that’s that, my Viking brethren. The first of 5 preseason games is in the hopper. I kind of like the fact that the Vikings have this extra preseason game. Hopefully it will give us a strong start to the regular season!

Based on what you saw tonight, what’s your prediction for the 2015-2016 Vikings season?


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Sep 19

Week Three Picks

It’s a new week with all new match ups. I’m 21-11 in my picks heading into week 3. Let’s see how I do with these!

Match Up Pick
Chiefs vs Eagles Chiefs
Texans vs Ravens Ravens
Giants vs Panthers Giants
Packers vs Bengals Packers
Rams vs Cowboys Cowboys
Browns vs Vikings Vikings
Buccaneers vs Patriots Patriots
Cardinals vs Saints Saints
Chargers vs Titans Chargers
Lions vs Redskins Redskins
Falcons vs Dolphins Falcons
Bills vs Jets Bills
Jaguars vs Seahawks Seahawks
Colts vs 49ers 49ers
Bears vs Steelers Bears
Raiders vs Broncos Broncos

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Sep 17

Week Two Pick Results

Coming into this week, I was at 10-6. This week, 11-5, leaving me at 21-11 so far this season.


Correct Incorrect
Patriots Colts
Falcons Cowboys
Ravens Eagles
Bills 49ers
Bears Steelers

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Sep 15

Week Two Picks

Here are my week 2 picks:


Match Up Pick
Patriots vs Jets Patriots
Rams vs Falcons Falcons
Browns vs Ravens Ravens
Panthers vs Bills Bills
Bears vs Vikings Bears
Redskins vs Packers Packers
Titans vs Texans Texans
Dolphins vs Colts Colts
Cowboys vs Chiefs Cowboys
Chargers vs Eagles Eagles
Lions vs Cardinals Cardinals
Saints vs Buccaneers Saints
Broncos vs Giants Broncos
Jaguars vs Raiders Raiders
49ers vs Seahawks 49ers
Steelers vs Bengals Steelers

Those are my picks. I’m 10-6 on the year. We’ll see how I do!


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Sep 15

Week One Pick Results

Results from Week One:

Correct Incorrect
Broncos Panthers
Patriots Vikings
Bears Buccaneers
Dolphins Steelers
Colts Giants
Chiefs Redskins

So, I’m 10-6 for week one. Let’s see what week 2 brings.

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Sep 05

Week One Picks

It’s a whole new football season full of possibilities. Week One is always brings some interesting – and often unexpected – results. Strong teams from the previous year can fall, the Lions might start strong and locker room dynamics during the off-season can influence how teams start out of the gate. All of this conspires to make prognosticating winners more difficult since preseason doesn’t really tell us much about how teams are going to gel.

All that being said, here are my Week One picks.

Ravens vs Broncos: Last time these 2 teams met up, the Ravens came out triumphant, which led to their Super Bowl appearance. Peyton Manning is unwilling to rehash last year’s play-off loss. I’ll help him: hey, Peyton. You lost! Moving on… this one is being played in Mile High Stadium. I think Manning is going to fight like hell to bring retribution to the Raven’s for last year’s play-off loss. Broncos, 24-20.

Patriots vs Bills: Tom Brady takes on Ryan Fitzpatrick. Bills enter this one the underdog… and likely walk out of this one with a loss under their belts. Patriots, 28-17.

Seahawks vs Panthers: Seattle will have undercover cops at the game. One person they won’t find is Percy Harvin. Pete Carroll also has to face the possibility that Marshawn Lynch won’t be able to play. He’s currently questionable. Meanwhile, the Panthers have listed RB Jonathan Stewart as questionable as they await doctor approval on his surgically repaired ankle. Prevailing wisdom says that the one team who made the play-offs last year wins this game. Despite that, I think the Panthers might pull this one out. Panthers, 21-17.

Bengals vs Bears: He may be retired, but Brian Urlacher is letting loose some secrets of the Bears’ game planning – which includes faking injuries. For week one, I think home field has the advantage here. Bears, 24-21.

Dolphins vs Browns:  Dolphins, 20-17

Vikings vs Lions:  Vikings 24-21

Raiders vs Colts:  Colts, 28-24

Chiefs vs Jaguars:  Chiefs, 24-17

Falcons vs Saints: Saints, 27-14

Buccaneers vs Jets: Bucs, 23-19

Titans vs Steelers: Steelers, 28-24

Packers vs 49ers:  49ers, 27-20

Cardinals vs Rams: Rams, 20-19

Giants vs Cowboys: Giants, 21-17

Eagles vs Redskins:  Redskins, 28-24

Texans vs Chargers:  Texans, 23-14


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Nov 04

Week 9 Picks

Week 9 Picks:

Chiefs vs Chargers:  Chargers by 7.

Broncos vs Bengals:  Broncos by 3.

Ravens vs Browns:  Ravens by 7.

Cardinals vs Packers: Packers by 10.

Bills vs Texans: Texans by 10.

Dolphins vs Colts:  Dolphins by 3.

Lions vs Jaguars:  Jaguars by 3.

Bears vs Titans:  Bears by 10.

Panthers vs Redskins:  Redskins by 7.

Buccaneers vs Raiders: Buccaneers by 7.

Vikings vs Seahawks:  Seahawks by 7.

Steelers vs Giants:  Steelers by 3.

Cowboys vs Falcons:  Falcons by 7.

Eagles vs Saints:  Saints by 7.

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Oct 21

Week 7 Picks

49ers vs Seahawks: 49ers by 7.

Titans vs Bills: Titans by 3.

Cowboys vs Panthers: Panthers by 6.

Ravens vs Texans: Texans by 3.

Browns vs Colts: Colts by 7.

Cardinals vs Vikings: Vikings by 3.

Redskins vs Giants: Giants by 7.

Packers vs Rams: Packers by 7.

Saints vs Buccaneers: Bucs by 3.

Jets vs Patriots: Patriots by 10.

Jaguars vs Raiders: Raiders by 3.

Steelers vs Bengals: Bengals by 3.

Lions vs Bears: Bears by 3.

Those are my picks this week.

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Oct 14

Week Six Picks

Here are my picks this week:

Steelers vs Titans: via Twitter, Steelers by 10.

Raiders vs Falcons: Falcons by 14.

Cowboys vs Ravens: Ravens by 7.

Bengals vs Browns: Bengals by 10.

Rams vs Dolphins: Dolphins by 3.

Colts vs Jets: Colts by 3.

Lions vs Eagles: Eagles by 7.

Chiefs vs Buccaneers: Bucs by 7.

Bills vs Cardinals: Cardinals by 3.

Patriots vs Seahawks: Patriots by 10.

Giants vs 49ers: 49ers by 7.

Vikings vs Redskins: Vikings by 7.

Green Bay vs Texans: Texans by 3.

Broncos vs Chargers: Chargers by 7.

Those are my picks this week. Let’s see how I do!


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