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Krauser

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Krauser last won the day on April 30

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721 Pro Bowl
  1. Defense allowed one TD and 17 points on the road to a team averaging 30 points per game, and 308 yards to a team averaging 370. They held the Bears to 4.3 yards per play (season average 5.7) and forced 3 turnovers, 2 in Bears territory. They missed some tackles early in the game and should’ve been spying Trubisky in the first half — he was never going to beat them with his arm. The personal fouls were dumb, though both Wilson’s and Smith’s seemed like cheap calls. Bottom line is that the defense again played well enough to win, as they’ve done every week except the Rams game. For the season as a whole, the defense is now: 5th in yards per game 6th in yards per play Tied for 6th in passer rating 6th in passing yards per game 4th in rushing yards per game 1st in 3rd down percentage 5th in 1st down passing percentage (% of all pass plays converted to 1st downs) 1st in TDs allowed 11th in points allowed (including 4 return TDs not on the defense, the most in the league) They’ve allowed 18 TDs — 8 in 5 days in the Bills and Rams games, and 10 in the other 8 games combined. 18 TDs from scrimmage is the fewest allowed in the league. They’re a top 5 defense. If the offense was as good as we thought they’d be, they’d have 7 or 8 wins right now.
  2. Maybe if you guys would update the (0-1) in the thread title, the Saints might actually lose another game this year.
  3. Week 11 non-Viking games

    Cowboys
  4. Cheese Curds: Green Bay Packers Updates

    Mike Daniels and Jimmy Graham will both miss the Vikings game: Very tough for the Packers to replace them. They don’t have another receiving TE, though maybe Tonyan can get used in that role after his debut 56 yard TD last week. Zimmer should be able to devote a safety to bracketing Adams, and red zone defense will be simpler without having to account for Graham as a target for fade routes from an X iso alignment.. The DL will be Clark, Lowry and probably Montravius Adams, and I’m not sure who’ll be able to play rotationally. Should be good news for the OL, especially Compton and Remmers, who won’t have to pass block Daniels. If Elflein can handle Clark, they should have success running the ball.
  5. Rodgers First Half Passes (links, no embed)

    Thanks for posting the A22 gifs. Hope you can put up the 2nd half too, where the offense actually struggled (1st half was 250 yards, 4 scoring drives if Crosby doesn’t miss, 2 punts only one a 3-and-out — so not many failed plays). I agree with the idea that Rodgers Is Part of the Problem but I think the analysis here is too harsh. His mechanics are weird, he doesn’t step into throws, even the deep shots from the pocket to Adams and Jones (TD) are thrown while leaning back (Adams throw) or shuffling his feet and hopping a little (Jones TD). The result in these specific cases was 2 accurate deep completions, so it’s hard to fault the result. I think the slightly underthrown ball placement is more likely to be deliberate than a mistake. Keeping the ball inside and a little short in those situations makes it easier on the receiver, and an incompletion (if the receiver doesn’t make the catch) has a high chance of producing DPI. Having watched Vikings QBs overthrow open receivers on deep shots (Teddy did all the time, Cousins sometimes makes that mistake too), you want them to err on the side of underthrown. The deep TD to Tonyan is one of those plays that just spoils you guys as Packers fans. There aren’t 5 QBs in the last 10 years who make that throw, and Rodgers makes plays like that all the time. The drive was nearly stalled — should’ve been 3rd and 10 from your side of midfield after a throwaway. Instead it’s instantly 6 points. I can fault him on a couple of reads. The blitz where he threw short right sideline to Kendricks should’ve gone to the left to ESB. Earlier, the right sideline incompletion to MVS, he should’ve thrown the checkdown (especially on a 1st and 10). As you pointed out, they made that adjustment and he hit Jones in a similar design on the next drive for a big gain. I also see your point on the deep cross to Adams off of play action, but I don’t think the 2 dropping LBs (Seattle is so well trained on cover 3 beaters that they know exactly where to go as soon as they recognize the play action) make this a very high percentage throw, if he does turn it loose. There are only 3 failed 3rd down plays (preceding the FG attempt and the 2 punts), and I think you’re too harsh on Rodgers on 2 of them. The first, he escapes