December 22, 2007

Playoffs? Playoffs!?: The 8-6 Minnesota Vikings will play host to the 7-7 Washington Redskins, itís a playoff storyline with a lot of interesting subplots. The latest in kyrilmmitch_76's ongoing series "For the Love of Sports".

posted by justgary to football at 04:52 PM - 7 comments

Nice job of highlighting the importance of what would otherwise be a game of limited import. I agree that Todd Collins deserves his one more moment on the stage. It would be nice to see the 'Skins stumble into the playoffs, if only for that reason.

posted by Howard_T at 07:07 PM on December 22, 2007

For the Vikings, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year. They were going to throw Jackson out there to see what he could do and see if he was their future or if they would have to look elsewhere. Now all of a sudden, they find themselves in the playoff hunt, and everyone is wondering why Jackson was chosen to run the club. Having watched this team all season, two things are very clear to me: -- Jackson is definitely improving. Better touch on his passes, and usually better decision-making, Monday's game notwithstanding. (First prime-time game...maybe a bit jittery.) Watch the first Lions game vs. the second Lions game, and you're looking at two different QBs. It's also nice that he talks to the coach right after he screws up to get more coaching, cf. Eli Manning, who sulks around every time he throws a pick. -- Jackson is the best QB they have right now. Bollinger and Holcomb are slightly better known, but having watched both play this year, they stink. There is no good reason not to let Jackson ride it out One other thing: Is the Vikings' pass defense last in the league because they are bad, or simply because no one even bothers *trying* to run on them? They are in the top ten in the league in fewest points allowed (the stat that really matters), and they lap the field in defensive giving up a few yards that important? Having said all this, the Vikings aren't getting past Green Bay or Dallas in the playoffs.

posted by TheQatarian at 10:41 PM on December 22, 2007

The Vikings pass defense is absolutely atrocious. It really amazes me that more teams don't choose to simply just air it out against them. With the best Vikings CB out (Winfield), any team, including the Redskins, can have a field day through the air. Just look at the Packers-Vikings games this season and you will see how easily the Vikings defense can be picked apart. The incredible Minnesota run defense can also be gutted by simply running to the outside (especially once a passing game is established and the corners pull back). I'm a Vikings fan, but I'm also a realist -- this team makes the playoffs because of a soft schedule and luck, but there is no way they make it past the first round. Minnesota simply has too many flaws, and teams are learning how to contain Peterson (stack the box, don't overpursue, tackle low -- and since Peterson can't block yet, Minnesota plays him almost exclusively on rushing plays).

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:35 AM on December 23, 2007

I totally agree with TheQatarian in that this playoff run (or, at least a run to get into the playoffs) was unexpected at the start of the year for the Vikes. I was prepared for an ugly year of football...knew the Gophers were going to stink, and thought the purple gang would be lucky to win 6 games. Who knew Adrian Peterson would have this kind of season? My son has a number 28 jersey waiting for him under the tree. It will replace the Culpepper one I bought him years ago...hopefully Peterson will have a better career. As to the Viking's soft schedule, keep in mind that the Dallas Cowboys have only beat three teams with a winning record...and the winning percentage of the teams they have beat is only .429 The Vike's secondary has been banged up a bit this year, this week is no exception, and with the top rated run defense, it is no wonder that teams throw on them. Washington with Collins leading the way will not be able to score enough points to beat Minnesota. Sadly, I have to agree with TheQatarian once again, the Vikings will not last long in the post season. However, for a couple more weeks the dream lives on!

posted by dviking at 12:49 AM on December 23, 2007

On second thought, maybe the Vikes will forget to show up for the first half of the game, and Collins will find a way to take advantage of multiple turnovers to score enough points to win.

posted by dviking at 01:30 AM on December 24, 2007

Wow. With so much on the line, they really looked bad. Their defense looked horrible, for the most part. But to be fair, Todd Collins is a good QB. I remember when the Bills had him in the mid-ninties.....

posted by dyams at 08:04 AM on December 24, 2007

I reiterate: the Vikings pass defense is nothing short of atrocious, even when healthy. They're opportunistic, there's no doubt about that, but their coverage skills aren't even marginal. I'm happy they made this a season, but I don't think they belong in the playoffs. At least they're on the way up thanks to shrewd drafting (5 of our draft picks this year, and 5 from last year, made substantial contributions to the team this season), but they still need another year or two to develop those players and draft a few new key pieces. Couple that with the fact the Vikes have locked up a lot of core talent for the next few years, and the Vikings are on their way to becoming a team that will be able to fight among the top of the league.

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:03 PM on December 24, 2007

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