All Day’s time to shine in Minny Nice
The Minnesota Vikings have alot to look forward to this year.
The NFC North (Norse, I love Chris Berman) Division is wide open and along with being the chic pick to shake up the league I really think we have a good team this year.
Let’s look at the division first:
Chicago can’t seem to get the whole productive offense thing right. To complicate matters a starting running back (Benson) and wide reciever (Berrian) are gone from last years team. Without the benefit of in-depth analysis as to how they’re gonna replace two productive starters…..
I say we sweep them this season. That’s two wins.
Detroit gave the Vikings fits last year through the air.
I don’t see them being any worse offensively (Williams and Rogers are studs) but I do see our pass rush and secondary improving. I also think the Lions defense is still a year away from being formidable. Combine those two factors and we sweep them too.
That’s two more wins.
Green Bay has apparently decided to part with a legend. Never mind that Favre has practically owned the Vikings throughout his career, I’m actually upset that the Packers aren’t letting Favre have his way.
Let the man play. He’s toyed with your emotions the last 3-4 years and you tolerated it. Also he’s never actually left you at the altar. Why so tough now? Just off karma alone, we sweep the Pack as well.
Two more W’s.
That makes us 6-0 in conference. (realistically I’ll say 4-2)
Now let’s consider the other contests:
This year we’re matched up against the AFC South. That means Indy, Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville.
Indianapolis is always at the top of the league. That’s the example of what we want to be. Ball control offense that always keeps you in fear of the big play,
(they with the pass and opportunistic running, us the opposite) and a bend but don’t break defense that thrives on pressuring the QB while not giving up big plays. Again they are what we want to be, not what we are yet. I don’t think we take them, too much offense and I think the they’ll still be healthy in week 2.
One loss there. 6-1 (5-2)
Houston is poised to make a big step this year. This is a 9 win ball club.
The defense is lights out by virtue of an above average D-Line and explosive Linebacking corp. That offense isn’t scaring anyone though and I don’t think they’ll be able to muster the points needed to win against our defense which should be top flight as well. One sided offenses are easy to stop. And I’m not sure the Texans will be able to expose us through the air.
Another victory. 7-1 (6-2)
Tennessee is my sleeper pick for the playoffs in the AFC. I think they’re going to be scary. Somehow Coach Fisher always puts a game defense out there and they keeps his team in games. I think this is the year Vince takes the step from Good Vince/ Bad Vince to always steady, sometimes spectacular.
You heard it here first. I think they beat us, especially since it’s at their place.
Two losses. 7-2 (6-3)
Jacksonville is a team that’s was alot like us last year. Great running game, efficient passing game on offense.
Great D-Line but no premier rusher on the edge, solid LB corp, and porous secondary.
I didn’t see enough from them in the off season to justify them beating us.
Give me another DUB! 8-2 (7-3)
We also drew the NFC South. That gives us Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta, and New Orleans.
This may just be the weakest conference in football. I couldn’t be happier to beat up on these guys. Atlanta is in shambles. Don’t be surprised if we drop half a hundred on the dirty birds. ’98 must be AVENGED!!!
It won’t be close. 9-2 (8-3)
Carolina had injury problems last year and struggled mightily. One thing about this team is that they are amazingly resiliant because something seems to go wrong every year. If Delhomme is healthy and consistent (i.e. get the ball to Steve Smith 7-10 times a game) and if the D-Line can produce then they have a chance week in and week out. Too many ifs.
I say we take them at home. 10-2 (9-3)
Tampa Bay has a defensive system. When you have a system that works you are victim to the players you can put into said system. There are a finite number of NFL caliber defenders and even less that can play at a high level in the Tampa Bay version of the Cover Two. I think they have the players and I think Tampa will have a top five defense next year. The offense will be average but when you have a pretty good defense, average is all it takes.
I see a tough road loss. 10-3 (9-4)
On paper New Orleans will be a bona fide beast in the NFC next year.
I’m a huge fan of both Vilma and Shockey and I think they’ll add swagger to a team that needs some after last year. It’s not just about being from the ‘U’ either, it’s about both having been ultra productive earlier in thier careers and having the chance to get back in a system that lets them shine. That team is my sleeper pick in the NFC.
They beat us in a shoot-out. 10-4 (9-5)
The last two games are against New York and Arizona.
I’m going to call these games character games. It’s a well know fact that the Vikings have struggled against the pass the last couple of years. These two teams are definately going to air it out. How will be cope?
Arizona is still a year away from being a playoff team but that offense should be electric. I look for Leinart to really bounce back and actually be just as production as Vince Young next year. Say what you want but those two are always gonna be connected and to this point Vince is the better pick. Back to the Cards. We’ll be able to run on them and that’s our bread and butter. I think we step up and stop the pass to get a key road win. 11-4 (10-5)
The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants will come to the Dome for the last game of the season. I anticipate a tough season for them as Washington, Philly, and Dallas all figure to be as good or better than last season. I don’t see New York winning more than 9 regular season games and sadly that won’t be enough to make the playoffs. They won’t have anything to play for in week 17 and we take this game as well. 12-4 (11-5)
I’ve got the Vikings in the Playoff with a 12-4 record. I’m ready for all comers. Let the feasting begin.