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Thread: Souhan: Vikings need to win next five games vs. lowly teams

  1. #1

    Souhan: Vikings need to win next five games vs. lowly teams

    Vikings history is scrawled with the graffiti of big losses, which is proof that they earned a lot of big victories. You can’t lose a Super Bowl unless you can win a conference championship game.

    Vikings recent history is dotted with big victories, if you accept the singular form of the word “dot.’’

    Since the retirement of Brett Favre’s brain and heart following the 2009 season, the Vikings have earned only a few victories that were impressive at the time and in retrospect. In the past two seasons and four games, the Vikings have earned zero frame-worthy victory.

    To find their last meaningful and impressive victory, you have to go back to Dec. 30, 2012, the night Adrian Peterson ran through the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome, producing a 37-34 victory that captured a playoff berth.

    That game demonstrated how great the NFL can be, as Peterson’s legs and Aaron Rodgers’ arm dueled at the heart of a compelling rivalry in a stadium so loud the game should have been sponsored by ibuprofen.

    The Vikings did beat an Eagles team with a winning record late in the 2013 seasons, but the victory did nothing but damage the Vikings’ draft position and hint at the mercurialness of Chip Kelly’s teams.

    Since that victory, the combined record of the teams the Vikings have beaten is 47-94-1. That’s a horrific record even if the ace of your pitching staff is Ricky Nolasco.

    The two teams the Vikings have defeated this season are 2-8 combined.

    Someday soon, the 2015 Vikings will have to win a big game, or at least beat a decent team, to fulfill their own expectations of becoming a powerhouse, but for the next five weeks they will have no use for the motto, “To be the best you have to beat the best.”

    For five weeks, starting today, the Vikings’ motto should be, “Might as well beat the rest.”

    Sunday, the Vikings face the Kansas City Chiefs, a team with an offense as horizontal as the horizon. The Chiefs’ best chance at making a big play has been handing or flipping the ball to Jamaal Charles and hoping he can break 12 tackles.

    With Charles hurt, the Vikings may unveil the NFL’s first 6-5 defensive alignment, with six linemen and five linebackers. If the Chiefs send a ball flying downfield today, it’s guaranteed to be a punt.

    Coming off a bye, with renewed health, playing at home, the Vikings have to win games like this to become contenders, and this is the first of five games that should elevate them in the wild-card race.

    After playing the Chiefs, the Vikings will face the Lions in Detroit. The Lions are proof that free agency often hurt both teams — the one losing the player and the one trying to incorporate the new and expensive acquisition.

    The Lions defense without Ndamukong Suh is not very good. The Dolphins defense with Suh is even worse. The Lions are 0-5 on merit, and the Dolphins’ 1-3 record is better than they deserve.

    After that it’s the Bears, who somehow won at Kansas City with a one-legged Jay Cutler and no Alshon Jeffery, more of an indictment of Kansas City than a sign of progress for Chicago.

    Then it’s the Rams and Raiders. The Los Angeles market has been begging for NFL football for years, and if the Rams and Raiders relocate there, the Los Angeles market will be begging for NFL football for years.

    The Vikings are like “Star Wars.” Their history is remarkably deep in great talents and characters, and their future promises great improvement, but the recent past and present is a relentlessly hyped exercise in highly funded mediocrity.

    And for the same reasons. “Star Wars” and the Vikings have wasted a lot of time telling awful or boring stories.

    If the Vikings can start a run of success during the soft-as-fleece portion of the schedule, maybe Peterson can again try to run through the Packers when it matters.

  2. #2
    remaining schedule:

    @Lions WIN
    @Bears WIN
    Rams WIN
    @Raiders WIN
    Packers LOSS
    Seahawks LOSS
    @Cardinals LOSS
    Bears WIN
    Giants WIN
    @Packers* WIN

    Should be a win
    Win-able but don't bet on it
    Don't even think about it unless *they have it sewn up and sit the starters all game

    So what are we looking at? If we win the games we should win, we're 8-8. So we have to win one or two of those win-able games. Gut check time.
    Last edited by Hyperborean; 01-04-2016 at 06:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Season Tickets, First Deck
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    Mar 2006
    I agree with your analysis Hyper. I think the Giant game is the most winnable of the Win-able games. They have a chance against the Falcons. I'm not sold on Atlanta at this point, but they're playing in the Georgia Dome so that will make it tough.