pressure, finds no one open and throws it away. Worth noting here how quickly Wagner picks up Adams’ shallow crosser and knocks him off stride The second is the incomplete over the middle to ESB. I think that’s clearly a route running error by the rookie, who should settle in the hole in the zone where Rodgers throws the ball. The third is the sack with MVS running a shallow cross and Adams a dig in behind him. You’re saying he should’ve thrown earlier in the play to MVS, but Wagner is again sitting on the crossing route. There’s barely any window there, and a throw into that traffic is at least as likely to end up intercepted as a 1st down — even if MVS makes the catch with Wagner in his face he’s going to have to protect the ball, and he’ll likely be a yard short of the sticks. Adams does come open a little later in the play but the pressure has already moved Rodgers off his spot. Ideal mechanics for him given the depth of his dropback would be to hitch up and throw from the 20 at the right hash marks, but both Bulaga and Bell get pushed back to that point — there’s really no room there for him to stand in and make that throw. I think you have to give credit to the Seahawks pass rush here for beating the right side of the OL, and even to Clark on the other side pushing Bakhtiari back into Rodgers lap. They collapse the pocket so quickly that when Wagner robs the 1st read to MVS, Rodgers doesn’t have time to find Adams before trying to slide in the pocket and reset. But Seattle maintains contain and there’s nowhere to go, so he takes the sack. I don’t think this play is in any sense Rodgers’ fault, though maybe it’s fair to say that a more mechanical and less intelligent or creative QB (like Cousins) would’ve thrown into harm’s way targeting MVS, risking the INT and with the best likely upside being 4th and 1. Summing that up, I don’t find a single significantly inaccurate pass in the 1st half. Two of the deep throws are relatively underthrown but I wouldn’t count that ball placement as a negative, they were both very catchable and both were caught. His mechanics were poor, which I think does come up on inaccurate throws later in the game. A couple of the decisions were wrong (the blitz read, not taking the checkdown the first time), but others were pretty reasonable, and one play where QB and WR were on the wrong page, I think ESB was clearly at fault. The sack wasn’t a bad play by Rodgers either, I don’t think the combination of that pass rush and Wagner taking away the crossing route leads to a first down for almost any offense in the league — sometimes the defense makes a play, and that was one of them. On the plus side, the TD to Tonyan was amazing, accuracy and decision making were generally good to excellent, and he beat Wagner to the sideline to convert a 3rd down by scrambling. I’d give him an A for the first half. But again, they scored 21 (should’ve been 24) and put up 250 yards on a good defense. I’d like to see your breakdown of the second half, where the game slipped away.
  6. Cheese Curds: Green Bay Packers Updates

    In real time, I thought the 3rd and 2 throw was tipped at the line but maybe not. A number of his intermediate to deep throws have been off target this year, but that was a weirdly inaccurate short throw for him. IIRC Rodgers was flicking throws from unconventional platforms and arm angles as early as the 2014 playoffs. It's been his regular habit at least since 2015. The inconsistent mechanics make it much harder for him to be reliably accurate, even though he makes a near-impossible throw look effortless at least once a game (vs the Seahawks, Tonyan's TD and the 50+ yarder to Adams in the 4th quarter). I don't know why he has to make everything so hard on himself. It seems he's so used to doing amazing things that he can't be bothered to do the easy stuff anymore. Like a musician who only wants to play freeform solos -- no rhythm parts, not even willing to repeat the hook. It's impressive, and in a way it's amazing, but the outcomes aren't actually as good as they would be if he was willing to keep it simple and just play football as part of the team. Bottom line I think it's a bad habit that he's able to get away with most of the time, but not quite often enough. Some of that may come from arrogance, or boredom, or a sense that he needs to carry the team. Weird but true, a noticeably less talented but more conventional QB (like say, Kirk Cousins) would've done better for GB for most of the Seahawks game, though of course someone like Cousins wouldn't have been able to come up with the deep TD to Tonyan. For one thing, if Cousins is the QB, the Packers probably keep handing the ball to Jones in the 2nd half.
