First off, allow me to apologize for not having an update here on the site yesterday. I've spent the last two weeks at training for the Keesler AFB Honor Guard. . .enjoying the hell out of it, too, quite frankly. But yesterday, our NCOIC felt compelled to have us go out and do a 5K run for PT. I was pretty well toasted for the day after that. If you check out the "Ask Gonzo" thread over at The Falcoholic, I got a couple of their questions answered last night, but I didn't get anything up here.
So, on to today's update.
Apparently Adrian Peterson has a minor ankle injury. Granted, it's hard to classify any injury to the NFL's best running back as "minor," but the guys at Access Vikings are saying that he didn't have a limp when he left the practice field yesterday, so I don't think it's anything to be too terribly worried about. Besides, for a game as big as this one, I think AP would try to play if he had to have a leg amputated.
We'll have more on the injuries for both teams when the official injury reports come out after Friday's practice.
As previously mentioned in other posts, the first-round byes for the AFC have already been determined. . .those distinctions will go to Pittsburgh and Tennessee, though which one will be the 1 seed and which one will be the 2 seed has still yet to be decided. The two teams will meet this weekend with the winner getting the top spot in the AFC.
The NFC, on the other hand, has had nothing really decided yet. The only two teams that have clinched playoff spots are the New York Giants (who won't be any worse than the #3 seed) and the Arizona Cardinals (who are pretty much locked into the #4 spot). The Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could both, concievably, finish as the NFC's #1 seed. Or they could both miss the playoffs entirely. (Granted, a LOT would have to go wrong for Carolina to miss the playoffs entirely, but it's still mathematically possible). The Beloved Purple could be the #2 or #3 seed in the NFC playoofs. Or they could miss the playoffs entirely.
The #1 seed will be decided by this weekend's NBC's Sunday Night
NFC East Game of the Week Football when the Giants and Panthers get together. The winner of that one will be the #1 seed in the NFC. The result of that game, as well as what the Buccaneers do this weekend against San Diego, will also determine what the Vikings have to do to get a first-round bye.
Obviously, for Week 17's game to be for a first-round bye, the Vikings have to beat the Falcons this weekend. If that doesn't happen, then the Vikes can be no better than #3 in the NFC. Likewise, if the Bucs lose to the Chargers on Sunday afternoon, they're no longer in the running for anything more than a wild card.
So say the Vikings beat the Falcons, the Giants beat the Panthers, and the Bucs beat the Chargers. This is the more complex scenario, as it would require 1) the Vikings beating the Giants in Week 17, 2) the Panthers losing to New Orleans, and 3) the Buccaneers losing to the Raiders. If the Bucs lose to San Diego this weekend, then #3 would no longer apply, as Carolina would lock up the NFC South even after losing to New York under this scenario.
If the Vikings beat the Falcons and the Panthers beat the Giants, the Bucs/Raiders game no longer matters (as they could no longer catch Carolina for the NFC South title) and the scenario becomes much simpler: Beat the Giants, get a first-round bye.
We'll be watching the scoreboard in Tampa here at The Daily Norseman. Since the only NFC North game we'll have to watch is Detroit attempting to not go 0-15 against New Orleans, Panthers/Giants isn't until Sunday night, and the other two NFC North teams don't play until Monday night (in a game that may or may not have any meaning for us), that's the one I'll be flipping back and forth between our game and Bucs/Chargers. Hopefully everybody will be here again. . .our game threads have actually been pretty rockin' over the last few weeks, and we need that trend to continue!