Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 4 Post Game Vikings vs. Steelers

We traveled to London for a home game and got our first victory against the winless Pittsburgh Steelers. This was a great win and performance from our Vikings. Our offense finally created some rythem with establishing the run and a passing game. Our defense was still shaky against the pass and gave up 383 yards in the air to Big Ben and the Steelers. 

We finally got a glimpse of why we paid $47.5 Million to Greg Jennings, he had 3 catches for 93 yards and 2 Touchdowns. Adrian Peterson looked lethal again thanks to Jerome Felton back in the lineup after his 3 game suspension. Adrian had 23 carries for 140 yards and 2 scores. Jerome Simpson had another huge game with 7 catches for 124 yards. It was nice to see us finally create some offense and I give credit to our Quarterback Matt Cassel for managing the game. He didn't look elite or special, but he did play solid and was 16/25 248 yards and 2 TD's. He wasn't perfect and did make some bad throws, but he also at times looked like a starting Quarterback. It will be very intersting to see what Lezlie Frazier does at the Quarterback position going forward this year. 

Yes, we need to still progress on offense and need to figure out how to stop teams with better defensive play. Don't be surprised if Antoine Winfield is wearing purple again before this weekend. We need help in our secondary and who better than a veteran who knows our defense.

Next Week:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Week 4 in London Preview Vikings vs. Steelers

Home game in London feels a little weird! This could be a good thing with the way we have been playing. We face another 0-3 team against the Pittsburgh Steelers. We will play this game without some of our starters like QB Christian Ponder, DB Chris Cook and S Jamarca Sanford. Yes, the big news is Quarterback Christian Ponder has been ruled out due to a fractured rib. For all those Viking fans wanting Ponder benched got your wish. I will root for QB Matt Cassel, but don't expect Cassel to come in and shine in this offense. I hope he does because that means we beat the Steelers and are heading in a better direction based on record. We can not afford to lose and drop to 0-4. 

Victor Stars
-Adrian Peterson will need to get things going on the ground to give us a shot at winning this game. The Steelers have allowed over 100 yards on the ground in their first three games. Expect AP to reach over 125 yards.

-Harrison Smith is going to have a lot of opportunities to make plays against a Steelers team that will come out throwing.

-Kyle Rudolph needs to get things going and why not in London? Look for Rudolph to be Cassel's go to receiver.

Steelers Stars
-Ben Roethlisberger is in need of a big stat day and should expose the Vikings secondary.

-Antoino Brown is an outstanding Wide Receiver who can make big plays. He should see 10 plus targets and could have a monster game.

-Troy Polamalu will be all over the field and will have many opportunities to get pressure on Cassel and Adrian.

We need to spread things out and not allow 8 guys in the box. We also need to get Patterson more involved in this offense which will help Peterson and Cassel. On defense we need to figure out how to stop Quarterbacks from throwing all over us. We must pressure Big Ben because he is known for holding onto the ball longer than usual and that can put Pittsburgh in tough third and long situations.

Vikings 17 Steelers 14.
Line: Pitt -3

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 3 Post Game Vikings vs. Browns

Holy smokes, we lost to the Cleveland Browns! Words can't describe my anger and frustration with the way we have been playing so far this season. I can't believe we are 0-3. Something has to change!!! Our owners need to think about the future and make some tough decisions about the current staff. I think every single coach is on the hot seat, it starts with Leslie Frazier and goes down the line to OC Bill Musgrave, DC Alan Williams, SC Mike Priefer and the rest of our coaching staff. We have been out coached in every game this season and that is frustrating. Coach Frazier always says we need to get better, well maybe we need to get better coaches first. 

Everyone wants Ponder gone and I have stuck up for Christian since day one and am still sticking by his side. Ponder isn't the reason we are 0-3, ya he isn't playing great but he also isn't getting the protection he needs. Matt Cassell is not the answer Viking fans, I know Ponder probably isn't the long time answer either but he deserves to be the Quarterback this season. Christian was sacked six times yesterday. What is wrong with our offensive line? We can't pass protect or create holes for Adrian. Our offensive line was supposed to be one of our strengths and is not playing up to standards. Christian Ponder was 25-42 for 228 yards and an interception. He also had 46 yards rushing and two scores. Those numbers aren't great, but those numbers also don't look horrible. Yes, Ponder gives us the best chance to win this season. Don't blame just the Quarterback! 

