Sunday, July 15, 2007

Up to Speed- Minnesota Vikings

The Senior PGA Tour, C-SPAN, the process of paint drying. All of these things were more exciting than the 2006 Minnesota Vikings.

After a 4-2 start, the Vikings bottomed out and went 2-8 the remainder of the season, despite finishing the year with the NFL's top rated run defense. Of course, they also had the 31st ranked pass defense, so some of that #1 run ranking may be because teams didn't bother trying to run agains the Vikes when it was so damn easy to throw against them.

It can be argued that no NFL team was as completely devoid of anything resembling any sort of star power on either side of the ball last year. Sure, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams are top shelf defensive tackles, yipee. No one cares.

Now consider Travis Taylor led the team with an underwhelming 651 receiving yards. Travaris Jackson ended his rookie year as the starting quarterback, and almost drove me to suicide when I watched a 9-7 Packers/Vikings abortion on the NFL Network in Week 16. Not that I had any vested interest in him playing well, it just seemed pointless to live in a world with such incompetence. Someone named Darrion Scott led the team with 5 1/2 sacks. I dare say that not a single person who buys or rents Madden 08 will ever play as the Vikings.

The Vikings actually plan on heading into next season with a passing game anchored by Jackson, Bobby Wade, Billy McMullen, and Troy Williamson. They also drafted WR Sidney Rice in the second round, because they love Gamecock wide receivers after Williamson made them look so smart for taking him in the top 10 a couple years ago. Seriously, would it have killed them to give into deliciousness and just brought Culpepper and Randy Moss back and see what happened? Could it really have been any worse than this flaming poo poo platter they are rolling out there this year?

Of course, all eyes will be on the running game, and this year's #7 draft pick, Adrian Peterson. Peterson will wrestle with Chester Taylor for the right to run into 11 man fronts on a regular basis, because let's face it there is NO passing threat here.

On defense, the Vikings will have a new coordinator, as last year's rajah, Mike Tomlin, is now the Steelers head man. Leslie Frazier takes over. The Vikings didn't add any pass rushing threats thru free agency or the draft, and is banking on DE Erasmus James, and LB Chad Greenway to come back from injuries and add some athleticism.

It really is hard to believe that not too long ago the Vikings were perennially one of the most exciting teams in the league. The infamous Groovy Sex Boat Ride 05 ended all of that. My prediction for the Vikings this year is, to quote Clubber Lang, PAAIIIIIINNNNN!!! Now you're up to speed on the Vikings.

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