What a game! The Vikings lost to the Lions at Detroit in week two (in overtime), and now get the Lions at home. The Lions are 6-5 and reeling; the Vikings are 5-6 and seem to be on an upswing. A win would put the Vikes at 6-6, with a favorable schedule to try make a playoff run. A loss would put the Vikings at 5-7, forcing them to win out for a shot at the playoffs.
Detroit's offense is both good and bad for the Viking defense. It's a threat because they can spread out the field with a bunch of wide receivers, throwing almost every down: the Vikings are very vulnerable to such an attack, and they could get scorched. It's good becaues the Vikings have been rushing the passer pretty well lately, and they could get to Kitna and force turnovers. So Detroit could have 400 yards passing, but also have 4 turnovers in the passing game. The Detroit offense is capable of exploiting the Vikings' defensive weaknesses, but the Viking defense is also capable of forcing turnovers and either putting up points themselves or providing good field position.
Offensively, it's tougher to judge. In week two, Chester Taylor was out and Detroit contained Adrian Peterson's rushing very well. Tarvaris Jackson threw four interceptions and faced constant pressure in the pocket. But now the Vikes should have Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson, the offensive line has really gelled to make the running game very strong, and Tarvaris Jackson is playing much better football than he was earlier in the season. The Viking offense likely won't tear up the Lion defense, but it should be much, much better than it was in week two.
I'm excited and confident. These are the games that make me happy to be a season ticket holder--not only is there a serious blackout threat for this game, but the Vikings are playing a divisional opponent in an important late season game that could determine their playoff hopes. Cheer hard.
Here's what I like about Tony Romo: he's a chucker. He's no system quarterback, that drops back in stiff timing and finds his dink and dunk short throws. He drops back, rambles around a bit, and always seems to be trying to hit a downfield target. I like these aggressive quarterbacks that go for the downfield shots.
The NFL Network
The NFL has been undergoing a pretty widespread propaganda campaign regarding the NFL Network. This campaign is directed at football fans, and uses many different methods, including emails and advertising on football websites. The NFL has worked very hard to convince football fans that it is right and "Big Cable" is wrong in the dispute over the NFL Network. It has tried to convince football fans to contact their cable companies, to abandon their cable and switch to a system that includes the NFL Network, and even to contact the FCC over the issue.
Think about it: how many times have you heard the NFL's perspective/angle on this dispute? And how many times have you heard "Big Cable"'s angle (reading the NFL's version of "Big Cable"'s angle doesn't count)?
From my understanding, neither side has a real principle here: the dispute is over amounts of money. Yet the NFL has been putting forth a strong campaign to convince football fans that there is a principle at stake here, and that it is "Big Cable" that is acting against principle, and against the interest of viewers.
(I don't even get ESPN--and I don't care that I don't get ESPN--so I'm not exactly stressed about missing some games).
As I walked from my car to my office today, I was almost thankful the Vikes play in a dome--almost. I imagine my back row seat at an outdoor stadium, exposed to all the elements, and I'm kind of happy for the controlled Metrodome climate. Kind of. I would still enjoy an outdoor game, but I would be very, very bundled up--several layers would just turn me into an immobile lump in the seats. Maybe in a few years I'll be attending December (and January!) games at an outdoor Twin Cities stadium, cold but quite happy.
8-3 Jacksonville visits 9-2 Indianapolis in one of the most important games of Week 13. If Jacksonville wins, they are tied with Indy and the final four weeks will be a run for the division title. If Indianapolis wins, they're two games up on Jacksonville (plus they have the head-to-head sweep), and will likely win the division.
If your fantasy team's prospects depend on any Colts in week 17, you should probably root for the Jaguars to win. If the Colts open up a big lead in the division and clinch a #2 seed, but can't catch up to the #1 seed, they could end up resting significant starters in week 17. If they lose to Jacksonville and are battling down to the end for a division title and playoff positioning, your Colt fantasy performers will likely play.
I'll still root for the Colts, though.
Kevin Seifert writes about special teamer Heath Farwell (think about it--Farwell only plays on special teams, but you hear his name quite a bit, right?).
Adrian Peterson is wearing a brace but is ready to play (Star Tribune).
Antoine Winfield talks about his health status (Pioneer Press).