Two of the hottest teams in the NFL face off on Sunday night and one of them is ours. The other one is coached by a lying cheating poor sportsman jerk. I know who I'm rooting for!
However, I will say Sean Payton is a good coach. Not good in a moral sense but in an effectiveness sense. This is a big challenge for our team. Payton is a good coach when he has a good QB and he does have one. He was good with Brees and now he has Russell Wilson almost back to his true form. By the way, Payton knows he is only a good coach with a good QB and knows he can't actually develop them. That's why he "retired" for a year from New Orleans. He had no QB and could not develop one. He needed one from the get-go, already developed, like Brees or now Wilson. Payton claimed his heart was no longer in coaching. Well, a year off and tons of money and a gimme QB put coaching right back in his heart. Is Payton selfishly smart? Yes. Loyal? What's that? He has no idea. I hate that guy.
Weird things happen in Denver for the Vikings, not always bad, but sometimes. I remember a game there when Cris Carter was playing. There was a pass high across the middle to Carter, way too high for him to catch. He was at a run down the middle and kept running as the pass kept sailing. There was no way he could catch it. Absolutely grossly overthrown. Carter, I thought just trying to make it look good, leaped as high as he could as he kept running and stretched his arms out but there was just no way... and he got the ball! And came down with it! I had never in my life seen a throw I was so absolutely certain was entirely un-catchable get caught. I thought it was maybe my perception but some years later Carter brought it up and said he also had not thought he had any chance at all to catch it. But he could run faster and leap higher in the Denver high altitude. Carter and I were equally amazed by the same play.
Another probably even more impossible play starred the great Leroy Hoard, our pass catching fullback/running back. He was a tough bruising runner. He once said, "If you need a yard, I will get you three. If you need five yards, I will get you three." Fricking hilarious! He rarely went backwards. In Denver we had a series of holding calls and mishaps and goofball plays and were 3rd and 37 yards to go from our ten yard line. So we handed off to Hoard, just hoping to get three yards and assist in the battle of field position. But he just kept going and going, never fast (he did not do fast), but never stopping. 52 yards! All the way to the Broncos 38 yard line!
Hopefully we'll have another unbelievable positive play like one of those.
1. Welcome back Anthony Barr! I wish Aaron Rodgers was still around for Barr to scare... by making a perfectly legal tackle, oh no, how unfair, whine whine whine. Hicks to IR but Barr is not really a middle linebacker. With his length and with his speed hampered by past injuries, I think he is perfect to transform into an OLB/DE type. I don't see him as a Hicks replacement. I see him as, eventually, our #3 OLB/DE. Flores needs to try him rushing the passer and he will see Barr brings more length, power, speed, juice, and expertise than Andre Carter (yet) or Patrick Jones. I think Barr's signing was more of a reaction to the coming surgery to Davenport. The Vikings must have known he'd need surgery before they signed Barr. In any event, Barr should be on a roster playing in the NFL. I also like that the current management/coaching do not shy away from bringing back former Zimmer players.
2. Flores and his defense is incredible. I call it The Three Safety Blitz D. What an incredible safety threesome in Harrison Smith, Camryn Bynum, and Josh Metellus. Utterly fantastic. Somehow when Flores blitzes it never seems like we are gutted and empty in coverage. It's like free blitzes, like he somehow is always allowed to have 12 or 13 men on the field. Flores has, so far, pulled the D from 31st up to 13th. A flip-flop of number rank and status and type of defense. From lay back and do nothing to an attacking defense. Donatello was the worst DC I've ever witnessed. He used to have defensive backs stand -- like fence posts -- deep in the defensive backfield. Stand there. During a live play! I would say he was bribed because no one can be that foolish but no way did every team we play bribe him. Just bizarre. I knew Flores would make our defense better, much better, anyone besides Donatello would, but I had no idea he'd have this big of an impact. Great great great coach.
