Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Lions' Edition

The Good: The Lions right now are a team in turmoil. After getting embarrassed by Atlanta on Thanksgiving (which, of course, is nothing new for the Lions), Matt Millen cleaned house. Head Coach Steve Mariucci, Offensive Line Coach Pat Morris and Tight Ends Coach Andy Sugarman were all fired. To top it all off, they neglected to notify the players prior to canning Mariucci. Nothing like finding out your boss got fired from the media, rather then the organization. And then, just because no one thought it could get any worse, Dre' Bly publicly blamed Joey Harrington for Mariucci's firing. (Ok, I know that this should probably go under the ugly, but I think the fact that the Lions have to deal with all this crap is a good thing for the Vikings--honestly, can you see the Lions playing well this week after this fiasco? A real franchise, maybe, but the Lions?).

The Bad: Jeff Garcia is going to be the starting QB on Sunday. Normally, that wouldn't be that big of a deal, except for the fact that the Vikings don't get to face Joey "2 turnovers guaranteed" Harrington. Garcia isn't going to be reminding people of Dan Marino any time soon, but he is a smart, veteran quarterback that isn't likely to make as many mistakes as Joey. Since the Vikings are dependent on turnovers to score points, that could be a problem for the offense on Sunday.

The Ugly: I think Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press did a better job of summing up the ugliness that is the Lions Franchise then I could hope to:

"Joey Harrington didn't get Mariucci fired. No more than Roy Williams did by falling down on that Thanksgiving Day interception. No more than Shawn Bryson did fumbling a few minutes later. No more than Kevin Jones did with his disappointing season. No more than Charles Rogers did by flunking his drug test. No more than the offensive line did in collapsing or the defensive line did by racking up penalties. No more than the defensive backs -- including Dre' Bly -- did by allowing nobodies like Chicago's Kyle Orton and Carolina's Chris Weinke to have big moments."

The really sad part is that's the Sparknotes version of the ugly parts of the Lions' season.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Return of the Defense

As all you loyal readers know, I pronounced this season over after Daunte got hurt, Steve Smith paddled his canoe in the endzone and the Panthers destroyed the Vikings. Well, it looks like I was wrong. The Vikings have a legitimate shot at the playoffs now. Like the world beginning anew after Ragnarok, the Vikings have resurrected their season.

It didn't happen today. Today was just the final step in their return to "playoff contender" status. It started with the victory over Detroit, which, while nice, wasn't really all that impressive, as they haven't beaten a Mike Tice led team ever (that should be all you need to know about how good a football team they are). Then the fluke win over the Giants (fluke: n. 1. a chance occurrence; an accident 2. returning a punt, a kickoff and an interception for a touchdown). After that, I still wasn't ready to accept the Vikings as a legitimate playoff contender. I expected a let down at Lambeau. Instead, they beat the Packers and now, they've beaten the Browns to climb over .500 for the first time this year.

I realize now why I was wrong to pronounce the season over. It was a simple mistake, really--I forgot to take into account the strength of schedule, and, more importantly, I forgot to heed Ted Cottrell's warning that defenses take time to gel. And gel this defense has. The Vikings haven't had a defense like this since I started following the team in 1997. The line is constantly in the quarterback's face, Pat Williams is falling on running backs left and right, Darren Sharper is making quarterbacks think twice about where they are throwing the ball (time they no longer have thanks to Erasmus James et al.), the linebackers, led by Keith Newman, are actually making plays and Antoine Winfield is playing Pro Bowl caliber corner again. It seems they have some depth too--Dovonte Edwards and C.J. Mosley have both been game changers while filling in for injured starters. It took a while, but this defense is living up to its preseason hype and should continue to do so.

Now, of course, this defense hasn't really had to face any of the NFL's upper echelon offenses(except, maybe for the Giants--but Eli is still only in his second season). Joey, Senile Brett and Trent are not exactly Peyton, Brett in his Prime and Dan from Pittsburgh. That being said, how many times in the past few years have crappy offenses looked like the '98 Vikings against our defense? I know I don't have enough fingers to count the times, that's for sure.