  7. Cheese Curds: Green Bay Packers Updates

    A “has-been”: ...saying Rodgers needs to be more decisive earlier in the down and settle for open receivers on shorter patterns doesn’t mean he’s past his prime or declining. Just like saying that Adrian Peterson in 2012 wasn’t a reliable pass blocker and contributed little as a receiver, or that Xavier Rhodes in 2017 took too many penalties and wasn’t great covering shifty receivers in the slot — these are All Pro caliber players who have some strengths and weaknesses to their games. In Rodgers case, his strengths are in a sense creating his weaknesses. If he gets his head straight, and/or gets matched with a more creative coach, he will again be an elite QB. Imagine Rodgers on the Rams with McVay’s system — he’d put up 60 passing TDs a year. I’m afraid your take that he’s washed up is wishful thinking.
  8. Cheese Curds: Green Bay Packers Updates

    Rodgers isn’t a has been. The comparison to later years Adrian Peterson is wrong — Rodgers’ abilities haven’t declined. The 3 best throws he makes in any given game are as good or better than anyone’s, basically every week. His ceiling is still the best in the league, or very close to it. The problem with Rodgers is his unwillingness and/or inability to work within the structure of the offense and play design: he wants to run around and chuck 60 yard rainbows instead of taking what the defense gives him and keeping the offense on schedule. He wants to be the hero, he’s looking for a magic moment where he can show off and his genius will be appreciated. He avoids simple checkdowns, doesn’t like to throw into tight windows early in the play, and is always looking to extend the play by leaving the pocket in order to scramble or throw on the run. This is not the typical problem of physical skills declining with age, he’s just seemingly lost interest in doing the basic stuff, over and over. Rodgers probably started to develop the Hero complex in 2013, when he came back from injury to beat the Bears and win the division with a last second 4th down dagger. Then in the 2014 playoff run, he was praised to the skies for playing with a mild leg injury that would cause him to limp between plays but not during them. That team was easily good enough to go to or win the Super Bowl, but Rodgers got almost all of the credit, won MVP. By 2015, the team around him started to decline (and suffered several key injuries, particularly losing Nelson for the year) and he resorted almost exclusively to Hero Ball to win: they only made the playoffs that year because of the Hail Mary in the Lions game, and they forced OT in the wild card game in Arizona after Rodgers produced 90 yards of offense on 2 throws in the last 10 seconds. 2016 again, Rodgers got all the credit for Run The Table and R-E-L-A-X, and they went through to the NFCCG. 2017 wasn’t as good as the W-L record looked, but the team was still 4-1 and leading the division when he got hurt in the Vikings game. But all those many successes have come at a cost: Rodgers since 2015 is no longer a hyper-efficient QB. His YPA and other efficiency metrics have nosedived. He and the team have come to rely on 4th quarter comebacks almost entirely — they’ve only led by 14+ points in 3 games in 2017-18 (all at home, facing Glennon, Allen and Osweiler), and all but 4 of their wins in that span have required a last minute game winning or tying drive (the same 3 games plus the 2017 season opener against Seattle). They’ve basically never been in a comfortable position leading a good team in that span. Rodgers has continue to produce magic moments: comebacks to tie the Bengals and beat the Cowboys in 2017, to beat the Bears and the Niners in 2018, but the team’s performance aside from those flashes of greatness has been thoroughly mediocre. In 2015 (especially) through 2017, I think it’s fair to say that the Packers had fallen off so far as a team that Rodgers more or less had to pull rabbits out of hats in order to win games. But the 2018 team is noticeably more talented (at least with everyone healthy). In particular, Adams has continued to grow and is now one of the best WRs in the league, and Aaron Jones is producing at a very high level. With decent OL play, some contributions from rookie WRs (who’ve made some mistakes but also made some big plays) and Graham being half-decent as a pass catching TE, they should be set up this year as a top 5 or so offense in the league. They are producing reasonably well in