Viking-Lion Preview: These Go to Eleven
Viking-Lion Preview at NFL.com
The Vikings have won ten straight home games against the Lions. The 2008 Lions are 0-4 and have lost their games by an average score of 36.8-16.5. Their defense is 29th in the league in allowed rush yards per attempt and 32nd in allowed net pass yards per attempt.
That's your preview. That's what you need to know. The Vikings should win, and if they do (whether by a little or a lot), we can't make any big inferences about the team. If they lose, it will be a major disaster for the team. Let's just enjoy the game, suckers.
Week Six Games
Several games intrigue me:
The Colt offense has been struggling. Baltimore has lost a couple of close games in which the defense played spectacular and the offense couldn't do enough (how much of this decade does that sentence cover, by the way?). This should be a close game, and I expect the Colts to pull it out with a late score.
These are two teams I just can't get a read on. The Cardinals scream 9-7 to me, and Dallas is very good, but sort of...I don't know...shiftless, I guess. I don't think they've been playing their best football, and I wonder if they will.
At the end of this game, we'll know a lot about the loser of this game.
New England/San Diego
I'm also rather curious about Chicago (they're looking like the best team in the NFC North) and Miami (an improving team with a solid quarterback and two talented running backs--how far are they going?).
Fantasy Narcissism: Embrace Being a Homer
If in the hours after Monday night's Viking win, I traded Calvin Johnson and Matt Forte for Bernard Berrian and Willis McGahee, what of it? I have Viking blogger cred to hold up.
Surprising statistics on scoring, scores, and wins (pro-football-reference).
Pat Reusse cites Bud Grant that all wins should be appreciated (I agree), and also complains about Viking fans writing their thoughts on the internet (Star Tribune).
If you have Vikings on your fantasy team, this is the week to celebrate: Detroit's defense is really, really bad (Football Outsiders on ESPN).
Can the Vikes turn things around this season? (Bull v. Bear).
The Vikes have a 93% chance of winning this weekend (Advanced NFL Stats).
Charting last Monday's game (Advanced NFL Stats).
The Dolphins and the Single Wing (William C. Rhoden). The Single Wing always makes me smile.
Depression and the NFL (Dave Zirin).
The Vikes could move up in the division (Viking Update).
The Vikings and Pizza Hut are doing a promotion to reward a Viking fan with nifty things (Vikings.com). Hey, Vikings and Pizza Hut: for being a Viking blogger, could I just have some free pizza? I linked to your promo just to see if I could get some pizza. I'll do anything for pizza--except just pay for it, evidently. And I only eat pizza on weekends (I'm mostly vegan, but I make a lot of exceptions on weekends--at any rate, make sure that free pizza doesn't have meat on it). I WANT PIZZA!
Vikings War Cry uses The Wizard of Oz to talk about the Vikings. I've got tickets to Wicked when it comes to the Orpheum in November, so suck on that!
Chris Kluwe Story: Distraction
I haven't written about the Chris Kluwe-Brad Childress story this week because it doesn't interest me.
The Viking coverage units on punts and kickoffs has been terrible all season long: that's the real story that matters for this team. The Vikes have given up three punt returns for touchdowns and several long kickoff returns this season. It was already a major factor in one loss (they allowed a punt return for a TD in a five point loss to the Packers), and I'm afraid poor coverage may account for more losses this season.
The Viking defense is very, very good; it will be rare that the Vikings will give up long scoring drives. But even a good defense can be exploited if the opponent consistently gets good field position.
I'm probably not going to the Viking game this weekend. I'm a little sad about that: after attending the last 10 home games, I just feel like I should attend all the games, and that I'm missing something if I don't.
Enjoy the weekend, everybody. Except Lion, Packer, and Bear fans.