Why can't our defense stop anyone? Especially third string Brian Hoyer who was 30-54 and an impressive 321 yards, 3 TD's and 3 Int's. Our defensive backs looked horrible, the loss of Winfield has hurt this secondary. Look for the Vikings to try and re-sign Antoine Winfield during their bye week. We had some individuals who played pretty well like Erin Henderson who had 2 sacks and an int and 6 tackles. Marcus Sherels looked good and had 8 tackles. Harrison Smith has been playing at an elite level, but did allow Jordan Cameron to catch the game winning Touchdown. Our Secondary is struggling bad and our defensive line can't pressure the Quarterback.

Denny Green would say "the Browns are who we thought they were and we let them off the hook." We got out played and out coached. Our Special Teams is down right horrible. We allowed a fake Field Goal that resulted in a Cameron Touchdown and a fake Punt that resulted in a big First down. 

We have a lot of things we need to fix fast and don't be surprised to see some changes over the next week or so. We lost to the Cleveland Browns 31-27!!! That is un-acceptable!!! As Vikings fans we have a right to be frustrated, but I don't want to hear anyone giving up on this football team. I went grocery shopping after the game yesterday and an employee commented to me that "man I can't believe you are still wearing your Vikings Jersey out like this." I said "what?" He said "I have my Vikings shirt covered up see." I shook my head and said "you aren't a true fan, true fans go through the good, the bad and the ugly." I think he was shocked, but C'mon Man!!! Being a fan isn't always the easiest and yes I probably take things too serious, just ask my wife! Being a fan is about celebrating the good times and still enjoying the bad. I'm not going to stop watching the Vikings or turn the channel before the game is over. It's football people!!! BleedPurpleYearInYearOut!

We need our veterans to step up and I think it might be time for a veteran run meeting with no coaches. Get these guys fired up!!! 

Hopefully London will bring us some good luck!

Next Opponent:
0-3 Pittsburgh Steelers

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week 3 Preview Vikings vs. Browns

Which team will come out of this game winless? The 0-2 Cleveland Browns travel to Minnesota and take on our 0-2 Vikings. It's the Home opener and the last season in Mall of America Field. Both teams need a win, but with the latest news of Brandon Weeden not playing and the trade of star Runningback Trent Richardson to the Colts, the Browns are awful. This is a much needed contest for our Vikings. We will face a third string Quarterback in Brian Hoyer and a couple interesting Runningbacks in Bobby Rainey and Chris Ogbonnaya or a old veteran in Willis McGahee.

Viktor Stars
-Adrian Peterson is going to have a massive game and we should see AP rush for around 200 yards and a couple scores.

-Brian Robison will pick up his first sack of the season and expect Robison to add  a few more.

-Kyle Rudolph will have his best game of the season and will have close to 100 yards receiving and a score.

Browns Stars
-Joe Haden is a big time play maker who shuts down elite receivers and will lineup opposite Greg Jennings.

-Josh Gordon is back after a two game suspension and will be back in the mix as a big deep threat. He could have a huge game and should see many targets.

-Jordan Cameron is an elite rookie Tight End who is quick and a big time target. Look for Hoyer to create chemistry early with Cameron.

The Vikings will look great and hand it to the Cleveland Browns. Look for AP to have a huge game and that will allow Christian Ponder to find some open receivers on one-on-one coverage. Look for our defense to pressure Brian Hoyer and get five or more sacks, cause a couple turnovers and get a score or two. Cleveland will struggle on offense and the Vikings will wear out a decent defense. We need a victory boys!!!

