Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants Preview

How shall the beat the today? Let me count the ways.

If I had a smidgen of confidence in our offense, I might have hope that the Vikes could pull out a win today. But I don’t. If they want to have any chance at a wild card spot this season, the Vikings need to beat the Giants today. I just do not think they are capable of a victory over a Giants squad whose 7-3 record is far less impressive than it looks.

The Giants wins have come at the expense of such NFL powerhouses as , , the , , the , the and last week against the reeling . Their losses have been against good teams: Twice to the and once to the . And the Green Bay loss was during the second week of the season, when the Pack was not nearly as good as they are now.

If the Giants have proved anything this year, it’s that they can beat bad teams. Lucky for them, they face the Minnesota Vikings today.

The Giants Running Game

Will be nonexistent. With New York down to their third down back, , the Giants will not seriously commit to the run. They will beat the Vikings as everyone does, through the air.

The Giants Passing Game

New York tight end will eat up the Vikings D underneath today. They will take advantage of the Vikings’ Cover 2 deep defenders by challenging Minnesota’s linebackers to cover underneath, of which they haven’t proved capable.

With out, rookie corner will be challenged just as much as his fellow corner, Cedric Griffin. I expect the Giants will pick on Griffin–since everyone seems to do that–by matching him up against the 6’5" . That’s a match-up against which Griffin simply cannot physically succeed.

The Vikings Running Game

The only way the Vikings will have a chance is if they eat up the clock with long, run-dominated drives that end in scores. With apparently warming the bench today, that effort will be much harder. proved he could run for far more than 100 yards last week, but he’s still no Adrian Peterson.

If the Vikings offensive line and receivers run block as they have since the Chicago game, they certainly could execute a time-consuming, run-mostly strategy.

The Vikings "Passing" Game

When the Vikings are in passing situations, the Giants can be counted on to bring maximum pressure on Sidney Ri—um, .

What does it say about Tarvaris Jackson that our first passing play last week was thrown by our wide receiver, ? What does it say about Jackson that our longest pass play from scrimmage this year was thrown by our wide receiver, Sidney Rice? What does it say about Jackson that the first red zone pass by Jackson last week, from the three yard line, resulted in a drive killing interception?

With left tackle matched up against speed rusher and right tackle taking on and still having to account for middle linebacker , Jackson is nearly certain to have a defender all up in his grill on every passing play.

And he has yet to prove he can handle that pressure. What he has proved is that he’s indecisive and there’s no reason to believe he’ll anything other than indecisive as well today. That indecision will result in sacks or interceptions today.

A loss today means the effective end to the Vikings’ 2007 season. Sadly, we’ll be playing for picks from here on out.

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – Shock & Awe Gameplay

The Shock & Awe level of may be the most exciting level of the game, or maybe just the most fun. How can you get more entertaining that manning the side gun of an attack helicopter, taking out tanks and nests of hostiles wielding RPGs? Mayhem and explosions galore!

See also:

Brad Childress’ Trades

I’ve already discussed head coach Brad Childress, his , and his handling of the .Today, then, I look at the Vikings trades under the Childress regime.

2006 Minnesota Vikings Trades:

Let’s knock them down one at a time.

The Daunte Culpepper Trade

This turned out well for the Vikings. didn’t want to play for the Vikings anymore and as much as I wanted to sit him, let him sulk on the bench until he fully rehabbed and then trade him for more value, trading him immediately was the right move. Culpepper was a disaster in Miami and only this year does he look like he resemble the quarterback he was when he played here.

With the 51st overall pick they got from Miami, the Vikings drafted T/C . Most people thought it was a hell of a reach to draft Cook at that spot; that the fourth round was a more reasonable place to pick him. Cook is starting at right tackle, but he has been extremely raw.

He is improving, though, so so far, so good.

Trade Up For Tarvaris Jackson

The Vikings traded two third round picks to the Pittsburgh Steelers to grab Jackson in the second round. The move surprised a lot of people because Jackson wasn’t anyone’s radar screen and was considered a sixth or seventh round pick.

With the two third rounders, the Steelers chose FS Anthony Smith and WR Willie Reid. Smith has played in 26 games and started nine of them for the Steelers. During the past two years, Smith has made 67 tackles, defended seven passes and intercepted three balls.

