Monday, August 18, 2008

monday night blues

So here we are, watching the Cleveland Browns getting pummeled by the New York Football Giants.  30-3 early in the second-quarter.  Ouch.

Vikings related thought: the much-ballihooed story of this offseason (and the preceding postseason) has been the depth and ferocity of the Giants' defensive-line.  They're big, fast, and fierce; and there are a lot of them.  Synchronously with that story—at least the off-season portion—the Vikings' trade for Jared Allen has knotted many a sportswriter's knickers.  Jared Allen, Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, and Ray Edwards have dominated the spring and summer months as the Four Norsemen of the Apocalypse.  They're the best line in the NFL, the homers (myself included) have shouted.  Not so fast, folks.

The Vikes' D-line got run-over by Julius Jones, Maurice Morris, and Ray Rice these past weeks. (God help them when facing any other running backs with alliterative appellations this season.) Pat Williams has shown his age.  Backups Jayme Mitchell and Brian Robison are out-for-the-season and dinged-up, respectively.

On the other hand, the reigning champs, the New York Football Giants, still have the best defensive-line in football.  Even without first-ballot-Hall-of-Famer Michael Strahan, they have absolutely dominated a very good Browns offensive front-five tonight.

Excuse me, Purple faithful, while I interject a bit of skepticism into the assertion that we have the best defensive-line in the NFL.

One reason that Big Blue dominates in the trenches has been its depth, its fresh legs.  The Purple, as of now, a whole two weeks into the already injury-riddled preseason, shows a ton of drop-off between Jared Allen and Otis Grigsby.  Any more injuries, and we could be in neck-deep in, well...  that won't be good.


I don't even want to think about Tarvaris Jackson's injury anymore.  Maybe later.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First of all, excuse me for not posting for the last month, those of you who read this blog regularly.

The big Vikings news of the last week, of course, revolves around how much better Tarvaris Jackson did against the Seattle Seahawks than Aaron Rodgers did against the Cincinnati Bengals: 8/11, 118 yards, 1 TD for Jackson; 9/15, 117 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT for Rodgers.  The Seahawks' D is pretty good; the Bengals' is not.  It's only one preseason game, surely, but what we saw from Peanut Jackson last Friday night was impressive.  In contrast, Darren Sharper is salivating over what he saw last night out of Lambeau.  Rodgers' accuracy could've been much better.  Many of those completions had as much to do with the talented Green Bay receiving corps as with where the ball needed to be.

Unfortunately, the Vikes have suffered some significant injuries on defense.  Heath Farwell and Jayme Mitchell are out for the season with busted knees.  Like the last couple of years, we lost a linebacker with a knee injury in the first preseason game.  What kind of curse is that?  The silver lining to Farwell's injury allows for space for Vinny Circiu, Rufus Alexander, and Erin Henderson to make the squad.  The loss of Mitchell really hurts our depth at defensive end, where Brian Robison is already a little banged-up.  

Madieu Williams' neck injury hurts.  Suddenly, our safety depth looks a little thin, yet again.  Don't tell me that Peyton Manning won't pick on rookie Tyrell Johnson in week two.  The sudden thinness in the secondary also hurts our ability to defend against the spread offenses that are in vogue this year, like we'll see against Green Bay in week one.

One random thought: Bernard Berrian is making my fantasy team, I'll tell you that.