Vikings in the second half of the season
I'm convinced we can't give up on the 2007 Vikings until they lose their 8th game. Just look at the remaining schedule:
AT Green Bay. The Vikes' last five games at Lambeau Field: 5 point win, 3 point loss, 14 point win, 3 point win, 2 point loss. This game could go either way.
Oakland. The Vikings are better than the Raiders and should win.
AT New York (Giants). This is the toughest game remaining on the Vikings schedule. The Giants should win, but then they aren't so dominant that they can't lose, either.
Detroit. The Vikes lost to the Lions in overtime at Detroit; they can compete with the Lions at home.
AT San Francisco. The 49ers are bad. Last season the Vikes lost 9-3 at San Francisco. This time around, I pick the Vikes to dominate.
Chicago. The Vikes beat the Bears at Chicago, and should beat them at home.
Washington. Right now Washington looks like an OK football team. Who knows what they'll look like in December? Either way, they don't really play to the Vikings' weaknesses, and this should be a favorable matchup at home.
AT Denver. Denver has been struggling, and they're another favorable matchup for the Vikings.
Right now the Vikings are 3-5. Given their schedule, a 6-2 finish (even with a loss at Green Bay) is conceivable. I doubt it will happen (with this weak passing attack, they'll likely lose some close games they could win), but they're going to be competitive.
Adrian Peterson is Dr. Z's all-pro RB for the first half of the season. Hopefully before the season ends he gets a good look at Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, and E.J. Henderson, who are other possibilities.
Dr. Z also continues to write candidly about Hall of Fame voting. Among other things, he writes, "Cris Carter's numbers are overpowering. I don't see how they can keep him out."
Sports Illustrated ranks the Metrodome 31st for NFL stadium fan experience. The low-quality experience of the Metrodome is a big reason the Vikings struggle to sell out games. No matter how bad the Packers are, going to Lambeau is an experience in itself. The Metrodome really has no appeal in and of itself; the only value is what occurs on the field. However, in a reasonable society, all stadiums would either be privately financed by billionaire owners, or would be similar to the Metrodome: cheap multipurpose buildings to service a community. Instead, cities and states have to subsidize massive stadiums; that's just the reality of the situation. (by the way, I think we've moved to the point where plural is "stadiums," not "stadia").
The Vikes still lead the league in big play differential (Cold, Hard Football Facts).
Matthew Yglesias talks basketball and political science (Free Darko).