terms of yards and points, and Rodgers is certainly limiting turnovers, but somehow something is still missing. Some of that does boil down to poor situational coaching from McCarthy (who should’ve gambled on 4th and 2 in Seattle, and probably doesn’t call enough run plays even if the run/pass balance is skewed by Rodgers checking in and out of plays at the line), and the supporting cast isn’t amazing or anything even if it’s better than last year and very good overall. But a big, big part of the problem is that Aaron Rodgers apparently doesn’t want to do his job as the QB in a way that makes the offense work efficiently as a whole, choosing too often to maximize his individual heroics at the expense of the team. There are of course still some huge upsides to having Rodgers as the QB: witness the 50+ yard TDs and the 70+ yard drives that only somehow take 37 seconds in 2 minute situations, to say nothing of the free plays from 12 men on the field penalties. But the fact is that he’s taking way too many sacks holding the ball on 3rd downs, and he’s ignoring open checkdowns in favor of throwing low percentage deep balls, and he’s wasting timeouts by making endless checks at the line of scrimmage and extending his cadence to the last second of the play clock. Rodgers needs to play better — get back to basics and play simple football. If he can do that, his brilliant moments can augment what should otherwise be a very good offence into an elite unit. Until he does, he’s holding them back.
  9. They’re not the 7th best defense if you exclude the Rams game, they’re the 1st best, and probably by quite a bit. 7th best is including the Rams game. 7th best is also adjusted for the quality of the opponents they’ve faced, and again, those adjustments are weighted further against them than they might otherwise: the Bills offense wasn’t good when the Vikings played them but it was better than the 3 game stretch with Peterman and Anderson starting where they scored zero TDs and had 11 turnovers, the Niners with Garoppolo and before some other key injuries on offense were much more potent than they were with CJ Beatherd or Nick Mullens, the Eagles OL was healthy for the Vikings game in a way it hasn’t been before or since, etc. So even 7th is probably a lowball estimate of how they’ve actually played. The stats you don’t care about enough to bother to understand correctly first came up in a thread discussing the supposed overall decline of the defense this year (“How did our defense become so offensive”), a thread that had several comments about Zimmer and his defense being figured out. I agree, McVay and the Rams did outscheme and outplay them, but the results were an outlier (over 200 yards more given up in that game than any other, and -25 expected points worse from the defense than in any other game). By “outlier” I don’t mean the results don’t count, or should be completely ignored, I mean that they’re so far off the map statistically that they can make it hard to understand what the rest of the year looks like, because they skew the rest of the sample so far in that one direction. If you were doing stats on a group of 9 people, and the group consisted of 8 11-year olds plus Linval Joseph, the fact that Joseph outweighs the 6th graders by over 200 pounds each is worth mentioning, and discussing that group in terms of their average numbers (they weigh an average of 120 pounds) is less informative than showing the statistical split within the group (the 11-year olds weigh an average of 90 pounds, and Joseph weighs 350). The Rams game was the big outlier. The Vikings defense allowed 556 yards in LA. Their next highest total of yards allowed was the Eagles game where they allowed 364, but under 300 excluding the 75 yard prevent defense garbage time TD drive, next was 351 yards to the Packers, which included 55 yards in OT, and 4th worst was the Niners game in week one, where they allowed 327. They have 4 games where they allowed 250-300 yards (Bills, Saints, Cards, Jets) and then the Lions who gained only 209. If you give the defense credit for playing 70 minutes in Lambeau and facing 2 more drives there than in a typical game, and then recognize that the Eagles last drive was a tactic to run out the clock and not an accurate reflection of the defense trying and failing to make a stop, 8 of their 9 games are clustered within about 100 yards, from Detroit at 209 to SF at 327, with an even tighter group of 6 between 263 (Jets) and 296 (Packers