3. Danielle Hunter is worth 30 million a year. Easy. He is much better than Joey Bosa, etc. I don't want to see our D without him. He should have at least three premiere years left in the tank and then several more far better than average years. Wonnum has 5 sacks. Rashan Gary of the moldy cheese-eaters has 4.5 sacks and just signed a contract for 4 years and 96 million. If he is worth 24 million a year, Hunter is worth fricking 48 million a year! (But don't actually pay him that much.)
4. We had one game where we were terrible versus the run (the Eagles game) and one game where we were awful against the pass (the Chargers game) but, other than that, we are strong versus the run and the pass. I've been very impressed with Harrison Phillips and Jonathan Bullard. Two more free agents we need to bring back. I've been quite disappointed in Dean Lowry though.
5. Watching Vikings games has been a lot of fun this year. Yes, true, winning is always fun, but even more fun than usual. Dobbs is great fun but I still want Cousins back. Any way we can have both? They say your #2 QB is your second most important player....
6. Hockenson. He is who we hoped he was, he is who we thought he was. He is, or will be... the greatest TE in Vikings history! The Logo is tough, The Logo is a great receiver and a great blocker. He's now proven he can excel without JJ though that does not surprise. He did not have JJ in Detroit. Kwesi won that trade, no doubt. What are opponents going to do when we have Hockenson, JJ, KJ, and Addison all on the field together once they are healthy? What a receiving crew!
7. I like Risner's positive energy. I don't know that he is an upgrade over Ezra Cleveland. I understand we did not intend to resign Cleveland after the year, but still. I'd rather have three above average guards in case of injury than have that 6th round pick. Basically, it comes down to this: If Ingram and Risner stay healthy all year, the trade it a small win. If either one goes down with injury, even just for a couple games, then it was a bad decision to trade away Cleveland. Big risk that if it pays off provides a very small reward. I do not approve that trade. However, obviously, the Dobbs trade was so incredibly fanstastic that it is a win times twenty over the Cleveland trade even if it goes south.
8. I'm loving how badly the season is going for the Packers. So is Aaron Rodgers. That guy is such a bastard though. He knows Love has poor deep accuracy so he goes on Pat McAfee (paid to go on the show!) and criticizes Matt Lafleur for not having Love throw deep more often. Why? To try to get him to do it. Lafleur must know how bad Love sucks at throwing deep but then feels pressure to have him do it anyway. God, Love looks awful.
9. Speaking of Rodgers, here is something hilarious: State Farm dumped him as well they should based on his track record of lies. Who wants to pay a liar millions of dollars to try to persuade people to buy your insurance? Not State Farm! It gets really hilarious though considering they replaced the vax liar / vax denier / conspiracy nut with Travis Kelce who helps promote public health via vaccinations. That's almost an "In your face, suckah" from State Farm to Rodgers. Burn! But then it got REALLY good and SUPER hilarious because Kelce started seeing Taylor Swift. Rodgers, for years, has tried to beard himself and desperately sought attention with fake contractual "relationships" with Olivia Munn, Danica Fitzpatrick, and Shailene Woodley. They call the rags and tell them where they will be dining, etc. to give them good photos, desperately trying to get coverage. Rodgers gets some social drama and the attention he craves and the struggling B-list females get some attention and coverage. I think the only time he's ever kissed any of them is when there is a camera there or they are practicing for the cameras. Anyway, Rodgers the Entire Family Dis-owner could never get a legit famous female to date him for himself let alone have a real relationship like Kelce and Swift. Rodgers is so jealous! He took cracks at Kelce even when Kelce was classy with him and personally sought him out and told him how terrible he felt about Rodgers getting hurt. In return? Rodgers jealously attacks Kelce. Rodgers is a real piece of work. He could keep a team of psychologists busy for years.
10. So glad to have Christian Darrisaw back. That guy is amazing. I invite you to watch him play after play. Incredible dominance, run or pass. He is a cornerstone level player. Dobbs' win in Atlanta is even so much more amazing considering the Vikes were without JJ, their top overall player, and without Darrisaw, their #2 best player on offense. And obviously without Cousins so we were out our top 3 offensive players that game. Too bad about Cam Akers. I like that guy. Great running, catching, and blocking. I hope he heals up completely and comes back strong.
All the best! I hope we have a great game Sunday!