Secondly, it's not like any of the teams the Vikings have left on their schedule have exceptional offenses (remember, expectations have been revised to have "making the playoffs" as the goal). The Steelers and the Rams are both in the upper half of the league in scoring, but the Steelers will have to go through Pat Williams and the Rams are, to put it kindly, turnover prone.

I can't tell you for sure whether the Vikings' defensive success is a product of their schedule, or if its because they've come together as a unit (like all either/or debates, it's probably both). I do know that it's fun to watch the defense play again and that if they continue to play like this, they are going to get their shot at a NFC North Championship game against Da Bears on New Year's Day at the Metrodome.

Loki Winner

It was tough picking who got the< Loki today, what with Darren Sharper's two picks and a great pass break up in the end zone, Pat Williams' domination of the line (and his 7 tackles), Marcus Robinson's one to one touchdown to reception ratio and BJ's solid day in the pocket. In the end, however, it was pretty clear who had created the most mischief on the field today. And that's why the Loki for today's victory goes to Calvin Michael Mosley, otherwise known as defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, #96 (I'm going to be honest-I don't have a clue where the "J" comes from either).
C.J. led the Vikings with 7 tackles, five of them solo, had 2 sacks and forced a fumble that led to one of BJ's three touchdown passes. Haven't heard of him before today? Don't feel bad-neither had I. And there's a reason for that. C.J. has racked up eight "Did Not Play"s so far this year, and had a grand total of three tackles before today. Past performance, however, is not factored into this award, and so, congratulations to C.J.--you just won the Loki for wreaking havoc on the Browns' offense (retroactive Loki's were also awarded for the Vikings previous wins)

The Victory Equation

So what do the Vikings need to do today to beat Cleveland? The answer is simple: the same things they've done in all of their other victories: run the ball well, get turnovers and create big plays, whether by offense (not happening with BJ at quarterback), defense or special teams.
Pretty simple equation, isn't it?

Running the ball well + Getting a few turnovers + a few big plays=Victory (Huzzah! Huzzah!)

So can the Vikings do it today against the Browns?
Survey says.....yes.

The Browns have the 5th worst rushing defense in the NFL, allowing their opponents to run over them to the tune of 133 yards a game. Even while shutting out the Dolphins last week, they gave up 139 yards on 25 carries, for an average of 5.6 yards a carry. So I'm guessing that the Vikings can run on them, especially now that all of our linemen know the offense (I don't think I'm going to get over Tice starting an offensive lineman that didn't know the offense--a high school JV coach wouldn't do that).

Turnovers, however, might be a bit of a problem for the Vikings defense. The Browns have 18 turnovers, 11 of which are interceptions. That puts them in the lower half of the NFL, but is also better then Green Bay, New Orleans and Detroit (and the Vikings, but who's counting?). Trent Dilfer has thrown 10 picks, which is the 7th highest total, behind (say it with me now) Brett Favre, Aaron Brooks and Joey Harrington (and Daunte, but again, who's counting?) but is worse then Eli Manning. Basically, the Browns have a tendency to turn the ball over. They're not the Packers, Saints or Lions (or Vikings) but they haven't developed that healthy respect for holding on to the ball that they every good team needs.

In terms of kick coverages, the Browns are both good and bad. They haven't given up a touchdown on a punt or kick return (which means they're due, right?) and are in the top ten units at covering kickoff returns. Their punting unit, however, leaves something to be desired, since it's giving up a 12.9 yards a punt, putting them within shouting distance (1/10 of a yard) of the Rams, who are the only team worse. So Mewelde Moore has a shot to have a big day, both rushing and returning punts.

Will the Vikings win tomorrow? The stats seem to say so. Am I going to pick the Vikings? Hell no. That'd be crazy. One thing I will predict, however, is that tomorrow will be an interesting game--that's something the Vikings have delivered everytime this year.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Defense BABY!

