Archive for the NFL Playoffs Category


10 Reasons the Minnesota Vikings Will Not Win the Division

Ten Reasons the Minnesota Vikings Will Not Win the Division

1. Brett Favre.

Everyone is raving about how good Favre will be this year. I really do not see why. The man is basically 60 years old, has played in many games throughout his career, it is not an ideal situation for an old man to be in.

He did not attend any of the camp this year, and has been throwing to high school receivers this summer. That might actually hurt my argument because the high school players and Vikings’ receivers are at about the same level.

 

2. The wide receivers on the Vikings are sub par.

Favre has enjoyed having many good, reliable receivers on his team through the years. None of the Vikings ones are of their caliber. Bernard Berrian can only catch the long ball, Sidney Rice is a huge underachiever, Bobby Wade is irrelevant, and Percy Harvin is a rookie. Harvin is about the only spot with upside in the core, but I do not see him stepping up and catching big passes on third down to keep drives moving.

 

3. The Vikings have a tendency to give up, especially when on the road.

How often does this team have big come from behind wins? Never? They rely on their great running game to power through and keep the ball in their hands. If they fall behind, they will be forced to move the ball through the air, which has not been successful in recent years.

 

4. Penalties.

This team gets a ridiculous amount of penalties, it seems like there is any big play that could change the course of the game, there is a holding call, or stupid pass interference. The team will have to get over that if they expect to be successful.

 

5. Adrian Peterson thinks he is playing basketball.

He fumbled way too much last season. At times he was basically dribbling the football because he would fumble it and fortunately it would come back to him. I am sure the coaches and AP addressed that in the offseason and it will not be as big of a problem, but it is still an issue.

 

6. The special teams are vulnerable to big play makers.

Players like Reggie Bush and Devin Hester are simply too much for them. They plan all week to shut them down and they are still able to beat them over and over again. It is disgusting to watch as the players take wrong angles or get juked out.

 

7. Brad Childress.

I have watched him fail over and over again. Why would I expect anything but failure out of him at this point. The good thing is, Tarvaris Jackson is out of the picture, for now. Childress has kept a team with the potential and talent for greatness mediocre for many years now. The set up is much better now, but my bet is he fails yet again.

 

8. Their defense can’t tackle.

The Vikes enjoy having EJ Henderson back, which will drastically help the squad. However, the Vikings just simply can’t seem to take quarterbacks down and end up giving them all the time in the world.

Part of this is the coaches faults, for blitzing in wrong situations, but seeing blitzing linebackers fly at the quarterback just to watch him take one tiny step either way and dodge them is unacceptable. Jared Allen is the only legitimate threat to get sacks.

Kevin Williams will get his, but he is primarily there to clog up the middle. Even immobile quarterbacks are able to evade them and scramble for a first down or find the open receiver. It definitely does not help the defensive backs who take the heat for it.

 

9. Minnesota franchises go out of their way to disappoint fans.

When is the last time any MN fan was proud of their franchise for the team’s accomplishments? Maybe five years ago when the Twins were relatively successful in the playoffs? It is a reoccurring trend that Minnesota franchises provide false hope to their fans.

Much like this year, everyone is predicting the Vikings to be a Super Bowl contender. I am not buying into the hype, it’s just not worth it.

 

10. They won’t get so lucky this year.

The Vikings should have lost to the Lions and the Saints last year but got bailed out by two very questionable calls by the referees. Both calls put them in field goal range and Ryan Longwell nailed both for the wins.

Now after reading this article you must think I am a big Green Bay fan. Well, I am not. I love the Minnesota Vikings, they are my favorite team, but seeing everyone make all these wild predictions about them are just ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder if they have ever watched a Vikings game.

I hope my predictions are wrong, I really do. I am not very optimistic about the Viking’s season, but at least I am staying within the realm of possibility.

Read more Minnesota Vikings news on BleacherReport.com

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Vikings’ Favre Will Divide, Packers Will Conquer

It has started already.

The rumblings out of Minnesota. A team divided. A “schism” it’s being called.

In the words of one NFL source, Favre has “little support” in the locker room.

Ah, it’s music to my ears.

Like Napoleon Bonaparte, the self-proclaimed emperor of France that didn’t know when to stop, has Brett Favre gone too far and agitated his own Minnesota minions?

There are many players in the Viking locker room that don’t want Favre there. Some resent his riding in on his white horse to seemingly “rescue” the Vikings. “We didn’t need rescuing” is the sentiment.