before OT), which would average roughly in the 280 range (dropping the lowest and highest totals, Lions and Rams, and adjusting for game script in PHI and GB). That 280 yard per game average is interesting because it would be the best in the league this year, and while it includes 3 games against rookie QBs, it also includes full games against Brees and the Saints in world beating mode, Rodgers and Wentz on the road, and Stafford and Garoppolo. The fact that they played that well against good to great QBs on multiple other occasions makes the Rams game — where they allowed literally DOUBLE as many yards as their average for the rest of the year, makes that game look less like a dangerous trend of incompetence facing elite talent, and more like an outlier, an unusually bad game by the defense playing in unusual circumstances facing an offense having an unusually good day. You can do a similar exercise with scoring. The Vikings have only allowed 17 TDs from scrimmage (excluding returns and the blocked punt) this year, which is 2nd fewest in the league. 5 of them came in the Rams game, and only 12 in their other 8 games combined. The Bills scored 3 TDs (weird, right? Almost like the Vikings weren’t playing to their usual standard for some reason), and no one else on their schedule has scored more than 2 TDs against them, again including the Packers (who scored 3 TDs in Seattle), Lions (who scored 3 in Chicago), Saints (averaging over 4 TDs per game, only one other game held with less than 3 when they put up 2 TDs in Cleveland, they scored one TD on offense in the Vikings game) and Eagles. In other words, they allowed 8 TDs in 5 days after Griffen was hospitalized, and only 9 TDs for the rest of the year combined. Points tell a similar story. The Rams scored 38 and would have had 41 if they hadn’t missed a chip shot FG. Next highest point totals against the Vikings defense (excluding returns and special teams scores) were the Bills with 27 (Buffalo had 5 scoring drives but only 2 of those drives were longer than 25 yards thanks to Cousins fumbling and a bad game from the punt team), Saints with 23 (including an 18 yard TD drive after Thielen’s fumble and Treadwell’s penalty), Packers with 22 (through 70 minutes) and Eagles with 21 (14 before garbage time). The rest of their games were at 17 points allowed or fewer, meaning the rookie QBs plus the Lions only putting up 3 FGs. Compare that to the Bears, the consensus best defense in the league this year. Chicago allowed 3 TDs to the Packers in the 4th quarter to blow a big lead at Lambeau, giving up 24 points and 370 yards. They gave up 541 yards and 31 points to the Dolphins and Osweiler (!) in an OT game on the road, blowing leads of 21-10 in the late 3Q and 28-21 with 3 minutes to go — the Dolphins haven’t had another game with more than 375 yards all year, and their next highest points total was 28, against the Raiders. They gave up 24 points (excluding 2 return TDs) and 381 yards at home to the Patriots, including a 96 yard TD drive against in the 4th quarter to just about put the game away at 38-24. On the plus side, they held the Bucs to 10 points — TB has only had one other game where they scored less than 26, last week when Washington held them to 3 points — and 311 yards, the Bucs 2nd lowest total and one of only 2 games where they didn’t put up 400. They held Seattle to 17 points and 276 yards, both season lows, but then the Seahawks have had a few mediocre games on offense (17 points and 356 vs Chargers, 20 points and 331 at Cards, 24 points and 295 vs Dallas, etc). Chicago’s performance against common opponents has been very similar to the Vikings in almost every case: 24 points to GB (Vikings allowed 22 plus the blocked punt), 14 to Arizona (Vikings allowed 10 plus the fumble return), 10 to the Jets (Vikings allowed 17), and 22 to the Lions including a garbage time TD (Vikings allowed 9). The one exception was the Bills game, where Chicago faced Nathan Peterman instead of Josh Allen — as bad as the Bills are, they scored 20 against the Chargers with Allen, and 13 in a win against the Titans, compared to scoring 0 in the first half of the Ravens game with Peterman. All these are small sample sizes, and it’s possible to interpret the numbers differently, but the Vikings defense hasn’t been far behind the Bears even including the Rams game, and they’ve got a fair case to be even better than them if that game is considered an outlier — which it was, at least statistically.