"We're not worried about their back. We're not worried about Droughns. They've got to worry about us. So I'm not worried. I don't care what they do the week before. It's just like we didn't worry about that back they had down in Green Bay. What's his name? I don't know. I didn't worry about him, either. It doesn't matter. We're not the Falcons. We're not the Dolphins, either. We're a whole different front." ~Big Pat Williams

My favorite free agent signing this offseason was Fred Smoot, mainly because he was [supposed to be] a shut down corner, but also because he talked a whole lot of smack. And, most importantly, he backed it up. His signing was so big that my friend left me a message that consisted solely of him yelling "WE GOT SMOOTY SMOOT SMOOT" for two minutes. Well, we were wrong about Smooty Smoot Smoot. We weren't wrong about the Vikings getting a trash talking stud free agent for their defense. We were just misguided in not realizing it was the man beast Pat Williams.
First of all, just look at his head. It's so gigantic his face mask is skin tight. Seriously, next time they do a close up of his face after he punishes a running back by falling on him, just sit back and marvel at the fact that he can stick his tongue out and touch his face mask with it.

Secondly, he talks shit. Lots and lots of it. Big Pat (which, amazingly, is his real nickname) rarely knows who the guys blocking him are. He just doesn't care. He's 317 lbs of fury and he's going to fall on that running back. It doesn't matter who it is, or how successful the guy has been in the past. He's going to shut him down. And that's what the Vikings have been missing since Crazy John Randle got old and bad--a stud defender who fills up an opponents bulletin board and then goes out and dominates them anyway. And while Smooty Smoot Smoot wasn't that guy, thankfully, Big Pat is, and I'm definately thankful for that.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

BJ is Not the Reason

Will someone please tell Jim Souhan and Don Banks to slow their roll? BJ is not the reason that the Vikings are all of a sudden winning. A man throwing for under 200 yards a game (if he's lucky) cannot be given all of the credit for the Vikings offensive "turnaround". And yes, I meant to use those quotes.
The Vikings offense has not improved significantly under BJ, except in one category-turnovers by the defense. Yup, that's right-the defense causing turnovers is the reason why the offense has "righted" itself.
The defense is now responsible for 14 of the Vikings points in the last two games. If you factor in that 14 of the Vikings points against the Lions were scored after Joey Harrington turned it over deep in Lions' territory, 28 of the Vikings 71 points over the last three games can be attributed to the defense. Then there's the 14 points scored by the special teams against the Giants. So this new, revamped offense has generated 29 points while BJ has been starting. That's 9 2/3 points a game.
So please, please, please stop acting like BJ is the reason why the Vikings have won the three games--the credit should go to the defense and special teams.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Knowing the Offense is Overrated

"Does he know the offense? No." ~ Mike Tice about starting Toniu Fonoti

I don't really know what to say about this. What does it say about Liwienski's play so far this year that Tice is willing to start Toniu Fonoti over him? And, let me repeat this, Fonoti does. not. know. the. offense.

I'm sure that we're going to be able to run the ball with a starting left guard who's first full practice with the offense was yesterday and who is 35 pounds overweight. Is Tice actually trying to get BJ killed? He remembers that offensive lines are only good when they function as a unit, right? Or does he expect our special teams to score two touchdowns a game from now on? Does he even want to win? Or does he just hate Liwienski?

That little nagging voice I hear sometimes that's been saying the Vikings are going to get blown out on Monday? It just got a lot louder.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Everyone needs to calm down a little bit. I know I said that Vikings now have a decent shot at the playoffs. And that's true. But they are by no means a lock. They're still two games back. They are still playing like crap on offense (WOW! Brad Johnson is sooo good at running our offense! Remember when Daunte would routinely throw for more then 200 yards? Who needs 200 passing yards? All we need is 137 total yards because our special teams and defense will score!!)

