Monday, April 21, 2008

It's draft week, suckers (Blizzard)

Jared Allen is worth the picks
Why did the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl? It wasn't offense: the Giants scored 17 points, and the Patriots allowed an average of 17.1 ppg during the season in going 16-0. The Giants won because of their defense: the Patriot passing offense was unstoppable most of the season (4,806 yards,50 TD passes, and 8.3 yards per attempt for Tom Brady), but the Giants, behind a consistent and dominant pass rush, held Brady to a modest 5.5 yards per attempt, and the Patriots to 14 points. Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, and Michael Strahan stood out as dominant, though the team as a whole was all over Brady. When they weren't sacking him, they were hitting him, making him throw too early, making him throw ugly. The Giants' pass rush was the main reason they won the Super Bowl.

If the Vikings' recent draft history tells us anything, it is how difficult it is to acquire a dominant pass rushing defensive end. In fact, a Pro Bowl defensive end may be the most difficult position for a team to fill. So if the Vikings could acquire a dominant pass rusher like Jared Allen for draft picks, they'd be filling their biggest need, adding a known commodity, and filling a position that is capable of taking over a game and dominating.

The Vikings have been rocked against good passing teams in recent years not because of the secondary, but because of the weak pass rush: too many quarterbacks have had time to sit in the pocket and pick apart the secondary. On occasions that the pass rush came through (like the San Diego game last season), the entire defense looked dominant. If the Vikings add Jared Allen, not only have they absolutely filled the defensive end position with a dominant pass rusher, but they've suddenly made CBs like Cedric Griffin and Marcus McCauley look much better.

If it takes a first and second round pick to get Jared Allen, the Vikings should do it. If the Vikings must give up two first round picks to get Jared Allen, they must do it. There are very few other positions but DE I'd make that claim for. But getting a strong pass rusher is a chancy proposition. Adding Jared Allen could transform the defense, and make the Vikings a serious contender.

Kenechi Udeze
According to Access Vikings, Kenechi Udeze is doing well: cancer in remission, bone marrow transfer lined up, and at home with his wife and young daughter. Great news for Udeze and his family.

What individual had the best basketball game this weekend?
There were some monster individual performances in Game One of the NBA playoffs. Which of these stat lines impresses you the most?

Tim Duncan: 40 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks
Chris Paul: 35 points, 10 assists, 4 steals
Dwight Howard: 25 points, 22 rebounds, 5 blocks
Pau Gasol: 36 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 blocks

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:21 PM

    I thought Tim Duncan's game was the best I ever saw out of him. Gasol seemed a product of great passing--I don't remember him making much for tough shots. What was Lebron's line?

    RK

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  2. I completely agree with you about Allen. The only other position for which I would give up picks like this is QB. It sounds like we upped our offer to our first and third this year, and our second next year. Hopefully we get it done, but it all falls on crazy Carl Peterson.

    I author the Viking Vision blog, but have had to move to a new URL and change names. My former host got a bad virus or something. If you would, could you please update your blogroll by changing Viking Vision to VikeVision, and the new url is http://vikevision.com

    Thank you! SKOL Vikes!

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