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Stock Market Report, Week 7

A reaction we've seen and mimicked far too often this season.  When he does it, he's frustrated at throwing a pick.  When we do it, it's to keep our head from exploding.
A reaction we've seen and mimicked far too often this season. When he does it, he's frustrated at throwing a pick. When we do it, it's to keep our head from exploding.

I have a question for the guys here.  Have you ever been kicked or kneed in the stones?  I have, once.  It was 8th grade basketball practice, East Grand Forks, MN, home of the Green Wave.  I was on defense, guarding Todd Martin.  He was at the top of the key, faked right, and I bit.  He went left to drive the lane and I was a half step behind.  I was a little quicker, got position, and set up to take a charge just as he put his right leg up to go for a layup.

The next thing I remember, I was on the ground, holding my future children in my hands, eyes crossed, unable to breathe, and I was apparently several shades of purple.  The rest of the team had formed a circle around me, and no one spoke, except in soft, hushed tones like you would have at a wake.  Is he dead?  Yeah, he's turning purple.  Holy crap, Martin got him good.  His balls must be in his throat.

Coach came over and asked the dumbest question ever...are you okay? 



Anyway, that's what my INNER dialogue was saying.  My outer dialogue was a collection of gasps, coughs, and groans for about 20 minutes.  Oh, I was also rolled into the fetal position, praying for the sweet relief that only death could bring. 

Oh, and just for the record, ladies, when a guy gets kicked in the junk, no other guy laughs, because it's very much a ‘But for the Grace of God go I' kind of moment.  You want empathy and understanding out of your man, then show him a video of a guy getting schwacked in the junk.  Not.  Funny.  Ever.

So eventually, the pain went from the most indescribable pain ever to a level that just really, really hurt.  I got to sit out the last part of practice, and went home and iced the Ol' Gunslinger.  And that memory was forever seared into my brain.

And said memory came searing back last night.  That loss was a kick in the balls, and there's no other way to describe it.  It was Brett Favre at his best and his worst, it was Brad Childress at his worst, and it was potentially a season shifting game.  A season that was forecast to be sunny.  A the sun.  Take it away, Terry Jacks.


Too much wine and too much song, wonder how I got along.  SMR, after the jump.


Blue Chip Stocks:

Adrian Peterson, RB.  Peterson had a huge game, and the Vikings rode him back into contention after the Packers went up 28-17.  He seems a lot more patient in hitting the hole and giving it time to develop, and it’s paying dividends. 

Percy Harvin, WR:  Harvin is back to last year’s form, and it’s good to see.  He has that quick burst back, and nearly gave us a Greg Lewis moment.  By the way, the ‘let’s run Percy out of the backfield’ part of the playbook needs to be utilized a lot more.

John Sullivan, C:  Was it me, or did the offensive line look much better with John Sullivan in there?  The Vikes did a much better job of picking up the unguarded blitzer, and although Favre took some shots, he had a lot of time, and Peterson had some gaping holes to run through.  Jon Cooper and Ryan Cook have been okay in relief, but the line just seemed…different…with Sully in there.  More sure of themselves, different attitude, something.

Chris Kluwe, P:  The guy is just money this year.  If he’s not an All-Pro, he should be.


Sound Investments:

Toby Gerhart, 3rd Down RB:  Young Mr. Gerhart acquitted himself well last night, and was on the field late in the game during crunch time.  There’s no way it could’ve been a reflection on Adrian Peterson’s performance as much as it was a reward for Gerhart’s performance.  He ran the ball with authority (but was still a little too quick hitting the hole, I thought), made correct reads and made some huge blocks to help give Favre some extra time and keep him upright, and even caught a pass.  It took awhile, but Gerhart seems to be growing up in front of us, and I thought he made a ton of progress last night.

Visanthe Shiancoe, TE:  I don’t care what anyone says, that was a touchdown catch.  He had possession, he maintained control, and to me, it looked like his hand was UNDER the damn ball.  Other than that, yeah, I could see where it could be overturned.  What bullshit.  That aside, Shiancoe re-emerged from hibernation, probably due to better line play, and had a good game.  It was nice to see him making plays.

Frank Walker, CB:  The Packers went after Walker and Cook all night, and Walker held his own after only being on the team a very short time.  He broke up a pass that lead to an interception in the end zone, and quite frankly, he played better than Chris Cook did, which was very surprising for me, so I give him a sound investment for the week. 

