Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Two Disturbing Articles and Who to Back

The Star Tribune ran two articles this morning, both of which left me disturbed, perturbed and generally feeling negative. The first, "Allison shows a big break can be just around the corner", is a nice feature on the Vikings' fifth round pick and newly named Special Teams Player of the Week. It's your normal, run of the mill feature on a player that just had a break out game, until, that is, Coach Childress gets quoted.
"Childress made no promises that Allison will be in uniform this Sunday in San Francisco, although it seems likely. "We just play the guys that you think are going to give you the best chance, and when you get that chance like he did [Sunday], you run with it and he did," said Childress, who also mentioned Allison has the "aptitude" to return punts."
I'm probably reading too much into this, but honestly, why wouldn't Childress make Allison the primary kick returner now? He's a threat to score on every kick, has a massive 37.1 yard average on returns and has returned three kicks for more than 60 yards, a franchise record AND just set the franchise record for longest kick return for a touchdown. Why even screw around with Troy Williamson at this point? I mean, it's not like Williamson and his 13 catches for 201 yards are really that much better than Allison's 4 catches for 76 yards.

I know Childress is probably just playing his normal games with the press, but let's be honest--it would be an awful decision if Allison isn't returning kicks on Sunday.

The second disturbing article, "Wilf: Stadium needs resolution 'in near future'"discusses the state government's decision not to attempt to address the Vikings' stadium issue this session. Whether or not you think the Vikings should get a taxpayer funded stadium, the longer the issue remains unresolved, the greater the chance the Vikings decide to pack up and move. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but the Viking's lease at the Metrodome is up in 2011, which means that the Vikings can play wherever they want in 2012. Gooood times. Good times.

Enough about a possible depressing future. Let's look at what could be a very positive future. There are six games this week (aside from the Purple's) that can impact the Vikings' playoff hopes. I posted a comprehensive table on Monday with all the information you might need for tiebreakers, so let's delve into the important games themselves.

  1. Arizona (6-6) at Seattle (8-4)
  2. Carolina (5-7) at Jacksonville (8-4)
  3. New Orleans (5-7) at Atlanta (3-9)
  4. Dallas (11-1) at Detroit (6-6)
In these first four games, it's pretty obvious which team Vikings' fans should be pulling for (they're bolded if you need some help). All four games could be crucial to the Vikings' hopes, as this is the hardest game left on the Cardinals schedule, both New Orleans and Carolina would finish with a better Conference Record than the Vikings should they end up tied and Detroit is almost guaranteed to finish with a better division record than the Purple, as the only game they have left will be against a Green Bay team that will be resting it's starters in Week 17.

  1. Chicago (5-7) at Washington (5-7)
  2. New York Giants (8-4) at Philadelphia (5-7)
These final two games are quite a bit trickier than the first four. The first game pits two teams the Vikings still have on their schedule, both of which they will most likely have to beat in order to make the playoffs (thus likely ending da Bears and Redskins playoff hopes). If the Vikings do end up dropping one of those games, well, then hopefully that was the one that lost this game, since that would have likely knocked them out of the hunt with an eighth loss. The second game is also tricky, as the Vikings are two games back of the Giants, and a loss, combined with a Vikings win, would put the first Wild Card spot back into play. However, a win by the Eagles would keep them within reach of the Purple, a scary thought, as the Eagles have the tiebreaker, and the sooner teams like the Eagles, Saints and Panthers go away, the better the Vikings' chances of getting into the playoffs. To be honest, it doesn't matter who you pull for in these games, as the outcomes are guaranteed to both help and hurt the Purple.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I'm going to root for the Redskins and Eagles this weekend. I want the Redskins to win because I think the Vikings are more likely to drop the game against their Bears than the one against the Redskins, and I don't think Washington's record will threaten Minnesota's in the end. I have confidence in the team going 3-1 or 4-0 in these last 4 weeks, and I them want to overtake the Giants, which leads me to the other game. Philly has 3 losable games after this weekend and also shouldn't threaten.

As far as Childress downplaying Aundrae Allison's potential start, I think he's only trying to keep the 49ers from easy game planning. I'm guessing Allison will return kicks and punts.

The stadium thing does scare me a bit though. I don't want the Vikings to move. I'm still bitter about the North Stars moving to Dallas.