Vikings 31 Browns 10
Line: Vikings -6.5

Week 2 Post-Game Vikings vs. Bears

.............Sorry for the late post game, I have been diagnosed with something called PURPLE depression. 0-2, this is NOT how I thought we would start the season. The worst part about this start is that we have lost two division games. 

So, here is the breakdown after we lose 31-30 against the Chicago Bears. Another game which we started out with a big play, last week was AP's 78 yard TD and now this week it was Cordarrelle Patterson who returned the opening kickoff for a score. I love the type of starts we are having. The only problem is we are not keeping the momentum. Devin Hester torched us and put our defense in some very tough situations this week. We gave up 249 yards on special teams to Hester!!! How??? Why??? That was a huge factor in the outcome of this game. 

Christian Ponder haters, Ponder didn't play bad, he made a few mistakes one which was a pick six on a comeback route to Jerome Simpson. Yes, it was Ponder's fault by zoning his eyes on Simpson, but Simpson also needs to comeback to the ball. He finished the game 16-30 with 227 yards a score and and interception. He made some nice throws and some decent drives. Can he improve, YES but overall he didn't lose this game. Who does the blame go to? First, Leslie Frazier and his coaching staff. The play calling was horrible both on offense and defense and special teams. On offense I saw a lot of plays that frustrated me especially the last offensive play for the Vikings third and goal on the 6 yard line. Pass the ball!!! Why would we not attempt to score and make it a two possession game? Too conservative!!! Also, we played soft defense at the end of the second quarter, which we didn't see due to technical difficulties. As I watched online, the Bears marched down the field and got a field goal. Now the last drive of the game we let Jay Cutler and the Bears offense destroy us in the middle of the field and then scored with 10 seconds remaining on a complete disaster defensive call. Call a timeout in that spot and regroup.

Second, we lost because our offense is not performing yet. Ponder needs to improve, Kyle Rudolph needs to make plays and get open, AP needs to find more holes and our offense can't turnover the ball. We need everyone to step up, it looks like Jennings was the only bright spot last week with some nice catches and we should continue to see him create chemistry with Christian. We need to get out playmaker Patterson more involved in this offense, he is special!

We are now 0-2 and last in the division and need to put these two losses behind us and play better football. Don't give up Vikings fans, lots of football to play. 

Next Opponent: Cleveland Browns (0-2) 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 2 Preview Vikings vs. Bears

In week 2 we travel to the windy City and face the 1-0 Chicago Bears in Soldier Field. After a disappointing week 1 loss, the Vikings look to rebound against a tough Bears team. 

Vikings and Bears have met 104 total times and the Vikings lead this series 53-49-2.

Viktor Stars
-Adrian Peterson needs to be more productive on the ground and will have a huge impact in this game.

-Jared Allen is a guy who will lead this defense with big plays and play with a chip on his shoulder.

-Harrison Smith, look for Smith to make some big hits on Brandon Marshall and the Chicago Wide Receivers.

Bears Stars
-Brandon Marshall is a deadly weapon who can create plays even in double coverage.

-Matt Forte is going to test the Vikings front four. Look for Forte to try to expose our defense by catching balls out of the backfield and screen plays.

-Julius Peppers is a beast and will give Matt Kalil and the Vikings offensive line a lot of issues.

Minnesota must come out and establish the run against the Bears and then go to play action and try to hit Simpson or Kyle Rudolph down the field. Look for Chicago to put plenty of men in the box against Adrian Peterson and make Christian beat them in the air. The Bears are going to come out throwing and then try to wear out our defense by running the ball with Forte. I think this game will be decided by a few factors, the play of Christian Ponder, creating gaps upfront for AP and the protection of Jay Cutler. 

Vikings 24 Bears 21

Vikings next opponent: Cleveland Browns

Week 1 Post-Game Vikings vs. Lions

This game can be summed up in one word "Frustrating." 

I am going to breakdown this frustrating week one loss to the Detroit Lions, but before I do that I need to say something. Vikings fans and Ponder haters, Matt Cassel is NOT the answer.

