Victory over Bears within grasp
...but scratch Kleinsasser from go-to list!
Well fans, here we are in first place two weeks in a row, and the Purple, if it can get past the Bears at the Hump, must then only defeat the hapless 0-11 Lions to hold the whip hand over the lowly curs of the Northern Division.
The Cheeseheads, after their woeful showing Monday night, seem down and out, but their QB, Aaron Rodgers, can score enough points to beat anyone left on their schedule, so they mustn’t be counted out. Assuming that the Northern Division crown (a tarnished one) will require nine wins, the Cheese must take four of their last five, and the defense dismantled so handily down in New Orleans is not likely to do it.
The Bears have been up and down like the Pack, but we must assume the Vikes will prevail at the Hump; otherwise all this deep analysis is pointless. Leaving Minnesota at 6-6, they are unlikely to win three more times to tie the Purple, assuming our lads win one of their last three against St. Louis, Atlanta, and the Giants. Of course we are also assuming a win in Detroit, after the one at the Hump, not something that you’d want to bet heavily.
And the biggest reason not to bet the farm is Gus Frerotte and an offensive line that has not improved much as the season has played out. He got whacked around a lot Sunday because various Saints players came free across the line of scrimmage, particularly around McKinnie’s end, not that that is necessarily the Big Guy’s fault. The Vikes do not pick up blitzes and stunts any better now than earlier this year.
Frerotte’s reaction to pressure was not what you would expect of an older guy with brittle bones – he held the ball too long, or in the one case, threw the boneheaded interception. And he is still prone to the bounce pass on routine plays that T. Jackson was missing. This is not a formula for consistent offense, and the Vikes defense does not play well from behind. In fact, were it not for the missed field goals by the Jaguars, last Sunday’s outcome could easily have been the season-ending disaster.
Something I liked was the way the Vikes seemed to adjust after the first half. The pass rush picked up, the Jacksonville QB took some hits, and suddenly their third down conversion was not a given as it was in the first quarter and a half. It was pointed out that this was the first time in recent memory that the Purple had not been scored on immediately after the intermission. That is promising, so much so that I predict the win next Sunday, providing our lads avoid the multiple turnovers, penalties, and special teams disasters. Oh...did I say they also have to scratch Jim Kleinsasser off the go-to list?
Talk back! Tell us what you think of this year’s teams. What would you do if you were in charge?
Go to winonapost.com, click on Football Forum to discuss this year’s season.