It's been quite a busy week for me here at the old office, which is the likely explanation of the lack of the hard hitting analysis that I usually provide. Heh. Yeah, I'll go with that.
Anyway, Sunday approaches, and with it comes a match up against what might be the worst team in the NFL. And for good measure, the Chiefs offense, if you want to call it that, revolves solely around the running game. In case you were wondering, Pat Williams is quite excited about this game. Larry Johnson? Not so much.
Those who hate the Vikings' passing game and their reliance on the run, should add the Chiefs air attack to the list of reasons (my list includes the Royals and having to be in Missouri) to thank their lucky stars they weren't born in Kansas City. It's never a good sign when neither your young stud or your veteran quarterback win the starting job. And despite having quite a few solid Chiefs blogs that he could have consulted, Ol' Herm clearly did not when he settled on Damon Huard.
Huard has quarterbacked the Chiefs' passing attack to a -38.9% DVOA, which is the third worst in the NFL. Their 4.97 yards per passing attempt is the 8th worst (the Vikings are at -21.6% DVOA and 5.69YPA). Huard's been bad as well, only accumulating -4.5 PAR and a VOA of -29.2% while throwing three picks, but he hasn't exactly been helped by a line that has given up seven sacks already, second only to the Falcons. This is pretty good news for a Vikings secondary that's battling injuries. The Chiefs weren't planning on relying on Huard and company to win games, but Larry Johnson has started slowly. After sitting out the preseason, Johnson has yet to crack the century mark for the season, which probably helps to explain why the Chiefs are 23rd in rushing DVOA. Not exactly what they were hoping for.
Their defense hasn't been all that bad, however. Whether or not the Revolution starts on Sunday (Brooks Bollinger better not be his replacement though), the Vikings are going to be facing a pass defense that has had success so far, albeit against a team with one viable receiver (the Texans) and a team led by Rex Grossman. Then again, the Vikings don't have a single viable receiver and no matter who they are starting, they'll have a shaky quarterback at the helm. By DVOA, their pass defense has been the third best in the league. Their run defense, has been more in line with the rest of their team, posting a positive DVOA (you want a negative DVOA on defense). That's good news for Adrian Peterson and a recuperating Chester Taylor.
This game really is a match up of two teams that are very similar offensively, which is good news for the Vikings, because their defense is perfectly set up to shut down the Chiefs. The Purple should win this game and need to win this game if they want to be playoff contenders this year, gaining some momentum before hosting the Packers and helping Brett Farve set the record for most career interceptions, a mark he is only three shy of.
Vikings 20, Kansas City 10.