Sunday, August 28, 2005

Are You Ready for Some Football??? NFL Version

If your head is still spinning from the Iraqi constitutional crisis (or not), we are fortunate to have our bountiful distractions in this country. One of mine is the NFL in general and the Minnesota Vikings in particular.

The beauty of the NFL's salary cap structure is that prevents the long-term pooling of talent on any one team and, unlike any of the other major sports, gives each team's fans the hope that the few off-season moves or a year of maturity is all they needed to become a contender this year.

The Vikings were one of the busiest teams in the off-season acquiring 6 new probable starters on defense. We Vikings fans have felt for the last few years that improved defense would get us over the hump to our long-destined Super Bowl Championship. I expect that it will take a few regular season games before the defense gels, but then, we should have a top-ten defense. A huge improvement given a defensive rating near the bottom of the league in recent years. The biggest change comes with the addition of Fred Smoot at cornerback. He will complement our other corner & best defender - Antonio Winfield - creating one of the best corner duos in the league.

On offense, we lost Randy Moss, a player who cannot be fully replaced. But our problems in the preseason have not been with the passing game. Daunte appears ready for an MVP season. The underrated Nate Burleson is stepping nicely into the No. 1 WR position and new additions Travis Taylor and Troy Williamson have shown signs of brilliance.

The early worries concern the running game. Onterrio Smith has been lost for the season due to a seemingly incurable bout of stupidity and our All-Pro center, Matt Birk, will also be MIA due to injury. Seemingly all the other RBs have gotten nicked up in the preseason and the running game has thus far been anemic. Coach Tice's strength is working with the offensive line and I expect him to get the problems with the running game solved now that a definitive starting line has been determined.

I'm predicting first place in the NFC North and an 11-5 record for the Vikes.

Any quick takes on other teams or early trash talk?


  • 11-5? Poor, poor Macswain! It must be painful being a Viking fan. Watch closely as another year's dream of Super Bowl glory goes up in smoke (Get it, smoke? Heh, heh, heh! Hear that Mr. Smith?) Even with their cush schedule against such perennial powerhouses as Detroit, New Orleans, and Chicago, the Vikes will stink it up on the stretch. I say 8-8.

    By Blogger Coldplatesteel, at 10:30 AM  

  • I read your post on RWS's blog. I don't bother responding to her posts because I don't think there's a snowball's chance in Crawford that she'll ever get it the point. Yet this constant sophomoric pontificating of hers just makes progressives look that much more reasonable to those who have never been exposed to rational thought. Her writing has a flavor of entitlement similar to that of a high school cheerleader who just got the keys to her new Volkswagon Beetle handed to her on her 16th birthday. Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger JP, at 11:12 AM  

  • 11-5 is a dream, but it's fine as long as both losses are to Green Bay. Without Moss, you really have no shot against them (even with the speakers turned up full blast in the dome).

    Detriot and Chicago are gimmies, and the rest of your schedule may make you a contender, but start the wildcard math on week 1 because Green Bay is unstoppable this year.

    By Blogger J Andrew Morrison, at 11:16 AM  

  • jandrew,

    You must've missed that playoff game last year. Heh

    More importantly, Green Bay lost alot of talent on the O line over the offseason. This could explain why they've only scored 20 points in three preseason games.

    On the positive side, they open against Detroit who've only scored 16 points in their 3 games thus far.

    By Blogger Macswain, at 11:47 AM  

  • preseason schmeeseason....bring it on.

    By Blogger J Andrew Morrison, at 1:38 PM  

  • That's weird. I will predict the Vikings go 5-11. I actually think they'll end up with a better record that the Packers, though, so maybe 7-9 is more like it.

    Rookie of the Year Kyle Orton and da Bears, first place.

    By Blogger PSoTD, at 1:43 PM  

  • Wow ... I didn't know you could get a Rookie of the Year award for sending in signals from the sidelines.

    By Blogger Macswain, at 1:59 PM  

  • Macswain:

    You write:

    "The Vikings were one of the busiest teams in the off-season acquiring 6 new probable starters on defense"

    Oh, so cute, kinda makes you feel cuddly towards those hard workers. I'm certain that the Patriot management was playing golf, drinking beer, beating their kids or just beating off--not much concern those guys about offseason football--just those Vikings. If Margie Boule was a sports writer, you two would sound the same.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:36 PM  

  • Coldplatesteel:

    You are another real wag, about the same level as Macswain. What's with that heh, heh, heh? Is that kinda in like how "W" does it? And, oh, Pleeeze don't be using words you don't understand, i.e., perennial. Bearshaft

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:39 PM  

  • Wow ... I didn't know you could get a Rookie of the Year award for sending in signals from the sidelines.

    No, that's Lovie Smith's Coach of the Year award you're talking about now...

    By Blogger PSoTD, at 4:57 PM  

  • According to SI, Orton will start. I'm not predicting ROY for him--just pointing out that he won't be on the sidelines.

    The one thing I will predict is that the Packers will suck this year.

    By Anonymous Nathan, at 10:02 PM  

  • Nathan's right ... I stand corrected. Orton will be sending in signals starting in the second half of the first game.

    By Blogger Macswain, at 10:59 PM  

  • You're more optimistic than me about the Bears O-line if you think Orton will be able to stand on the sideline by the second half of the first game.

    By Anonymous Nathan, at 7:14 PM  

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