Reid has played in three games for the Steelers during the past two years and has a whopping three catches during that period.

Jackson has hardly lived up to his billing and worse, he doesn’t seem to be improving. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ safeties are older and have lost a step. We could use some young depth at the position. With a roster that boasts , , and , Reid is not likely to see much action any time soon, so who knows how good he is. At least with the Vikings, we’d find out.

At this point it sure looks like trading up for Jackson was a bad move.

Vikings Trade Picks To Eagles For Artis Hicks

Artis Hicks is no longer starting and he was pretty bad when he was.

The Vikes traded the 115th and 185th overall selections to the Eagles for Hicks and the 127th overall pick. The Eagles subsequently traded both picks to the Green Bay Packers.

With the 115th pick, Green Bay took cornerback . Blackmon has one tackle in the eight games he’s played for the Packers during the past two years. With the 185th pick, the Packers selected DB , who had one pass defended in 2006. He is no longer on the roster.

The Vikes took DE with the 127th pick. Edwards is great as a starter but between the 115th and 127th picks, the Vikes missed the opportunity to take RB (averaging 4.3 yards a carry this season), WR (55 receptions in 2006, 20 thus far this year), and the diminutive defensive end , who’s blowing it up with the Broncos–8 sacks last year, 8.5 thus far this year).

This was a bad trade.

Hank Baskett For Billy McMullen

A team that has been in dire need of receivers since Childress took over ships off a 6’4", 220 lbs receiver with 4.3 speed for, for…wait for it…Billy McMullen!

McMullen was a fine possession receiver but we didn’t need a possession receiver. We needed an explosive receiver and Baskett was the closest we’ve come to that during the Childress era.

Though his stats are not stellar, is still playing still playing with the Eagles as their third receiver. McMullen, meanwhile, hasn’t played since we cut him.

Bad, bad trade.

Mosely For Bollinger

The Vikings, belatedly, realized they needed another quarterback so they shipped the talented DT to the Jets for Brooks Bollinger. Bollinger has been just okay and Mosley hasn’t cracked the Jets starting lineup. We needed a QB and Mosley wouldn’t have seen much playing time here anyway, so not a bad trade.

Goldberg For Undisclosed

has started four games during the past two years for the Saint Louis Rams, despite losses on the offensive line this season. But we’ve needed as much help at guard as possible, so I’m just sayin’.

We don’t know what we got for Goldberg yet, so it’s too early to tell.

Vikes Trade Down And Pick Sidney Rice

Sidney Rice looks like he’s going to be a fine receiver, maybe even a great one. The Vikes traded the 41st pick for Atlanta’s 44th overall pick and the 121st overall pick.

The Falcons chose CB , who has started six games for them this year.

The Vikings traded the 121st pick to the Denver Broncos for the 176th and 223rd overall picks.

Straight up, this was a good trade. The Vikings didn’t need more corners but they did need a young receiver and they turned the 121st pick into two more selections.

Vikings Trade Up For Brian Robison

The Vikings gave up the  106th and 182nd overall picks  to move up to the 102nd slot to take Robison. Robison is super athletic and has provided the Vikes some much-needed speed rushing from the edge. The Buccaneers took safety Tanard Jackson and linebacker Adam Hayward with their picks. Jackson has started every game this season while Hayward hasn’t done much at all.

As I said above, the Vikings certainly need some youth at safety but they also need some speed from their defensive ends.

This trade is a wash.

Fourth Round Pick For A Sixth & A Seventh

The Vikes trade the 121st overall pick to the Broncos for the 176th and 233nd overall picks which they use to select linebacker Rufus Alexander and wide receiver Chandler Williams, respectively.

Alexander was highly regarded but was placed on injured reserve during the pre-season, so we haven’t seen what he can do. Williams was last seen in a Miami Dolphins uniform, but he has no statistics this season.

The Broncos chose DT , who has started just one game, has only 11 tackles, but does have an interception.

It’s too early to tell whether or not this was a good trade. We’ll have to see whether Alexander pan out.