The first drive the Lions marched down the field on our defense and after a muffed field goal, the Lions came away with zero points. The Vikings first offensive play of the game did what every one thought they were going to do and that was hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson. Adrian broke through the line and was off to the races with a 78 yard touchdown run and the Vikings went up 7-0. Every Vikings fan was excited and I thought Adrian Peterson was going to torch the Lions for 200 plus yards after seeing that first play. Adrian and the Offensive line struggled the rest of the game. From a fantasy perspective AP had a decent game with two rushing and one receiving touchdown, but only finished with 93 rushing yards on 18 carries. 

What went wrong? Here is a breakdown of what I thought went wrong and yes I am not an NFL expert! 

First key that went wrong in no particular order, is that our offensive line couldn't block or pass protect the Detroit Lions front four. Every time Adrian touched the ball he was 3 or 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Our Offensive line must attack off the line and we had no push on the line. Pass protection was horrible, Christian had very little time in the pocket to make any type of play without getting hit or sacked.

Second, Christian Ponder! Yes everyone wants to put ALL the blame on Ponder and I am not going to say he had a great or even good game, but like I mentioned above it is an offensive problem and not just a Ponder problem. Christian Ponder was flushed out of the pocket and put in many difficult situations yesterday where he did not make plays. Every drive seemed like it started 2nd and 13 or 14 which makes it even more challenging for a Quarterback, but he still needs to rise up and make key plays. Now he did make some decent throws and him and Jerome Simpson had chemistry which is one positive to this offense. Yes, Ponder needs to get better, but it's only the first game so don't panic.

Third, Our Linebackers looked lost out there. Reggie Bush torched the Linebackers and ya it looked like they made a bunch of tackles, but they were all after gaining 6-8 yards. The Linebackers must attack the line and create plays.

Fourth, our Defensive Line didn't get any pressure on Matthew Stafford or stop the run. Jared Allen was the only guy credited with a sack and even Jared didn't create much havoc. The Lions rushed for 117 yards. 

Lastly, we got out coached! I think Bill Musgrave should be taking a lot of heat regarding the poor play calling and lack of taking shots downfield with 8-9 guys in the box. Where was Cordarrelle Patterson? Number 84 had one catch for 10 yards and needs to get more touches and playing time. We can't be effective passing the ball without 4 wide receiver sets. Spread out the defense and either take shots deep or setup draw plays with only 6 guys in the box. Leslie Frazier needs to get these guys fired up, I don't care if you are an even keel type of coach! Get angry or have your coordinators get angry. 

Overall my Vikings frustrated me yesterday and we had so many opportunities to win this game and blew every opportunity. The Detroit Lions and Reggie Bush torched our Defense and our offense was not clicking. It's only week one and I am not going to panic, but we must focus this week on game plan and create an identity. We did not have an identity yesterday. We have a tough road trip this Sunday vs. another hated division rival Chicago Bears. Let's see how we overcome this loss and get better, that's what I want to see!

Skol Vikings, Owwwwwwwwwww!

Stay tunes for my Preview of Vikings vs. Bears.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Visit S.T.O.B.

Thanks Ben for letting me post your latest blog! 

Read Ben's blog about Christian Ponder! 

In Case You Missed It - Vikings: Ponder Must Become Elite, Nothing Else Matters

This was originally posted back in March after the signing of Matt Cassell, but all holds true today. With the NFL season just around the corner, we felt it could be revisited. Enjoy again if you read it back in March, or pretend like it's new material if you missed it -

Greg Jennings, Brian Urlacher, the departure of Percy Harvin, the miracle that is Adrian Peterson, the draft picks, the sophomore campaigns of the great rookie class, Leslie Frazier’s coaching ability, Jared Allen aging, Cassel signing and the Antoine Winfield cutting, none of it matters.  Truly, not one of those things matter unless Christian Ponder is going to turn the corner towards becoming an elite quarterback.

The Vikings can make every right decision from now until the first snap of the regular season and still not be a contender if Ponder is as below average as we’ve seen throughout the majority of his career.