Some resent the special treatment he has received from the Vikings organization and Brad Childress.

What self-respecting NFL coach drives to the airport to pick up a player? None. Except for Brad Childress.

Some are just buddies of Tarvaris Jackson and are incensed at the raw deal he has received. All T-Jack wanted was a fair fight between him and Sage Rosenfels. That scenario is officially dead.

And some are in Rosenfels’ corner. They felt he could bring the consistency that T-Jack lacks.

After all, the Vikings did pretty well when unspectacular, but steady Gus Frerotte was at the helm last year. Why not give Sage a chance? That possibility is also dead.

As Abe Lincoln said (borrowed from the new testament, I believe), “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Will Favre turn the Minnesota Vikings into “Team Turmoil?” It really only depends on one thing—how well he plays. If he is able to play at a high level and lead the Vikings to some wins, most likely all will be forgotten.

I happen to be one Packer fan that still believes he can play and if healthy, he will help the Vikings. But I  don’t regret the Packers’ decision to go with Aaron Rodgers. That decision is looking better every day.

But if Favre playing well doesn’t come to pass, resentment will linger, the “schism” will get larger, and the Vikings divided “house” and season will come tumbling down.

Like the egomaniacal emperor Napoleon, Brett Favre has recorded many victories and conquered many hardships. But will going to Minnesota be his Waterloo and mark the end of his reign as emperor of the NFL?

If so, then perhaps the Packers will conquer the NFC North. As a Packer fan, it’s what I have to hope for.

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You can find more of Jersey Al Bracco’s articles on several sports websites: Jersey Al’s Blog, Packer Chatters , Packers Lounge, NFL Touchdown and of course,  Bleacher Report.

You can also follow Jersey Al on twitter.

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Has Adrian Peterson Actually Hurt The Minnesota Vikings?

The Minnesota Vikings have been arguably the most turbulent franchise throughout the young 21st century. 2000 was a year of offensive prowess powered by the jaw dropping passes from first-year starter Daunte Culpepper and the equally staggering catches by Randy Moss.

 

This campaign, which ended in a 41-0 drubbing laid on by the NFC champion New York Giants, appeared to be the beginning of a run that would land the Vikings at least one championship.

 

However, as is life in the NFL, the Vikings never put together consecutive years of success. Coaching transitions, inconsistency in drafting young talent, egos, and injuries have halted the Vikings from becoming an upper-tier team in the NFC.

 

In 2006 it appeared that the Vikings were in full-fledged rebuilding mode. Brad Childress brought a new attitude to Minnesota that was a breath of fresh air from the disappointing Mike Tice era. Tarvaris Jackson, an inexperienced yet extremely talented quarterback from Alabama State, instilled a hope amongst Vikings brass that the search to replace Daunte Culpepper was finally complete.

 

In a relatively small media market and with little talent to boast, the Vikings were going to spend the next couple of seasons developing their 2006 second-round quarterback and surround him with viable weapons through the draft and free agency. There was little sense of urgency to compile division championships because they simply weren’t very good.

 

But with the seventh pick in the 2007 NFL draft, that all changed.

 

There was no doubt that Adrian Peterson was a physical freak coming out of college. The Oklahoma product punished defenses from the moment he stepped on the field as a true freshman. Remarkably, he finished second in the Heisman voting as a freshman. His next two seasons at Oklahoma were limited by injuries that some NFL scouts worried came from his taxing running style.

 

This deterred some teams from selecting Peterson, but not the Vikings. And they reaped the benefits immediately. Peterson broke the all-time rushing record for a rookie and easily won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Simultaneously, he sparked the Vikings to a surprising run in which a Week 16 Sunday night victory against the Redskins could have catapulted them to a Wild Card berth. However, they lost that game, and finished the season 8-8.

 

While Peterson’s startling rookie campaign brought the Vikings life and a renewed sense of faith within the Vikings fan base, it also created the pressure to win. With a dominant running back tandem in Peterson and Chester Taylor, along with a solid offensive line and a talented defense, the Vikings were forced to abandon their multi-year plan to regain NFC prominence.

 

Heading into 2008, Tarvaris Jackson was not granted the necessary time to develop what many scouts believed he needed in order to reach his potential. Instead, Head Coach Brad Childress placed a leash on the quarterback many thought would be the future of the Vikings franchise.