  10. Again, Everson Griffen was placed under a mental health hold and admitted to a psychiatric hospital. That’s not something that happens to every team. Closest I can remember for the Vikings were Adrian Peterson’s son dying before the Vikings got blown out by the Panthers in 2013, and him being accused of child abuse before the Vikings got blown out by the Patriots. Those weren’t good Vikings teams, but even so, those were particularly bad performances. Maybe you don’t think Griffen’s situation is relevant, but when the team’s 2 worst games by far followed immediately thereafter, I don’t think those results should condition our expectations too strongly going forward.
  11. If you frame it as a question, I can answer that for you. The stat you want is DVOA, which is based on success rate (per play) and adjusted for quality of opponent. The Vikings defense was 10th in the league in DVOA after 3 games (Niners, Packers, Bills), at -13.4% (minus numbers are good for defenses). See here: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2018/week-3-dvoa-ratings I don’t know what the defense’s DVOA was in the Rams game but it was super terrible, bad enough that they dropped from a good number and 10th place in the league, to a bad number for the season as a whole (+7.2%) and 25th in the league, after just that one game: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2018/week-4-dvoa-ratings Expected points are a similar metric to DVOA and they put the Vikings defense’s performance in LA as clearly the worst of their year so far, and one of the worst of the season (the Panthers giving up 52 points to Pittsburgh without forcing a punt were only slightly worse). I posted a screenshot of the expected points per game in the “defense is offensive” thread, if you want to check that out. Since the Rams game, the Vikings defense has steadily improved and is now 7th in the league, with a DVOA similarly good to where it was in week 3 (-8.4%, 7th): https://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2018/week-4-dvoa-ratings It’s taken them 5 more games but they’ve managed to undo the damage from the Rams game. Just looking at the current ranking, it’s obvious that if the Rams game was excluded, they’d be no worse than top 3 (Texans are 3rd, only slightly better than the Vikings at -11.3%), along with the Bears and the Bills. This gradual return to respectability if not quite excellence is indeed adjusted by opponent quality, and if anything those adjustments have hurt the Vikings: they’ve played better QBs for several teams (Allen better than Peterman, Garoppolo better than Beatherd etc, Rosen better than the husk of Sam Bradford), who’s changing level of quality during the year would tend to make the Vikings look worse by comparison (the Bears have benefitted from the opposite effect, facing Peterman and Osweiler instead of Allen and Tannehill will tend to inflate their DVOA since opponent adjustments are based on the opponent’s performance for the year as a whole). They’ve also played all their games except the Jets game in ideal conditions, which means stats are easier to rack up. So a super refined version of DVOA probably boosts the Vikings defense up further than 7th, even including the Rams game, and would make them roughly the best in the league without it. Of course they could still fall apart in Chicago this weekend, but as I said, there’s reason to expect them to play well, given their very good to great performance in every other game this year except TNF in LA. I mean, it’s hard to beat a team over .500 if you’ve only played 2, the Rams and the Saints. It might be easier to gauge where they’re at if they’d had the Panthers at home, or the Seahawks game already, or the Bengals and Steelers instead of the Jets and Bills. But this is the schedule they’ve played, and a reasonable understanding of where they’re at is a top 5-10 team aside from the 5 day stretch after Griffen got admitted to hospital, where they didn’t show up for the Bills game and then got boat raced by the Rams. They’re 5-1-1 otherwise: the loss to the best team in football right now, the tie at Lambeau where the Packers are unbeaten with Rodgers in 2 years despite being a mediocre to bad team on the road, a close win at Philly before their injury bug hit and where the score was only that close because they conceded a TD to run out the clock, and 4 wins by 8 points or more. They’re not a bad team even with the stretch when they played 2 games in 5 days after the best player on the team last year was admitted to a mental ward; they’re a very good team otherwise. I agree we’ll see what they’re made of over the month coming out of the bye. That’s what we said last year, when they were 5-2 at the bye with only one somewhat impressive win (Saints in the season opener), and facing a “gauntlet”: @ WAS, Rams, @ DET, @ ATL, @ CAR. Few expected them to do better than 3-2 over that stretch, but they went 4-1. I think they’ll win 3 of the next 4. Hopefully that includes both divisional games.