The Vikings are playing better. That is a fact. But, much more importantly, their opponents are playing really, really badly. The Vikings aren't making the playoffs unless two things happen: their opponents continue to play like drunken monkeys, flinging the ball around like their own feces, and two, the Vikings need to beat the Bears in the season finale. And is there anyone stupid enough to actually bet on a Mike Tice led team in a playoffs or bust season finale?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Tricky Vikings

"Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in"
~Michael Corleone

The Vikings are getting to me. I'm trying to hold them off, but after yesterday's win, I can feel it. I can feel the hope starting to grow inside again. The hope I thought I had locked away safely prior to the season (I was wrong--I bought into the Super Bowl hype). The hope that had been squashed by horrible performance after horrible performance so far this year.

But now it's back. I can feel it. I've caught myself looking at other possible playoff teams. I've looked at Da Beahorrible team. rs' schedule to see if we have a shot to catch them. I've started to look at all the crappy teams the Vikes have left as a good thing. I even asked my friend (a Steelers fan) if Big Ben was going to still be injured when the Steelers came to Minnesota because I was hoping that the Vikings defense could go to work on Chaz Batch or Tommy Maddox (and not because I was hoping that Big Ben would be picking apart the secondary, like I would have last week).

Basically, after that win yesterday, the win that the Vikings didn't deserve, the win they manufactured out of thin air, I can feel myself hopping back on the bandwagon. I'm trying not to, but it isn't realistic to hope for the high draft pick necessary for the Reverse Herschel Walker. And mediocrity isn't worth rooting for. In my book it's only a top pick or the playoffs are worth rooting for.
So I'm starting to look towards the playoffs. Maybe even a playoff win. And I'm starting to think that it's possible, because a horrible team doesn't win that game yesterday. Before yesterday, I would have called the Vikings a horrible team. Now I don't think they are. Now I see that they may have something to build with. If they add a few good free agents and draft picks, a good coach and return a healthy Daunte, the Vikings might actually have a shot at the Super Bowl next year. I'm not a big enough rube to think they have a shot this year (Ok, I'll be honest, visions of the Pats 31-0 loss to the Bills two years ago keep dancing through my head, but then I remember that the Vikings head coach is a mental midget, whereas Billichek is a genius), but I can see how they might be only one year away. This might be 1997 all over again (Of course, I thought that about last year.)

Which means I've started caring again. Which means they're going to rip my heart out again (Anyone else feeling a blowout loss to the Packers this week? And just because I can feel it coming doesn't mean it won't ruin my week when it happens). Bastards pulled me back in again.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Vikings Loss

As I was watching the game, one thought kept running through my head: "Normally, the Vikings are the team that'd be losing here".
I mean, wasn't today's game the type that the Vikings would normally lose? They'd normally be the ones that had a ton of turnovers, horrible special teams play and was dropping passes left and right. Except that for once, it was the opponent that was throwing passes into double and triple coverage (One of the Giants' fans I was watching the game with kept asking if Eli Manning had a concussion--that would have at least explained the younger Manning's play), letting the opening kick of the second half get returned for a touchdown and dropping pass after pass.
Instead, the Vikings returned an interception, kickoff and punt for a touchdown, had one more point at the half than they had offensive yards and managed to drive into field goal range with a little more than 50 seconds left and 1 timeout (nice use of a timeout by Tice before the 2 point conversion). And it looks like Edinger, while not consistent, is at least clutch.

And while there were a lot of worthy candidates, the play of the game today goes to Laroni Gallishaw. On a punt in the second quarter, Gallishaw forced the Giants' Jamaar Taylor out of bounds, directly into Tice, taking him out. Sadly, Tice was able to shake off the hit and continue coaching.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Quick Thoughts

Some quick thoughts:

The Vikings are returning to th 3-4 on Defense. Which is awesome, since it worked so well against Carolina.

The Vikings MVP this year is either Chris Kluwe or Antoine Winfield. And if I had a vote, I'd probably give it to Kluwe. I've always thought that the best job in the world is a punter in the NFL. You get six digits, get to be a football player without getting hit very often and you get to go to sex parties on boats. Honestly, what else could you ask for?