  • Good Trades: Culpepper, Trade down for Sidney Rice: Two Good Trades.
  • Bad Trades: Trade up for Tarvaris Jackson, Picks for Hicks, Baskett for McMullen, Mosley for Bollinger (though I said it wasn’t a bad trade, I’m docking Childress some points for completely mismanaging the quarterback situation from the start, and the Bollinger trade is part of it): Four Bad Trades.
  • Washes Or Too Early To Tell: Goldberg for Undisclosed, trade up for Robison, fourth round pick for a sixth and a seventh: Three neutral trades.

Kickin’ It With Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

I just finished last night and I gotta tell you, it kicks big time. It’s entirely too short, but makes up for it with nonstop, hyper-real action.

The most realistic next-gen game I’d played thus far was but Call of Duty 4 looks much realer. Maybe the technology has improved that much between the release of the two games or maybe it’s because Call of Duty 4 is set in the real world, but in Modern Warfare it’s like you’re right there in the thick of it. The only thing that breaks the realism in seeing closeups of people’s faces. Faces must be the hardest thing to replicate in video games.

Anyway, here’s some gameplay footage of a mission I failed because I didn’t know you had to find a console to upload code to stop a launch of nuclear missiles.

but with a level restart:

The Book On Brad Childress’ Draft Picks

This week we’ve looked at head coach Brad Childress‘ handling of the Vikingsquarterback position and his free agency/waiver wire moves. So now let’s look at his draft picks:

The Vikings have actually drafted very well during the Childress era. We got Adrian Peterson (who fell to us, it should be noted), Sidney Rice, Marcus McCauley, Brian Robison, and Aundrae Allison. All of them have started this season and all of them look like they could develop into consistent starters.

In 2006, we got Chad Greenway (who’s been okay, though he is essentially a rookie), Cedric Griffin, Ryan Cook, Ray Edwards, and Tarvaris Jackson–all starters.

But it is Jackson who is the exception to our generally exceptional
drafts. During the 2006 draft, Childress moved up by trading two third
round picks to position the team to reach deep into the sixth round and
pick Jackson with the 64th overall pick of the draft. No one expected Jackson to go that high, not even the quarterback himself.

The last time an NFL team drafted a I-AA quarterback, his name was Spergon Wynn.

The reach would be easier to swallow if 1) it wasn’t such a crucial position, 2) we had a backup quarterback plan, or 3) there was some glimmer of hope that Jackson could become a franchise quarterback and remain healthy.

Not only has Jackson often looked like he is in over his head but worse, there doesn’t seem to be any improvement to his game.

15 Reasons Brad Childress Is Not A Football Personnel Genius

Yesterday, I discussed Brad Childress,
so I need not address those players here. Let’s look at the personnel that Childress is responsible for bringing to the purple and
gold through free agency or the waiver wire.

Chili’s Guys

  • Guard . Fantastic acquisition, even though he wasn’t all that last year.
  • Running Back . Not very fast but a tough runner who was worth the investment. Great acquisition.
  • Kicker . Last year he had a hell of a time getting kickoffs to the one yard line or beyond but he’s fixed that this year with a vengeance. Great pickup, even though we have to listen to him talk about golf ad nauseum.
  • Safety . He was more of an import from Mike Tomlin‘s Tampa Bay days, but Childress gets credit for him. He’s been a hard hitter and has generally played well. Good acquisition.
  • Fullback .
    He only started seven games last year due to injury, so that was a bit
    of a waste, but he’s a damn good run blocker and has laid some people
    out. Good pickup.
  • Wide Receiver . I was absolutely skeptical but I’m happy to say he’s proved me wrong. Wade is a good possession receiver who can make yards after the catch but he’s not the number one he was acquired to be. Still, good acquisition.
  • Wide Receiver .
    He’s been good when he’s gotten the ball in his hands, but he doesn’t
    get a lot of touches. By our standards for Wide Receiver, good pickup.
  • Tight End . Was brought in to be a receiving tight end who could stretch the field on seam routes. When he’s gotten down field for apparent big gains, his quarterbacks have failed to get him the ball (). Remains to be seen.
  • Fullback .
    This guy’s got some quickness for a fullback. I’ve liked what I’ve seen
    but I’ve seen too little to really judge. Decent pickup.
  • Defensive End . Not bad. He hasn’t really been able to show what he can do, but hasn’t been disastrous, either.
  • Safety . Eh. He was more defensive coordinator Leslie Fraizer‘s pick, than Childress’. Hasn’t played much so it’s tough to tell.
  • Defensive Tackle . Eh. Hasn’t played enough to truly judge.
  • Linebacker . Was brought in to be a special teams ace. His most memorable play was getting juked out by a punter. I see in on more plays than Ciurciu.
  • Wide receiver : Eh.
  • Wide receiver : Sure handed possession receiver who was just that but nothing special. We traded the speedy, six foot four to the Eagles to get him, though. McMullen is no longer on our roster but Baskett is still making plays for the Eagles.
  • Definite Chili guy Defensive tackle : Eh.
  • Kick Returner . Though he made the Pro Bowl for us last year, he had to be cut because of his off-field problems, so at the end of the day, he’s go to be counted as a bust, though he wasn’t a very expensive bust. It should be noted, too, though, that Childress was depending on him to be our number one receiver this year even though Robinson had proved in the past that you shouldn’t depend on him. Result: We had to scramble to find receivers.
  • Guard from Philadelphia; the Vikes could have gone after the Eagles’ , one of the better guards in the league. But, no, we got Hicks who was average at best and lost his starting job.
  • Cornerback . Whitaker was given a spot on the roster even though he was outplayed by the quick .Last
    year, Whitaker distinguished himself as an eminently exploitable
    nickleback. He’s still on the team but plays only as a special teamer.
    Keeping Edwards would have been a vast improvement.
  • Tackle . Who knows? Has he even played?
  • Tight End . Again, who knows?

