Category Archive: AFC

Oct 04

2015 Week Four: Vikings vs Broncos

I hate having to wait until the afternoon or evening to watch the Vikings. Firstly, I’m not a patient person. Secondly, nothing good ever happens when the Vikings don’t play at noon. Now, sometimes terrible things happen at noon, too… but the later the team plays the worse they are. Today, it looked like the Vikings were going to reverse that trend. For a while. But, in the end, they lost. And while the game was competitive, we saw some of the same old problems we’ve seen week after week: terrible o-line play, sloppy tackling and Blair Walsh’s mental performance issues continue to plague.

But, there was some good stuff, too. Let’s break it down.

Excellent 1st start for this rookie.

Excellent 1st start for this rookie.

The Good

  • The Vikings defense was able to hold the Broncos to a field goal on their first offensive drive through pressure on Manning and a near interception from Blanton.
  • A pass from Teddy to Mike Wallace kept the 2nd offensive drive alive; it had been at risk of a 3-and-out. A quarterback sneak on a 4th and short kept it going for a 2nd time. And a long pass to Mike Wallace for a 2nd time kept the drive alive… all for naught, though, since a big sack (the 3rd of the short game) on Teddy killed it.
  • On the Broncos’ 2nd offensive drive, the Vikings’ defense held strong and were aided by the Broncos’ penalty meltdown. Kendricks had a great sack on the aged QB to force them into a punt at their goal line.
  • In the 3rd offensive drive for the Vikings, the o-line was fairly terrible, but Teddy mostly kept his composure and had a hell of a pass to Diggs to keep the drive going, just in time for Blair Walsh to completely miss a 38 yard field goal.
  • Diggs was instrumental throughout the game. Quite a beginning for his first professional NFL game.
  • Blair Walsh managed to make a field goal at the end of the 2nd quarter. Collectively, Vikings Nation held our breath as we watching him approach the ball to kick. Praise be to Odin, he snuck it through the uprights.
  • Anthony Barr had a great interception at the end of the 2nd quarter. I find it more amusing when Eli Manning gets intercepted. I love his sad Eli face. Peyton’s head hanging low will have to do for this game.
  • Mike Wallace was wide open and caught a laser from Teddy in the end zone, bringing the Vikings within 3 as they headed into the locker room for half-time.
  • Blair Walsh fails again - this time with devastating consequences.

    Blair Walsh fails again – this time with devastating consequences.

    Shout out to Teddy who never gave up (despite a lackluster o-line performance), kept his composure and maintained his focus. Tough job for a 2nd year quarterback.

  • Hodges had some good tackles when defending the run.
  • Harrison Smith let Damaryius Thomas know that he was on the field, putting an end to the Bronco’s 2nd offensive drive of the 2nd half.
  • Anthony Barr was all over the place on rushing plays, many times bringing a runner down with just a hold on his feet.
  • 4th and inches with 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter…. and the horrible o-line manages to make a hole… and Peterson runs through it and into the end zone. Way to wake up from a nap! (Peterson… not me… I’ve been paying attention the whole game).
  • Harrison Smith had a great interception with 9:07 left in the 4th quarter. Good way to create some momentum for the Vikings on the road. The Vikings offense ended up with a field goal, which is less than desirable, but it tied the game.

The Bad

  • The o-line completely failed during the first offensive drive, allowing Teddy to be sacked. You could see it coming and the o-line totally collapsed, losing 13 yards in the process.
  • On the 2nd offensive drive, Bridgewater had all the time in the world to throw a pass and successfully did so, if you consider throwing the ball high enough and long enough for a fan in the stands to catch it. I’m being somewhat hyperbolic… but it was close.
  • The Vikings defense was a sloppy mess to start the 3rd quarter, allowing the Broncos to march down the field (aided by several penalties by the Vikings). It looked like the Vikings were going to make an impressive goal line stand… until the Broncos went for it on 4th and goal and Manning did a sweet little pass to the left… where he had a completely open receiver getting a pedicure as the Vikings defense bunched up in the center of the end zone… and committed holding to boot.
No, I say. These things are not good.

No, I say. These things are not good.

The Ugly

  • The offensive line couldn’t stop the Broncos’ defensive pass rush. They applied pressure, they blitzed and our o-line collapsed like an underdone soufflé.
  • After Blair Walsh’s complete and utter miss on the field goal, the Vikings’ defense let the first rushing play go for 72 yards… right into the end zone.
  • The receiving corps leaves a lot to be desired. Not a lot of separation, unable to beat man on man coverage. If the Vikings are going to reach their full potential, those receivers are going to have to find a way to beat the coverage.
  • While well-conceived, the direct snap to Peterson went nowhere. Because the offensive line was terrible.
  • Xavier Rhodes had 4 penalties today. And they were costly. I have to ask: did they return him to play too soon after the collision with Sendejo? Because he didn’t look effective out there and worse, he cost the team yardage that they needed.

The Inexplicable

  • Blair Walsh. I get that he sucks. That’s not the inexplicable part. What I want to know is why the hell is he still on my team? The Vikings really should bring in someone to compete against him. According to a discussion I had with Kluwe on Twitter, Walsh’s issue is mental. So… maybe competing will get him in better head space… or maybe it’d be the nail in the coffin. Either way we’d end up with a better kicker.
  • The Offensive Line: Matt Kalil, Brandon Fusco, Joe Berger, TJ Clemmings and Mike Harris, I’m talking to you. And, by extension, I’m talking to anyone the Vikings used to help on pass protection and rushing plays. The o-line effort today was atrocious. A total embarrassment. Which leads me to…
  • Teddy Bridgewater was sacked 7 times during the game. What kind of incompetency does an o-line need to have to allow that? Zimmer better fix that.