Finally, Mike Tice is going to be the honorary commissioner at the Special Olympics Draft Party. It'll be good for those kids to see that they too could one day coach the Vikings.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


"Playoffs?! Don't talk about playoffs! Are you kidding me? Playoffs?! I'm just hoping we can win a game, another game!"~Jim Mora

After the win last week, the experts have come to the conclusion that the Vikings are back in the playoff hunt in the NFC North. They base this conclusion on the assumption that 1) The NFC North is horrible and 2) the Vikings can play well enough to make up the two game deficit on Da Bears..

My guess is all this playoff talk will be silenced after the Giants get through with the Vikings on Sunday. Let's look at the reasons why the game is likely to be another
20+ point loss on the road.
  • It's at the Meadowlands. The Vikings have lost 32 of 41 on the road since 2000 and 24 of 27 on grass
  • The Giants are playing well: they've won their last three, including a blowout 36-0 victory against the playoff contending Redskins that wasn't even that close.
  • The Giants have won the last three times they've played the Vikings
  • 41-0 (need I say more?)
  • The Giants' have the players to exploit the Vikings weak linebacking core: Jeremy Shockey is averaging 4 catches and 66 yards a game receiving, while Tiki Barber is always a threat receiving out of the backfield.
  • The Giants are averaging 125 yards rushing a game, while the Vikings are giving up 127.
  • On the other side of the ball, the Giants are only allowing 98 yards a game rushing, while the Vikings are averaging 94 yards a game, and have only broken 100 yards rushing in two games so far, both at home. (I have a feeling we're going to see why BJ was backing Daunte up this week)
  • Eli and Plaxico v. Brian Williams (Do you really think Ted Cottrell will put Antoine Winfield on Plaxico Burress? Or even double team him with Darren Sharper or Corey Chavous? But that'd be what the Giants are EXPECTING!)
I could probably go on for awhile longer, but I'm starting to get depressed. And to top it all off, the place where I watch the games is usually full of New York Giants fans from New Jersey. Ugh. This game is going to be uglier than the Giants fans. And to think that people are using the word "playoffs" in conjunction with the Vikings without laughing until they cry.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Welcome Home J.T.

Our long national nightmare is over. No longer do we have to ponder how Koren Robinson would do under center. No longer do we have to wonder if he would wear his recieving gloves while dropping back, or if he would instead go with the Tom Brady-esque one glove style. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a third string quarterback.

I would like to introduce you to J.T. Sullivan.

He's a 26 year old out of UC-Davis, with 4 years of NFL "experience". In his time in the NFL, he's been with three other teams, starting out with the 'Aints in 2002, seeing actual playing time with the Packers in 2004, where, the one time they let him onto the field, he rushed the ball twice, for -2 yards. After his glory years with the Pack, he caught on with Da Bears practice squad, which is where the Vikings picked him up.

If you're an avid follower of NFL Europe (who isn't?) you'll remember him as a key contributor to the Frankfurt Galaxy's failed attempt to win their fourth World Bowl. He threw two costly interceptions in the second half of World Bowl XII in a game the Galaxy would lose by six, 30-24.

Also, it seems he's had a few run ins with the law.

So, in conclusion, he's never thrown a pass in the NFL, he's a choker and he's had legal problems.

Welcome J.T.--I think you'll fit in great here.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Pyrrhic Victory

So the Vikings won today. The defense looked good, the offense was clicking and they put away a bad team at home in the second quarter by scoring three touchdowns, two of them coming after horrible turnovers by Joey Harrington. So why am I unhappy?

Well, they went from only needing some help to get the #1 pick to needing a LOT of help. I highly doubt the Texans are going to win more than one more game. Same with the Saints. The Packers have to win two more games to tie the Vikings. There isn't a lot of room for victories if the Vikings want that top pick. And, I know, the draft is really deep--a top 10 pick will likely net a quality player. The Vikings need more help then that though, they need all the draft picks they can steal from some sucker who thinks Leinhart is worth mortgaging their franchise on.

