Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday Blizzard

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).


  1. Anonymous5:11 PM

    Man, I became irritated today when I heard ESPN report that David Stern said that if some legislative body did not build a new arena in Seattle for the Supersonics, they would leave, and Seattle would never get an NBA team again. Hopefully, this ESPN report inaccurate, not that I have anyh illusions about the mercenary nature of pro sports teams, but the notion that the commissioner of one of the major sports leagues feeling so confident (or arrogant), that he would plainly assert that billionaire NBA owners demand hundreds of millions in public subsidies before they will stopp to sell their goods, really rubs me the wrong way. It irritates me so much that I'm almost hoping that somebody like Wilf fails in his attempts to gain subsidies in Minnesota, even if it means the Vikings leave.

  2. Anonymous5:17 PM

    As to matters on the field, don't be too sure that an 8-8 NFC team won't qualify this year. Sure, the tie breakers become a crap shoot, but there's enough mediocrity in the NFC to make 9-7 unecessary. The Lions or Giants could collapse.

    In any case, a win at Lambeau would help a lot.

  3. The Vikings are a top flight young QB away from being a playoff team, and an absolute force in this league. I hope they keep winning down the stretch.

    Instead of selecting a 1st rounder that you're unsure of; how about you trade the Browns your first rounder for Derek Anderson at season's end? He'd look good in purple.

  4. Anonymous10:25 AM

    I think the Lions will collapse. They've got a tough schedule ahead, and while they looked dominant against Denver, the Broncos are legitimately terrible this year. Other than that game, the Lions have been inconsistent and should have lost against Minnesota when both teams committed all of those terrible mistakes. Jackson's 5 INTs and Longwell's 6-inch miss won't repeat.

    The Giants could stumble as well. Their wins so far: @WAS, PHI, NYJ, @ATL, SF, @MIA. Not exactly the most impressive resume. The resut of their schedule isn't brutal, and the Pats might coast at NY in week 17, but still. I think Brand Jacobs gets hurt or slows down, Manning gets flustered, Shockey stirs up trouble, they finish 9-7, Minnesota wins the tie-breaker from the head-to-head victory and Coughlin gets fired in the offseason.

    GB will most likely take the NFC North, but I see the Vikings at #2 in the division and possibly getting a wilcard spot.

    My prediction:

    #1 Cowboys
    #2 Packers
    #3 Saints
    #4 Seahawks
    #5 Buccaneers
    #6 Vikings

    [[I'd also love to see Derek Anderson come to the team, naturalmevs]]

  5. I'd take Quinn or Anderson right now.

  6. Peter:

    Wow. You're optimistic. I wish I was. I see the Vikings going 4-4 and not making the playoffs.

  7. Anonymous12:25 PM

    dc: Thanks! I'm always optimistic about the Vikings, but I think there are a few really good reasons to be at the moment. 1) the Vikes almost always play well in Green Bay, and it's very rare for either team to sweep the other in any given season. Also, the Packers' O-line and D-line are a bit banged up while Minny's lines are playing just about as well as they ever have. Dominating the line of scrimage and winning the turnover battle will result in a MN win and begin the roll. The only other tough game left on the schedule is @NYG, and it seems that Peterson does best against highly-rated run defenses. I really think 6-2 in the second half is within reach.

  8. Anonymous1:09 PM

    Still stuck on Quinn aren't you?
    It seems obvious that Anderson must be better or Quinn would be playing.

    Maybe the Vikes can draft Quinn next year and you will finally be happy!

  9. No, I can't seem to forget Brady Quinn.

  10. PV to Quinn:

    "I wish I knew how to quit you."