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View Full Version : There is still plenty of room for optimism



purplepat
11-15-2004, 09:00 AM
OK, so the Vikings have lost three straight, given up the division lead to the Pack, etc. So what? There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic regarding the Vikings NFC North title hopes:

1. Despite the Vikings continued horrid play on defense and special teams, the last two losses on the road both came on last second FGs to playoff caliber teams. The Vikings were "supposed" to lose both games (which they did), but they still played well enough to be tied with both teams late in the 4th quarter. The team that had the ball last in each game won, there is no shame in losing by three on the road to the Pack or the Colts. For that matter, all four of the Vikings losses this season are to teams with winning records, and three of those games were on the road to teams that were favored. Only the loss at home to the Giants did the Vikings lose a game that they were supposed to have won.

2. The Vikings schedule for the remaining seven games is more favorable than the Packers schedule. Vikings have four home games, the Packers four road games. The three toughest games the Vikings have left (against the Packers, Seahawks, and Jaguars) are all at home. The Packers must play the Eagles, Vikings, and Texans on the road while facing the Rams and Jaguars at home. The Vikings play the fading Lions twice, road games against the Redskins and Bears feature opponents with inept offenses, and the Seahawks are 0-3 this season against teams with winning records.

3. Randy Moss WILL be back in another week or so. How healthy his hamstring will be is up for debate, but realistically, the Vikings have not fallen apart during his absence. Considering the last second losses the past two weeks, one might wonder whether both of those games would have been wins with a healthy Moss. One thing is for certain....the offense was nearly unstoppable with a healthy Moss this season.

4. The Packers already have a division loss to the Bears. If one assumes that the Packers and Vikings are both superior to the Lions and Bears at this point, then (as I've said all along) the division title will be decided on Dec. 24th at the Metrodome. Assuming no further injuries, then the Vikings LB corps should be better that game (a healthy Claiborne and Raonall Smith, more experience by Henderson, Thomas, etc.). The poor kickoffs we saw yesterday should be corrected (I'd bet Cortez is cut today). Randy Moss and Mewelde Moore will be healthy. Brett Favre has not played his best at the Dome. All signs should point to the Vikings being slight favorites on Christmas Eve, and logic says that these two heavyweights split the season series as they so often do. Only this time, the late season win by the Vikings gives them the NFC North title with only one division loss to the Packers two.

P.S. At this point, the Vikings remaining opponents have a won-loss record of 31-32. The Packers opponents are 35-27 (36-27 if the Eagles win tonight).

KEEP YOUR HEADS UP, MY PURPLE BRETHREN! IT'S GOING TO BE A WILD RIDE OVER THE NEXT SEVEN WEEKS!

snowinapril
11-15-2004, 09:49 AM
Thanks PurplePat!

That is an optimistic outlook on things. I also agree.

Like I tried to say in a previous post, I didn't count this game as a win when I looked at the schedule before the season started. I am still aiming for 10-6 with a definite win on 12-24-04. That will be good enough to win the division.

I have a funny feeling that teams are still going to come out and cover Randy in single coverage until he proves himself healthy. He needs to be healthy when he come back on the field to prove himself to the other teams as being legit.

We can't take the Bears and the Lions lightly. They are both playing tough D and Special Teams.

Cortez, Fed Ex needs you more than we do!!!

Positives: The D is looking slightly better and we are getting healthier. We can now start looking at putting the right combination of healthy guys on the field. Daunte and the O are getting more confident without Moss.

purplehorn
11-15-2004, 10:06 AM
I agree a lot of football left and our schedule favors
us. With things going our way into the playoffs
who knows what can happen.

And yes we did recover the fumble!!

cajunvike
11-15-2004, 10:08 AM
I agree, purplepat! It is way too early for us to be hitting the panic button...that being said, Tice needs to take a long, hard look at his game management plan (if he even has one) and determine what he will do in certain situations...he appears to be using what we used to refer as the "flying by the seat of your pants" management approach...and that won't cut it in the NFL. I still think that he is a good coach overall, but he needs to get much better as a game-day coach, because grace under pressure is what separates the good coaches (not many NFL coaches get the head position if they aren't good in the first place) from the great coaches. If Tice and this team are going to make the next leap into the upper echelon of NFL teams, he will have to set the tone and start making the correct calls on game day.