So… we’re left to contemplate what would have happened in Overtime if Blair Walsh had just made the 38 yard chip shot field goal in the first half.  We’ll shake off this disappointing and needless loss as we think about week 6. Because the Vikings have a bye next week, which from my perspective, isn’t good after this loss. We’ll see if they can win their next game at home.

Until 2 weeks from now, thanks for reading. And vote below before you go!



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Sep 27

2015 Week Three: Vikings vs Chargers

The Vikings got off to an atrocious start. After that… it was weirdly smooth sailing. I didn’t know what to do with myself in the 4th quarter. It was weird knowing we were going to win the game WAY before the game was over. A nice feeling for once. Maybe the analysts’ predictions for the team in the off-season will pan out.

I had to really reach to find Bad and Ugly things this week. That was also a great feeling. I hope this team makes me look like a positive, optimistic homer in weeks to come.

Let’s break it down.

Chad Greenway with a Pick-6!

Chad Greenway with a Pick-6! (Photo: Minnesota Vikings)

The Good

  • The Vikings recovered a Philip Rivers fumble and were able to convert it for points. The unfortunate part is that it was only for 3.
  • The Vikings defense was strong in the 1st quarter.
  • Jerrick McKinnon has wheels. And ball security. A good option at running back, no matter the down.
  • Adrian Peterson scored the first TD of the game. The Vikings didn’t use him earlier in the drive. Felt machinated to me – had to break that dry spell, I guess. McKinnon and Asiata, along with Wallace and Wright (and Teddy, too!) did the heavy lifting to get the Vikings to the goal line.
  • Philip Rivers could not catch a break in the 1st half. The Vikings defense was all over the Chargers’ offense.
  • Everson Griffen had a great sack on Rivers in the first half.
  • Tom Johnson took Rivers to the turf to start the 2nd half and took away the Chargers’ plan to start the 3rd quarter with momentum.
  • After the Vikings’ defense forced the Chargers to punt, Marcus Sherels had a great return and then next thing we knew – Adrian Peterson was stiff-arming a defender and then rushing for a TD. My thought was: “Hey Chargers – how’s that momentum thing going for ya?”
  • Blair Walsh’s kick offs were stupendous.
  • Trae Waynes saw significant playing time after Rhodes was injured.  He made the most of those opportunities and had some good plays.
  • Mike Wallace looks like a great add to the squad.
  • A Blair Walsh confidence-boosting FG was negated… by a stupid Chargers holding penalty. The result? The drive ended in a Zach Line rushing TD and a solid Blair Walsh exclamation point. Not saying the Walsh Slump is over… but… maybe?
  • Through the 3rd quarter, the Vikings had only 1 penalty. Great discipline. I approve!
  • GREENWAY with a Pick-6. All you Greenway haters out there… he’s older, sure, but he’s led this team in tackles for many years and he’s a great team player. I was happy for him on this play.
  • Sharrif Floyd sacked Rivers on a 4th-and-6, forcing the Chargers to turn it over on downs. Nice job guys!
Matt Kalil: struggled early in the game.

Matt Kalil: struggled early in the game.

The Bad

  • Fusco and Kalil failed when it came to pass protection in the first quarter. Multiple times.
  • On the 1st Vikings offensive drive, Rudolph missed a catchable ball in the end zone. The next play was Teddy being intercepted in the end zone. As I said… An atrocious start!
  • Charles Johnson was carted to the locker room early in the game. He later returned to the field.
  • Justin Trattou was injured and it doesn’t look good. As of this writing, no real information about what happened to his left leg/ankle.
  • The Vikings defense waned late in the 2nd quarter. The Vikings had pinned the Charges deep in their own territory and when Rivers managed to throw a bomb for a first down and then some, the defense never recovered. The result was a Chargers’ TD and an injured Xavier Rhodes.
  • Roughing the passer call on Everson Griffen put the Chargers in the red zone at the start of the 4th quarter. However, nothing came of it as the Vikings defense went in for the kill with Greenway’s pick-6.
  • The Vikings defense went on autopilot for the Chargers’ last offensive drive. I get it… but it would still be nice to see a little effort from some of the 2nd stringers.

The Ugly

  • The Vikings defense still has an issue with tackling fundamentals. It’s not everyone, and it’s not anyone in particular. Sometimes they just get sloppy. While the defense has been more than serviceable as of late, they’re going to need to work on those if they want to win enough games to get into the post season.
  • Sendejo got a little crazy, nearly taking Trae Waynes out. Maybe he can spend some time focusing on his coverage this week. And meditate, dude. Serenity – get in the zone.
Vikings win with plenty of fanfare on Alumni Day!

Vikings win with plenty of fanfare on Alumni Day!

The Inexplicable

  • On Greenway’s pick-6, an assistant coach took out a ref, securing a 15 yard unsportsman-like conduct penalty. Totally stupid. Watch where you’re going you dodos!

So that’s it, my Vikings friends. A big win over the Chargers, bringing the Vikings to 2-1. What do you predict for our favorite team this season?






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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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