 

Sure enough, all it took was an 0-2 start for the Vikings to pull Jackson in favor of veteran Gus Frerotte. All of a sudden, the Vikings had strayed away from the plan they hoped would allow them to reemerge as an NFC power.

 

Now, all the Vikings have proved to be is a .500 team with flashes of brilliance, but also long stretches of mediocrity. After grabbing back the starting position in December, Jackson actually played well down the stretch, en route to a division crown for the Vikings. But all positive sentiments coming from that month were washed away in a very pedestrian playoff performance against the Philadelphia Eagles.

 

Many believe that Vikings are a win-now team. If Brett Favre signs with the Vikings, then that would confirm that statement. They would be a win in 2009 team. But down the road, many questions would linger: After being benched on multiple occasions, is Tarvaris Jackson the future? What about John David Booty, the Vikings 2007 fifth round pick from USC?

 

The Vikings have very little direction right now. Talent? No doubt. But even with an established veteran at quarterback, gaping holes remain on the current roster. Pedestrian wide receivers, porous special teams, and lack of discipline on the defensive side of the ball highlight their list of weaknesses.

 

Simply put, the Vikings progression has been rushed by the sudden urgency to win, which was triggered by their star running back’s explosion onto the NFL scene. Now, the Vikings are in a win-now position, without the pieces to do it.

 

 

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Can Brett Favre Lead Vikings to Postseason Success?

Three consecutive AP MVP Awards, seven division championships, and a Super Bowl Trophy—those are only some of Brett Favre’s accomplishments in his 18-year Hall of Fame career.

He holds eight NFL records:

Most career touchdown passes (464)

Most career passing yards (65,127)

Most career pass completions (5,720)

Most career pass attempts (9,280)

Most career interceptions thrown (310)

Most consecutive starts among NFL starting quarterbacks (269 regular season starts and 291 total starts, including playoffs)

Most career victories as a starting quarterback (169)

His last few seasons in Green Bay, before his first retirement and then comeback with the New York Jets, were an indication that Favre’s level of play was diminishing.

In 2005, he had 20 touchdowns to 29 interceptions.

In 2006, he had 18 touchdowns to 18 interceptions.

During those two years, talk of Brett Favre’s retirement increased. Many critics argued that Favre was slowly weakening his legendary status by continuing to play

2007 was a whole different story. Favre threw 28 touchdowns to 15 interceptions and led the Cheeseheads to the NFC Championship.

It all slipped away in the blink of an eye when Giants cornerback Corey Webster intercepted a bad pass from Favre deep in Green Bay territory.

The Giants won and advanced to the Super Bowl, where they would defeat the New England Patriots.

Favre must have relived that moment over and over. He retired and then chose to come back. The only problem was that the Packers were already building their offense around former first-round pick Aaron Rodgers.

The drama ensued as there was a back-and-forth dialogue between Favre and the Packers until he was eventually traded to the Jets.

Favre led the Jets to an 8-3 record by Week 12, but his shoulder started to trouble him, and the Jets lost four out of their last five games as Favre came up short once again.

Then, he retired again…and now he’s looking to make another comeback. It is being reported by a Minneapolis television station that Favre has already signed a deal with the Vikings.

The anticipation to another comeback is over.

He’s playing again, and for the Packers’ arch-nemesis, Minnesota.

You can bet Favre wants revenge. It will be somewhat sweet for him because he knows Minnesota’s offensive scheme to an extent.

Given that Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was Favre’s quarterbacks coach in Green Bay from 2003-2005, Favre should be comfortable in the Vikings’ offense.

Here’s the question though: Can he not only win, but also get another team besides the Packers to a Super Bowl berth? Or can he get past the first round of the playoffs?

Favre’s shoulder must be feeling good, since the health of his shoulder was said to be the basis for his decision. He has a playoff-ready team with the Vikings.

He’ll have All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson to take hand-offs to take the pressure off him and vice versa.

He will also have a good set of receivers to throw to in Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, and newcomer Percy Harvin (who can outrun just about anyone).

That’s a potential All-Star offense to go along with the best defensive line in football. Favre is in a great position to make the playoffs.

The Vikings and Brad Childress are going all in here, much like Eric Mangini and the Jets last year.

If the Vikings come up short, you can bet there will be a similar outcome for Childress.

 

Circle your calenders for Oct. 5 this year. On Monday Night Football, the Vikings and Brett Favre host the rival Green Bay Packers in what should be one of the most anticipated and viewed games of all time.

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