So what’s the verdict? Childress has brought in three rock stars in Hutchinson, Taylor, and Longwell; three solid contributors in Smith, Wade, and Richardson. There are six guys–Ferguson, Shiancoe,  Tahi, Mitchell, Doss, and Evans–who, ehhhhhh, who may or may not prove to be contributors. Three guys–Ciurciu, Johnson, and McMullen–are nothing special. Four guys are busts: Robinson, Kolodziej, Hicks (who was brought in to start and is not), and Whitaker; and two guys–Chase Johnson and Mills–haven’t really had a chance to prove themselves.

Out of the 21 free agent/waiver wire players Childress picked up, six contribute consistently and meaningfully. Five of those–Hutchinson, Taylor, Longwell, Smith, and Richardson are integral parts of the team. That leaves 15 of Childress’ players who haven’t contributed significantly during the coach’s two-year rule.

We don’t know if our pathetic passing game is a result of a substandard receiving corps, substandard quarterbacking, or both.

Still, six of 21 ain’t that great.

Brad Childress & The Great Quarterback Fiasco

Originally uploade
by vitaminkg21

Okay, now it’s time to talk about and his responsibility for this alleged football team. There are a lot of things that Childress has messed up as head coach of the , but none is more glaring than the handling of the quarterback position.

One of the first issues Childress had to deal with upon becoming coach was ‘s whining about more money. You can hardly blame a post-T.O. Childress
for having no stomach for dealing with a another malcontent player, but
in retrospect you’ve got to wonder if the coach’s personality
exacerbated the situation with Pep.

Childress deserves full credit for everything after Culpepper, though.

After making a huge reach for Jackson, the Vikings sign to a two year contract to run the team and mentor Jackson. They make a trade with the Jets for . Apparently, not satisfied with Bollinger during training camp, they bring in , of all people, to compete for a job.

Childress knew McMahon from  the , so how did he not know that
the guy was useless? McMahon is eventually cast away and the team
settles on Johnson, Bollinger and Jackson as their quarterbacks.

Johnson becomes estranged with Childress because the head coach
won’t allow the veteran quarterback to audible based on the look of a
defense. Johnson is eventually benched in favor of Jackson, who get
injured, who is replaced by Bollinger, who gets injured, and is
replaced in favor of Jackson.

After the 2006, the Vikings jettison Johnson and proclaim Jackson the starter for 2007.

This season we’ve seen Jackson, Bollinger, and now behind center and none of them have really worked. Childress was very
excited about getting in the 2007 draft, but then let him
slip to Chiefs instead of ensuring him a roster spot. ? Have I left anyone out?!?

, not only is Childress’ ability to judge quarterback talent suspect, he has been completely irresponsible in not having a contingency plan in case Jackson didn’t work out.

Why didn’t the Vikings make a run at during the off season? Imagine what the team could have done with a good quarterback.