  12. There’s no sharp distinction between elite offenses and other offenses, it’s a continuum. Being the best defense in the league based on 8 games work is useful information, if you’re trying to predict how the Vikings will do in important games for the rest of this year. Holding up the Rams game as specially diagnostic is disingenuous, especially if some of the mitigating factors (short week on TNF, cross country flight, defensive MVP and captain admitted to a psychiatric ward just days earlier) aren’t mentioned. Some fans take special pride in their skepticism (putting it as politely as possible) and will continue to doubt this team until they win a Super Bowl, if they ever do. That’s fine. If that’s you, that’s your prerogative. But the tone of aggrieved frustration about the supposed decline of the defense is misplaced, in my opinion. It’s based entirely on one game (since the stats show the defense has matched last year’s performance otherwise) — a game where the Vikings played poorly and got outschemed and ran into an opponent playing at an unusually high level in unusually unfavorable circumstances. The truth is the Vikings defense is still one of the best in the league, despite the high profile fiasco in the Rams game. The offense and special teams have been the real problem — both are performing much worse than they did last year: ...and have cost the team what would otherwise be a 6-3 (Carlson FG in OT), 7-2 (avoid fumbles against the Bills and mount a scoring drive before the 4th quarter) or possibly even 8-1 (Thielen fumble and pick 6 in the Saints game record). The defense should be expected to play well in the Bears game. Modern NFL being what it is, the defense playing well might still mean giving up 24 points and 350 yards, but if the offense can hold on to the ball, sustain drives and score (for a change), this is the game the Vikings should win. Maybe it won’t work out — predictions are hard, especially about the future. If the defense gives up 34 and get torched, I’m not going to be pretending they played well. I’m not trying to cheer you up, I’m trying to describe the situation to date accurately in order to make better predictions for the future. But I think there’s good reason for Vikings fans to be optimistic the defense will play well enough that the team will win if the offense doesn’t give the game away. Feel free to write out your predictions ahead of time. If you don’t want to put your money where your mouth is, at least don’t complain when I do.
  13. Cheese Curds: Green Bay Packers Updates

    Rodgers made a handful of ridiculously good throws tonight. But he also killed several drives by missing open receivers, throwing the ball away and taking sacks trying to scramble. His body language is terrible, this is Cutler territory: Looks frustrated, tired and sad. Packers have to fix this somehow, Rodgers' deal runs through 2023.
  14. Week 11 non-Viking games

    Weird game. Packers should've gone for it on 4th and 2. With Daniels hurt, there was no way to expect their defense to get the ball back by stopping 3 Seahawks run plays. Calling a slant pass on 3rd and 2 and then punting instead of handing the ball twice to Aaron Jones is just terrible decision making by McCarthy -- he's actually a good coach in many ways but not for game management. Jones dominated the first half and then hardly got the ball in the second half. They had lots of time for that final drive and passed 3 times, why not run the ball? If Wilson doesn't miss the wide open TD to Baldwin in the 1st quarter, it wouldn't have felt like a blowout early. But then he hit a couple of pinpoint passes late in the game including the back-to-back completions to Lockett on the game winning drive. Rodgers had some amazing plays tonight (the bomb to Adams was crazy) but he couldn't sustain drives on 3rd down. Some of that was due to the OL struggling with pass blocking, even Bakhtiari had an uncharacteristically leaky game (despite some characteristic getting-away-with-holding). Fackrell was surprisingly excellent both in run defense and as a pass rusher, even if most of his pressure was in pursuit late in the play. The rash of presnap penalties on Seattle OL was being provoked by the Packers DL, according to former Vikings OL Geoff Schwartz: Packers will be in tough next week at US Bank if Daniels and/or Graham can't go. Their DL depth has been paper thin as it is, and they don't have anyone who can take Graham's place.
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