Secondly, I'm unhappy because people are going to use this game as an indictment on Daunte Culpepper's ability to play quarterback. Brad Johnson threw for 136 yards today. That's it. He completed one pass for more than twenty yards. Yes, he threw two touchdowns--one was a 5 yard screen where Bennet dragged a defender into the endzone, and one was a jump ball where Burleson did his best Moss impersonation and tipped it to himself (and then followed it with a shout out to Daunte by getting his roll on). The real reason the Vikings were successful on offense today was because they had164 rushing yards for the game and more than 100 yards in the first half. Those 100 yards rushing were more than the Vikings have had in every game except the Saints game. Brad Johnson didn't jump start the offense--the rushing game (and the turnovers by Joey) jump started the offense.

In the end, the Vikings will still need a lot of luck to make the playoffs, even with half of their remaining games against teams with records equal to or worse than theirs. And even if they sneak out enough victories to win the crappiest division in the NFL, they don't have a shot at winning in the playoffs. Which is why I want the Vikings to lose. Getting the highest pick possible means that when the Vikings get a real coaching staff, they can provide them with the talent to win the NFC. Making the playoffs means that Tice might survive (horrors!) and that some lucky team will get to see if they beat the Vikings worse than the Giants did in 2001. I think I'd rather have the top pick.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Immovable Object v. The Irresistable Force

Well, it looks like all our problems on defense are behind us--Tice is going to make it allllll better. Right. Ok. Sure. We have faith in you Tice. No, no, we're not laughing at you, we're laughing with you. We honestly believe you're the reason if the Vikings' Defense shuts down Joey Harrington. Really, really we do.

Joey v. Tice's Defense
(The Immovable Object v. the Irresistable Force)
Garcia's injury was a godsend for the Vikings (or an unlucky break, depending on if you believe in Operation Reverse Herschel Walker). Few QBs are as bad as Joey Harrington. I'll put it this way: Despite Daunte's horrible performance this year, almost every Lions' fan would be happy to have Bizarro Daunte instead of Harrington even if he continued to play like crap. The Daunte that has thrown 12 picks and has a 72 QB rating is still light years better than Joey Harrington, who has a 55.6 QB rating.
That being said, the Vikings defense is a sieve. After Jake Delholmme and Steve Smith had their way with Fred Smoot and crew, they dropped the Vikings to 23rd in Passing Yards allowed (223.6yds/game), 25th in QB Rating against (95.1) and 27th in Passing Touchdowns against (14TDs). Can Mike Tice fix this problem? To put it bluntly, no. He's an offensive line coach masquerading as a Head Coach. There's not a thing on his resume that leads me to believe he has a shot of improving the defense and there are a many, many, many things that make me think that his attention won't make a difference.
So, who's likely to win this epic battle between the Immovable Object and the irresistible Force? Me, that's who. That's only because I enjoy watching XFL level incompetence. I'm kinda weird that way.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Shaun Hill Era

The Vikings aren't going to add a third QB to their roster. Meaning it's only a matter of time until the Shaun Hill era begins. Our line couldn't keep Daunte, who can actually go faster than a brisk walk, from getting sacked 33 times. You have to give Steve Loney credit: he's gotten our linemen to master the "Lookout" block. So unless BJ's able to confuse the defenses by passing the ball off them to himself, he is going to get destroyed. If he survives this week, then I'm sure he'll spend a week having nightmares about this guy:

And if Strahan doesn't get him, then the Soviet Spy will get a chance to drive him into the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field:

And for good measure, BJ has to survive Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed on Christmas.

Heck, if the Vikings' luck continues, BJ AND Hill will get hurt in the same game. Wonder what would happen then? Smoot under center? [edit--turns out the answer is Koren Robinson. I'd rather see Smoot, or maybe Big Pat Williams under center though.]