  4. #4
    The team still isn't quite "clicking" is it? Defensively, we're holding it together in that old bend but don't break category--second in the NFL in points per game. But the sack numbers are middling and the interceptions are not coming at all (near the bottom of the league). We can definitely do better there. And offensively I don't think their running on all cylinders either. Teddy is a really good QB but if he's given no time at all, we may as well have TJax or Ponder back there. If the offense is made one-dimensional, few QBs can carry their team for very long. We need balance and I don't think the offensive line is going to allow that to happen. There is some young talent there, and some good coaching, but the unit just isn't settled at this point. If they ever get that way, watch out.

  5. #5
    Season Tickets, First Deck
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    I agree the team isn't quite clicking yet. The nice part is they are still winning. I think if the Oline would start to play better the team would start to click. I don't think the Oline will be stellar at any point this year but the hope is that they will get better. Not getting Sullivan back this year is a major setback, but the nice thing is Berger has held his own. The big problems on the OL are Clemmings and Fusco. Clemmings has excuses ... he's a rookie and he's very raw. Fusco on the other hand doesn't have those excuses ... he's been a big disappointment. Can't believe that moving from RG to LG is the reason for all his problems. If these two guys don't play better it will jeopardize the Vikings chances of making the playoffs.

  6. #6
    Well, we see that Green Bay isn't bulletproof now after the Broncos beat them up. I have to say it's pretty satisfying seeing the Packers get shut down like that. I think the Vikings are capable of doing the same thing defensively. Bring pressure constantly and cover for a couple of seconds, LBs stopping the running game from getting rolling. The Packers got NOTHING offensively last night. And the Vikings have shown to be a bend but don't break defense, waiting only for thee offense to be able to put some points on the board to support them. Barely beating Chicago, coupled with seeing Kansas City completely embarrass the Lions still makes me think the Vikings aren't running at maximum efficiency. But winning while we're getting there is a plus. They may be one of those teams that gets hot at the right time (playoffs) and rolls. We could win it as easily as most, be honest.

  7. #7
    Season Tickets, First Deck
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    In order for the Vikings to continue their playoff push and have a meaningful showdown with the Packers they will have to beat the Rams on Sunday. This Sunday will be a true test of where the Vikings are as a team, but I'm not sure if the Vikings match up well with the Rams.

    The Rams have a power running game. The last time the Vikings played a team with a power running game was when they faced the 49ers in the first game of the season. Their defense got pushed all over the field. They've played really well since then but they have not played a power running game since that game.

    The Rams also have a dominating front four that puts real pressure on the QB. The last time the Vikings played a team (the Broncos) with a great pass rush they gave up seven sacks. The Vikings' OL has been shaky all year and have had a rough time protecting Bridgewater. This game figures to be another tough task for the Viking line.

    Making the task tougher is the fact they will be without Sharif Floyd. They could possible be without their two starting LBs also ... Barr and Kendricks. In addition, Stefon Diggs has a sore hamstring that has cause him to miss practice time this week. With a team like the Rams coming to town you would like to have all hands on deck.

    All is not lost because the Vikings have been playing well lately. I think they have a an advantage in special teams with Blair Walsh kicking so well. This game could very well come down to a FG. They still have the AP who will not doubt be more motivated than normal with Gurley on the other sideline. They have a young poised QB who is good under pressure. They have also committed the fewest penalties in the league this year so that helps a lot.

    Vikings will win if they can control Gurley, they can minimize the pass rush and Blair Walsh continues to kick well.

    Vikings win in a close low scoring game 16-14.

  8. #8
    You called it ovike. Just off on the final score a bit.

    Vikings are currently tied for first place in the North with Green Bay (6-2). Did you think we would be 6-2 and tied for first place at this point before the season started? I didn't.

    If the season ended today, we would be the 5th seed and would be playing at the Giants (5-4). Green Bay would be 2nd seed and would play the highest seeded Wild Card winner, so there would be a chance of third game against them. Oy vey!
    Last edited by Hyperborean; 11-09-2015 at 03:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Vikings are now alone in first place (7-2) after winning five in a row. The Packers (6-3) are on a three game slide and struggling to core points against good defenses--and Detroit. Now the Packers come to town hoping to turn it around and the Vikings want to keep rolling. There has never been a better time to beat the Packers. I don't know how many in a row we've lost to them but it's been too many. Get it done Vikings!!!
    Last edited by Hyperborean; 11-16-2015 at 12:24 PM.

  10. #10

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