Sunday, October 14, 2007

On the Couch, week six

For more on the Viking-Bear game, see "Trailing Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 34, Bears 31" below. "On the Couch" is a chance for thoughts on other NFL games, and some further thoughts on the Viking game.

Randy Moss
Patriots-Cowboys Box Score
Honestly, as Moss has resurged as the league's dominant wide receiver this season, Patriot Randy Moss as seemed to be an entirely different entity than Viking Randy Moss. In a Patriot #81 uniform, he doesn't even look like the player I adored in a Viking #84 uniform. I still can't quite process that it's the same individual.

But today, seeing his touchdown negated by a picky offensive interference call, and seeing Moss calmly jog back to the huddle used to having his touchdowns negated by picky offensive interference calls that no other wide receiver gets called for, I realized yes, this Randy Moss is in fact the same Randy Moss that used to play for the Vikings.

While we're at it, shall we all just accept the Patriots' dominance of the 2007 season? Ideally, they'll go 16-0 and then lose to the Colts in the playoff game and be unfairly labeled as chokers. But really, looking at their schedule they still have to play the Colts (at Indianapolis), the Ravens (at Baltimore), and the Steelers (at home). Intriguing games all.

As I said last season, those of you who tire of New England's almost easy dominance can take heart. From 1981-1998, the San Francisco 49ers played in 10 NFC Championship games and won 5 Super Bowls. It must have seemed to many that they would never stop dominating. Since then they've won one playoff game and had three seasons with four or fewer wins. This will all cycle through.

Vinny freaking Testaverde
Panthers-Cardinals Box Score
This week I lamented to the Hazelweird League that Steve Smith's success was now dependent on Vinny freaking Testaverde. My brother, who doesn't follow football closely during the week, assumed I was joking. He then checked and realized I was serious, that Vinny Testaverde was actually in control of Steve Smith's success.

Well, after every possible fantasy football pundit told us all to bench Steve Smith today, he responded with 2 rushes for 15 yards and 10 receptions for 136 yards, including a 65 yard touchdown (for the record, I still started him).

So what does this say about you, David Carr? The Steve Smith fantasy experience cannot be halted by even Vinny freaking Testaverde, but you, David Carr, are capable of derailing it all.

Brett Favre
Would we really be a Viking blog if we didn't at least mention that nobody in the history of the NFL has thrown more interceptions than Brett Favre (AP Green Bay-Washington Recap at

NFL Standings

Wacky things stand out. The Dolphins and Rams are each 0-6 despite seeming to have offensive talent (and the Rams have actually been doubled up in points). The Patriots now have 138 net points (the Patriots and the Steelers have each more than doubled up their opponents' points--neither team is that far from tripling up its opponents' points). The Chiefs are tied for the division lead (and have already beaten the Chargers once for a tie breaker). The Browns have scored 167 points, mostly with Derek Anderson.

If the dates I heard today are correct, the weekend of the last time the Vikings beat the Bears at Soldier Field, I was living in a dorm and just started dating somebody. That person has now been my wife for three years, and we have a kid and a house. That's a long time. We can only imagine what would happen if my 2007 self went back in time and told my 2000 self the Vikes would lose in the NFC championship game 41-0, would then fail to win the division for years, still wouldn't have been to the Super Bowl by 2007, and that Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper were both on other teams.

Sampling the Reviews: Adrian Peterson
Viking fans, if Monday is giving you grief, just go check out Adrian Peterson's highlights at NFL Video Galleries. And smile. Try to pick your favorite run. Just try.

"Vikings 34, Bears 31: The Adrian Peterson Show Co-Starring Devin Hester" (Fanhouse)

"Peterson Is Better Than Your Team's Back" (Fanhouse)

"Bumbling offense finds its footing" (Star Tribune)

"Vikings nip Bears on last-second FG" (Pioneer Press)

AP Recap (Sports Illustrated)

"Snap Judgments" (Sports Illustrated) Here Don Banks argues that the Vikings have to start Adrian Peterson over Chester Taylor and get him more carries. I understand the sentiment, but consider this: Peterson still had 27 touches. He's a rookie, and the singular hope for the Vikings' future. Plenty of RBs have been worn down too young due to overuse. I think Peterson should start and should get more carries than Chester Taylor, but the Vikings should definitely spell Peterson with Taylor plenty. Utilize Peterson effectively and often, but don't overuse him and ruin his effectiveness. He should dominate for this franchise for the next decade. That said, I'm frustrated every time I see #29 in the backfield instead of #28. I just want to be delighted by #28 for a long, long time.

"Adrian’s A Freak; Vikings Win Thriller" (Viking War Cry)

"Break-out" (The Viking Age)

"Adrian Peterson is the most explosive RB in the NFL" (Complete Sports)

"Peterson’s Playmaking Paces Vikings Victory" (Viking Update)

"Peterson Shines In Thriller" (

"NFL: Top rookie rushing performances" (AP in Star Tribune)

"Peterson show dazzles Bears ... and Vikings" (Star Tribune)

"Vikings single-game records" (Star Tribune)

"Three Stars and the Purple Jesus" (The Ragnarok)


  1. Anonymous7:14 AM

    i was looking at vinny t's career stats after the game yesterday. 'color blind slinger' has about 18 fewer career picks than favre on 2000 fewer throws (and about 150 fewer tds). maybe he'll go on a run and overtake favre yet.


  2. Anonymous9:56 AM

    People who are critical of Childress for not getting Adrian Peterson more touches apparently only want Peterson to have about six productive years. About 20-22 rushes per game, some receptions, and a kick off return (early in his career) or two, is about the maximum workload he should be given, assuming one wants him to have 10 years or more of productivity.

    In order for this happen, it is critical that the Vikings be able to credibly threaten with shots downfield, so it was really nice to see an accurate pass to an open receiver deep. More of this, please. If the Vikings' receivers had been just average in catching the ball, the Vikings likely would have scored in the mid 40s, and if Peterson is to really fufill his potential, the Vikings' receivers can't be handling the ball like it's radioactive.

  3. I agree, and using both Peterson and Taylor is good short-term and long-term. Short-term, it can keep Peterson fresh late in games and late in the season. Long-term, it means he won't be used up after 5-7 years like some really great RBs have been.

    When you have a competent RB like Taylor and an electric RB like Peterson, you're doing great if they can share 30-40 carries a game.