I'll leave you with one last question to ponder: which period of quarterbacking excellence will Vikings' fans look back at more fondly, The Spergon Wynn Era, or The Shaun Hill Era?

Antoine Winfield Thinks His Coaches Are Dumb

And he's right.
First of all, Winfield agrees with me that Steve Smith should have been doubled teamed.

"We were supposed to double 89," Winfield said of Panthers receiver Steve Smith. "That's all we practiced last week. Then when the calls came in Sunday, we didn't do that, except for two out of 70 plays. That's why he had 11 catches for 200-plus yards."

Also, it seems Ted Cottrell is n
ot only a horrible coach, but a filthy liar.

"We did do what we game-planned," Cottrell said. "We rolled up, we doubled and we changed our looks. There are some things going on. But we'll be all right."

If they doubled Smith on Sunday, then Mike Tice is a member of Mensa. Surprisingly enough (Ha!) none of the other coaches know what they're doing either.

"That's a problem," [Winfield] said, "It's like we go out there blind. Nothing happens on the sidelines, and they run the same plays over and over again."

It's only a matter of time before the team quits on the coaching staff (or it already happened--it's hard to tell, since blowouts are usually the tip off, and blowouts are what the Vikings do). That's not a bad thing, seeing as how we need to lose out to properly implement Operation: Reverse Herschel Walker. Winfield has also just confirmed what I already suspected: its not the players, so much as it is the coaches. Next year, when the Vikings have a real coach, there'll be some talent for him to work with.

Great Sports Quotes of the Past

"75 percent of the world is covered by water. The rest is covered by Smoot." -Fred Smoot

Either Smooty Smoot Smoot is a liar, or the boat Steve Smith was paddling in the endzone on Sunday was actually afloat.

I wonder if this guy is planning on hitting the water on Sunday?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Reverse Herschel Walker

If I'm the Vikings, after finding out the news that Daunte is CL-less, I'd stop worrying about the playoffs and implement Operation: Reverse Herschel Walker. It's a complex plan, but if Zygi has half a brain, he'll be able to pull it off.

Operation Reverse Herschel Walker
Step 1: Lose out and get the #1 overall pick in the draft.
Step 2: Fire Tice et all.
Step 3: Hire an intelligent GM *cough* Scott Pioli *cough* and have him hire a good coach.
Step 4: Trade the #1 pick to the team with the 5th or 6th pick for their first rounder and every other draft pick they have. Draft Vince Young/Laurence Maroney with the first rounder (depending on the state of Daunte's CLs)
Step 5:
Rebuild the team with draft picks and smart free agent signings.
Step 6: Go 16-0 and win the NFC.
Step 7:
Lose in the Super Bowl (I'm being realistic here) but establish yourself as a perennial Super Bowl contender.

Obviously, the key to this plan is finding a sucker, I mean a trading partner to give the Vikings all of their draft picks. It should be doable, for two reasons: Leinhart and Bush are big name "franchise" players and there's a reason these teams have the 5th/6th pick--they're run about as well as the Vikings are right now.
The other key to the strategy is obtaining the #1 overall pick. That means they have to lose to the 2-5 Browns, the 1-6 Packers and the 2-5 Ravens. This is doable. The games against the Packers and Ravens are outdoors, so they're guaranteed losses. The game against the Browns might be at the Metrodome, but I'm confident in Romeo Crennel's ability to coach circles around Mike Tice. The Vikings also need the Titans, Niners, Jets, Texans, Cardinals and Saints to win at least one more game (and in the Texans case, two more games). Also, I just realized that there a lot of teams that only have one or two wins after 8 weeks of the season. Kinda sad, really.
Anyway, once the Vikings finish up at 2-14, they'll get the #1 overall pick and be able to carry out Operation: Reverse Herschel Walker. Hopefully, it will lead to a dynasty similar to the one the Cowboys had in the early 1990s.