The Vikings did make the playoffs last year with Ponder being mostly an afterthought for opposing defenses.  That is true.  All it took was arguably the greatest season ever recorded by a running back.  I guess I can concede that if AP is going to be the Lebron James of the NFL again this year, maybe Ponder won’t need to take as big of leap in order for the Vikes to at least make the playoffs again.

To be reasonable though, AP likely isn’t going to top last year’s numbers.  Sorry, but when the NFL has only seen one season better than AP’s statistically since it’s inception in 1922, it is kind of tough to imagine it happening in back to back seasons.  It’s all on Ponder to get this team to the next level, and by next level I mean Super Bowl contender.

The proof is in the pudding, I’m not breaking news here, but the quarterback position alone is what makes a modern-day NFL team elite, average or bad.  The Vikings were a playoff team with an average Ponder, due again to AP’s excellence, even with that excellence in the playoff game sans an average Ponder and paired with a horrible quarterback in Joe Webb, the Vikings looked like one of the worst teams in the league.

It’s truly as simple as, “no QB = no Super Bowl” these days in the NFL.

The easiest way to prove that an elite QB is needed to win the Super Bowl is to just look at the past Super Bowl winners QB’s.  Let’s just look back to the 1999/2000 season.

Super Bowl Year – Winning Team – QB of Winning Team

2000 – St. Louis Rams – Kurt Warner

2001 – Baltimore Ravens – Trent Dilfer

2002 – New England Patriots – Tom Brady

2003 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Brad Johnson

2004 – New England Patriots – Tom Brady

2005 – New England Patriots – Tom Brady

2006 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger

2007 – Indianapolis Colts – Peyton Manning

2008 – New York Giants – Eli Manning

2009 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger

2010 – New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees

2011 – Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers

2012 – New York Giants – Eli Manning

2013 – Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco

There are two outliers on this list.  One played with arguably one of the best NFL defenses of all-time, Dilfer.  The other, Brad Johnson, had a Pro Bowl season in his Super Bowl year. Though his career doesn’t stack up with the others on this list, his Super Bowl season was close to elite.  Joe Flacco may not stack up yet either, but his career looks to be forming into possibly elite and seeing as he is now the highest paid player in the NFL, certainly the Ravens organization believe that he is already elite.

Looking at this list then you can conclude that 13 of the last 14 Super Bowls were won with a quarterback playing at an elite level in that championship year as well as, for the most part, in their careers.  Transversely, when you look at the Vikings best position currently, running back, only 3 of the last 14 Super Bowl winners (Mike Alstott went to the 2003 Pro Bowl but it was as a fullback) have had Pro Bowl running back seasons in the year that they won it all (Marshall Faulk - 2000, Corey Dillon - 2004 and Ray Rice - 2013).  The last running back to win Super Bowl MVP was Terrell Davis in 1998, while the quarterbacks have gone to the Pro Bowl in 7 of the last 14 seasons and won Super Bowl MVP in 9 of the last 14 Super Bowl winning seasons.

Another stat to chew on, in the past 14 seasons we have been looking at, the average quarterback rating during the regular season of the Super Bowl champion is 92.1.  Christian Ponder’s career QBR is 77.1 and he is coming off of his best season in which he had a QBR of 81.2.  If you're thinking maybe Matt Cassel will be the guy, I suggest you put down the meth.  Once you're done with that and scratching those invisible bugs crawling all over you, make a mental note that Cassel's career QBR is 80.4 and he is coming off a 66.7 QBR year that got him cut by Kansas City.

The point is, you can stress out about Greg Jennings, Brian Urlacher, the departure of Percy Harvin, the miracle that is Adrian Peterson, the draft picks, the sophomore campaigns of the great rookie class, Leslie Frazier’s coaching ability, Jared Allen aging and the Antoine Winfield cutting, but still none of it matters.  If you care about winning the Super Bowl, Christian Ponder’s development is the only thing that matters for the Minnesota Vikings to even get into the conversation.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Concussions WILL Destroy Sports

What is this World coming to? I agree concussions in sports is a major issue, but these players know the risks of playing a sport. How can one or many sue over concussion issues? The NFL just settled on a $765 million settlement to pay former and future players with concussion symptoms like Alzheimer's, depression and other related brain injuries. The NCAA is next, they have former players trying to sue over the same issues. What's next High School? Middle School? Local City leagues? 