Junk Bonds:

Brad Childress, Alleged Head Coach:  Okay, you have two timeouts, about 40 seconds left before halftime, in a game you know where every point is critical.  Solid play calling has gotten you near midfield and the offense is clicking.  You’ve had one touchdown taken off the board, and a field goal gets you momentum and a 6 point lead heading into halftime.  Oh, you also have a Hall of Fame quarterback, a Hall of Fame wide receiver, and the best running back in football playing behind an offensive line that is playing well.  So what do you do?  You let the clock run out, of course.  Yeah, you got jobbed on a bogus offensive PI on said Hall of Fame wide receiver, but with two timeouts you can pretty much utilize your entire passing playbook, and not worry about having to limit yourself to sideline routes.  Stevie Wonder could see that trying to get in FG range was the right call, and with playmakers like Harvin and Moss, one missed tackle either gets you a TD, or at worse, a chip shot.  Randy Moss spoke for every Vikings fan in the world when he held his arms out and gave the sidelines the WTF look as the clock ran down.  Now instead of a FG to win in the fourth, you need a TD.  Yeah, that worked out.  Nice call, Chilly.

Pass Rush:  It’s time to call out the entire defensive line.  Ray Edwards and Jared Allen had favorable matchups last night, but there was no discernable pressure on Aaron Rodgers the entire game.  The result was predictable, as he had time to make throw after throw, all night long.  Jared Allen and Ray Edwards went all Amelia Earhart and just disappeared without a trace.  It’s a very troubling development, and if they put up that kind of effort next week against the Patriots, they’re going to get blown out. 

Third Down Defense:  Was there a third down attempt the Packers didn’t convert?  I know the stats show Green Bay was only 5/11 on third down, but every time the Packers needed to keep a drive going, they did, and that was a significant contributing factor to the loss.  They made a couple of nice fourth down stops, but it seemed third down efficiency for the Vikings was bad all night long.  Or it just broke down at the worst possible time.


Buy:  Brett Favre as the starting quarterback.  Yeah, Favre was at his worst last night, but he was also at his best.  He made some horrid throws, but also got the Vikings back in it.  Last year he won these games, but so far, not so much this year.  I still like the Vikes chances with Favre over TJ, and nothing I saw last night made me think otherwise.

Sell:  Officiating.  Horrible.  All the way around.

Buy:  Bernard Berrian Cameo Appearance.  Berrian made a nice 30 yard reception at a big point in the game.  I hope to see him integrated more into the offense, as I feel he can be an asset.

Sell:  Still pissed about some of the calls.

Buy:  Jared Allen interception.  Hey, if you’re not going to apply pressure, stick up your paws and pick one off.

Sell:  Albert Young.  Was he even activated last night?

Buy:  Percy Harvin, Running Back.  And not because Percy’s on my fantasy team, but because Harvin’s speed brings a dimension coming out of the backfield that is difficult to defend.  And was it me, or did he look almost natural carrying the ball last night?  He definitely has that ‘ooh’ factor back, because every time he got his hands on the ball, I thought he was a legitimate threat to house it.

Sell:  Favre’s HORRID interceptions.  It can’t continue, or I will think TJ is an option.  It put the Vikes in a hole that they ultimately couldn’t dig themselves out of.  It’s gotta stop, or the season is over.

Buy:  Making the playoffs at 2-4.  In any other year, this would be a back breaker, but there is no one loss team in the NFC, and the Vikings are by no means out of it.  Granted, they’ve put themselves into a hole they shouldn’t be in, but they have the talent to pull out of this nosedive before they become a spectacular fireball on the desert floor.  But to do that, they absolutely must beat New England next week, and that’s going to be a tall order.

Sell:  Making the playoffs at 2-5.  At 2-5, the Vikings would probably have to run the table to assure a division title, and 8-1 to probably guarantee a wild card.  Could it happen?  Yes.  Would it, with the way the team has played so far?  I don’t see it.  That said, 8-8 or 9-7 has a realistic shot at the playoffs at this point of the season, but do you honestly believe 8-8 or 9-7 is a Super Bowl team?

Well, that’s the Stock Market report for this week, Viking fans.  It’s not time to press the panic button yet, but it is time to flip the safety cover off.  I’m also getting an ice pack ready, but I’ll be wearing my cup next Sunday, just in case.