The legends and myths surrounding Lycanthropy have been around since before the actual Vikings landed in medieval England, and terrorized Lindisfarne, York, and a good part of the island kingdom.
It goes something like this: A regular person, and to make the myth even more terrifying, a really nice, laid back person, maybe even a person that’s a bit of a bumbling klutz, turns into a bloodthirsty werewolf when the moon is full, terrorizing the countryside with brutal murders. I never really believed in that legend until today, when a mild mannered and bumbling Vikings team turned into a bunch of werewolves at the halftime full moon, and pretty much ripped the Cleveland Browns to shreds.
For a half, anyway, they became genuine Werewolves of London, didn’t they, Mr. Zevon?
If you hear him howling around your kitchen door
Better not let him in
Little old lady got mutilated late last night
Werewolves of London again
Werewolves of London!
Werewolves of London!
The SMR that you don’t have to get up early on a Sunday morning to read follows.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Second Half Case Keenum, QB: Keenum apparently went to Italy at halftime, because he brought the Renaissance with him in the second half. He ended up with 288 yards passing, two touchdowns, and did a heck of a job maneuvering in the pocket. Good Case Keenum was the reason the Vikings went from chewing glass at halftime to throwing the Browns through a plate glass window by the end of the game. It was the best of Case Keenum, and for his supporters the second half is the reason they think he should remain the Vikings quarterback, even if/when Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford are healthy enough to play.
Adam Thielen, WR: I’m running out of superlatives for Thielen. I was kind of hoping, in some ways, he’d be a 1,000 yard receiver without a touchdown. It would probably be an NFL record of some kind, and Vikings fans always need something to gripe about. But way to ruin that, Adam, with your fancy TD reception today, your uncanny ability to get open, and your hands that act like magnets to the refrigerator of a football.
Kai Forbath, Field Goal Kicker. It’s hard to find a kicker as more reliable as Forbath when his team needs three points. Short, long, left hash, right hash, indoors, halfway around the world, it doesn’t matter. Forbath is gonna bangers and mash the ball through the uprights with stunning consistency. Against the Browns, he opened and closed the Vikings scoring, hitting field goals of 35, 34, 43, and 51 yards.
Jerick McKinnon, RB: While McKinnon and the Vikings overall had a fairly pedestrian running game Sunday morning (88 yards rushing total), McKinnon had 122 all purpose yards, and the team’s only rushing touchdown. When Dalvin Cook went down, it seemed that the early production he had would be hard to match. But with McKinnon and Latavius Murray, the Vikings running game hasn’t skipped a beat. Yes, the offensive line has played an enormous role, but credit McKinnon and Murray here for really stepping up filling some big shoes.
Anthony Harris, S: Anthony Harris has started two games in place of Andrew Sendejo, and I gotta say, he’s played generally mistake-free football. I can’t recall him making a huge mistake in coverage, he had four tackles, and he recovered a fumble on Cleveland’s first play of the second half. I’m on the fence as to whether or not he’s a long term answer over Sendejo, but I do know that depth at the safety position isn’t nearly the issue I thought it was when the season began.
First Half Case Keenum, QB: For as good as his second half was, Keenum’s first half smelled like stale moat water surrounding the Tower of London. He missed some easy throws, got repeatedly bailed out by his receivers on others that normally wouldn’t have been caught, and as he foundered the Vikings offense foundered. When the Vikings went to the locker room, they found themselves trailing a team that prior to Sunday, hadn’t lead in a game at any point in a month. It was the worst of Case Keenum, and for his detractors it’s the main reason they think he should once again assume his role as QB2 if/when Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater are healthy enough to play.
Latavius Murray, RB: From King one week to Court Jester the next. Murray struggled after a couple of good runs early, never really seemed to get a rhythm, and the Vikings focused more on McKinnon as the primary back on Sunday when McKinnon showed the hot hand running and receiving. It was kind of odd to see, too, as Murray had such a good game last week.
Kai Forbath, Extra Point Kicker: Seriously man, WHAT. IS. THE. DEAL. Forbath is just over 70% on his extra points this year, and the NFL average at a successful two point conversion is right around 50% (last year’s number). Seriously, I think the Vikings should just forget about kicking an extra point and going for two every time, because I am Crash Davis to Forbath’s Nuke LaLoosh: I have no idea if Forbath is gonna groove a fastball for a strike or hit the bull.
Buy: Adam Thielen’s ‘other football’ TD celebration. When the Vikings finally got in the end zone, it just happened to be Thielen’s first TD of the year. For his celebration, he ran towards the stands, slid on both knees, and raised his arms like many Premier League soccer players do when they score a goal. It was very original and fitting, considering the setting. Well done!
Sell: Adam Thielen’s ‘other football’ TD celebration topped ‘Duck Duck Gray Duck’. As fun and original as it was...it wasn’t Kyle Rudolph’s ‘Duck Duck
Goose Grey Gray Duck’ celebration at Chicago on Monday Night. And nothing against Thielen, but it’s gonna take an original and creative celebration to top it.
Buy: The screen or sideline pass as an occasional weapon to offset the blitz. When used sparingly and in the right situation against a defensive alignment looking to blitz, it can be a deadly weapon, like McKinnon’s screen pass TD against Green Bay a couple weeks back.
Sell: The screen or sideline pass served up more often than fish and chips. However, when it’s used more often than a 50 year old hooker, it becomes stale, unattractive, and there’s a good chance you’re gonna get crabs. People will also want to fire the offensive coordinator. Until you look up at the scoreboard and see you put up 33 points, in spite of half of your offensive plays called being screens, not because of it.
Buy: Trae Waynes coming into his own as a CB. I found my passport, and I’m travelling back to Waynes World. He had a solid game today, and if you realize that he isn’t, and probably won’t be, you can appreciate him for what he is—a decent starting cornerback that complements arguably the best CB in the NFL very well.
Sell: All the social media hot takes whenever Waynes gives up a catch. Look, he’s gonna give up catches and yards because he’s thrown at more than probably any CB in the NFL. And it’s not because he sucks, it’s because no one throws at Xavier Rhodes. But you know what? For every catch he gives up, he’ll come back the next play and break up a pass, stop a running play on the edge before it becomes a big play, and get his fair share of picks. No, Waynes isn’t Rhodes. But he isn’t the second coming of Wasswa Serwanga or Robert Tate, either.
Moment Of The Week:
Had both grandsons over to the house today, as Papa and GG took them to an early Halloween celebration at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens. We had a miniature Batman and Flash running around the living room, and at one point in the mayhem, I had this exchange:
Grayson: Papa, is that the Bikings?
Me: Yes, it is.
Gabriel: Papa, are the Vikings winning?
Me: Yes, it looks like they will.
Grayson: Papa are they good guys or bad guys?
Me: They’re good guys.
Gabriel: Papa, can we go to the movanical garters to get candy now?
Me: Yes. Yes we can.
So the Vikings head into the bye at 6-2 with a big win against the Browns, and sole possession of first place in the NFC North, regardless of whether or not Detroit wins their Sunday Night game against the Steelers.
Enjoy the bye, kids.