Every sport has a risk of injury, whether mental, physical or emotional. Are we going to sue over everything? How about work place depression or other related work place issues? Every player who steps out on that field, track, rink, court, etc. takes on a risk of getting injured. Especially at the Professional level these players are compensated for the risks they take. Even at the College level these athletes are compensated a free or discounted degree. I agree Professional and College leagues should be required to financially support newer technology or medicine to help prevent these types of injuries. Why should these leagues pay  players for injuries occurred playing a sport they love and are getting a degree or receiving high compensation.

I love sports and at the rate these lawsuits are occurring will end up eliminating sports all together. You may disagree with my thoughts and feelings and that is fine, but don't complain when our society is changed forever. Sports is an opportunity to stay out of trouble, improve academically, give life hope and a better life, stay physically fit and healthy , earn a living as a broadcaster or sports writer, etc. 

Sports is a risk, a risk every little kid is willing to take to be the next Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Adrian Peterson,    Ken Griffey Jr. and etc. I myself have had multiple concussions playing hockey and know that it is a dangerous and serious issue, but would take the risk to play at any College or Professional level. No one is forcing these kids or adults to play this game. If you don't want the risk of having brain injuries in the future, don't play! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 1: Vikings vs. Lions Preview

The Vikings travel to Detroit in week one and face the Detroit Lions in our NFC North Division. Has the roar been restored? The Common man sure thinks so! I might agree with the Common man on this, but not in week one. I think the Lions go from last in the division to competing for first this season. With the addition of Reggie Bush, makes this offense lethal. They won't meet again until week 17.

Vikings and the Lions have played a total of 103 games against each other, but the Vikings lead the series 68-33-2. Last season the Vikings finished at 10-6 and sneaked into the playoffs, the Lions had a horrible season with a 4-12 record.

Viktor Stars
1. Adrian Peterson is the best NFL Runningback and will create issues for the Lions. Our offense is run through Adrian and can turn negative yardage into 50 plus yard gains. Look for AP to come out with a chip on his shoulder.

2. Cordarrelle Patterson is an explosive young Wide Receiver who can exploit defenders. Look for Patterson to be a big piece of our success against the Lions.

3. Christian Ponder is the biggest question mark, but fans stick with him. He may start out slow, but will make plays in week one against a below average secondary.

Lions Stars
1. Calvin Johnson is the NFL's best Wide Receiver and will get lots of looks. He has been very successful against us in the past and will be tough to contain once again.

2. Matthew Stafford has more weapons from a year ago and will be difficult to frustrate.

3. Reggie Bush is the newest addition to this explosive offense and does so much out of the backfield. He could be a huge weapon in week one.

The Vikings must pressure Stafford and try to contain big plays from Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. On Offense we must see Christian Ponder manage the game and spread the ball around to guys like Greg Jennings, Kyle Rudolph, Jerome Simpson, Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright. Ponder can be successful I believe if our offensive line creates holes for Peterson and can protect. Peterson should have a huge game and has had success against the Lions.

Vikings 31 Lions 24
Line: Lions -4.5

Next Game: vs. Chicago Bears

Minnesota Vikings Season Prediction

Week 1 at Detroit (W)
Week 2 at Chicago (W)
Week 3 vs Cleveland (W)
Week 4 vs Pittsburgh (L)
Week 5 BYE
Week 6 vs Carolina (W)
Week 7 at New York Giants (L)
Week 8 vs Green Bay (W)
Week 9 at Dallas (L)
Week 10 vs Washington (W)
Week 11 at Seattle (W)
Week 12 at Green Bay (L)
Week 13 vs Chicago (L)
Week 14 at Baltimore (W)
Week 15 vs Philadelphia (L)
Week 16 at Cincinnati (L)
Week 17 vs Detroit (W)

Overall: 9-7