Friday, December 08, 2006

You've Got to Back Somebody--Week 14

Ask and ye shall receive: it’s time for the second installment of “You’ve Gotta Back Somebody”, my easy to use guide to which teams Vikings’ fans should be pulling for every week. And it’s important to pull for the right teams—the Vikings aren’t going to make the playoffs without some help.

Just like last week, the bolded team is the team you should root for.

Minnesota (5-7) @ Detroit (2-10): The Vikings aren’t quite yet in a must win situation (an 8-8 team is going to make the NFC playoffs this year), but a loss here would most likely end their hopes, both because it ruins their NFC record, and because any team that loses to Detroit just isn’t good enough to win three games in a row.

Philadelphia (6-6) @ Washington (4-8): A victory by the Redskins would be a huge help to the Vikings’ playoff hopes. Not only would it drop the Eagles’ record to 6-7 overall, hopefully tying them with the Vikings, it would also guarantee that the Eagles’ NFC record will not be better (and might be worse) than the Vikings if they both finish at 8-8.

Atlanta (6-6) @ Tampa Bay (3-9): This game is similar to the Eagles-‘Skins game, in that if Tampa wins, it will drop the Falcons below .500. It would also guarantee that the Vikings will hold the tiebreaker over the Falcons if they finished with the same record, due to the Vikings’ superior NFC record.

Chicago (10-2) @ St. Louis (5-7): The Rams are in a similar situation as the Vikings—they can maybe lose one game, but that’s it. That means if da Bears come out of St. Louis with a win, the Rams cannot lose afford to lose again, and a loss to the Vikings in the last week would be the end of their season (if they don’t drop their game at Oakland or against Washington).

New Orleans (8-4) @ Dallas (8-4): This game doesn’t matter right now, since it’s between two teams leading their divisions by two games. It might have an impact on which team the Vikings play in the first round if they make the playoffs, but worrying about that would be getting just a little bit ahead of ourselves.

Green Bay (4-8) @ San Francisco (5-7): Discussing this game makes me feel queasy. It would be best for the Vikings’ playoff hopes if the Packers hung another loss on the only playoff contender that has a win over the Purple. Then again, I never, ever, ever, want the Packers to win. So I won’t be rooting for them. Quite simply, this is a lose-lose for all Vikings’ fans.

New York (N) (6-6) @ Carolina (6-6): This one is the toughest game to pick a team to root for this week. Both teams are a game up on the Vikings in the wild card race, so, no matter what, the Vikings are going to be tied with the loser provided they beat Detroit.

The Vikings hold the tiebreaker over the Panthers, who finish at home against Pittsburgh followed by road games at Atlanta and New Orleans. The Giants finish with home games against Philadelphia and New Orleans before closing out the season at Washington. If they finish tied with the Vikings, they will either have the tiebreaker due to a better NFC record (if the Vikings’ eighth loss is to an NFC team) or it will come down to their records against common opponents (which I believe would go the Vikings’ way). My feeling is that it’s best if the Panthers win, since they have a harder schedule to finish the season, making them more likely to drop two of their last three, and because it would help out the Vikings’ chances of holding the tiebreaker over the Giants.

1 comment:

cheswick said...

thanks Tbird! This is why I like your blog; now I don't have to do any thinking at all while watching the games unfold this weekend. I simply read your column, print out a list of who the Vikes want to win each game, tape said list to the tv, sit back and begin the yelling. Thank you! You are a lazy fans best friend.

How many sacks you figuring the Vikes will get on the Lions tomorrow? I'm guessing 5. Vikes by 17. Or they come home on their shields.