Saturday, December 22, 2007

5 Questions with the Vikings

Tonight, one night only it's a 5 Questions reunion special. Thomas at The Ragnarok was the first blogger we reached out to last season, Monday Night Football on 9/11, in what became a season long feature and an internet sensation . We are pleased to welcome him back for a special 5 Questions Playoff Showdown. My answers to his questions are here, get your Redskins ass over there and leave him a comment. Thomas will be at this game. You better be into this game.

And now a very special 5 Questions, only on Curly R. And The Ragnarok.


Curly R: With Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor the Vikings are the top rushing attack in the league and may helm the Vikings for years to come. Tell me your reaction to the conventional wisdom that teams must pass to win in today's NFL. Oh and PS Mike Sellers is the top Pro Bowl reserve at fullback so Tony Richardson better look out Sunday night. He could have an accident if LaRon Landry catches him in the open field.

The Ragnarok: I think there's a lot of truth to that conventional wisdom, something the Vikings proved first hand earlier this season. The fact that other teams didn't even have to worry about any kind of pass being completed, let alone a deep one, allowed them to pretty much stop the Vikings at will. i don't, however, think its the be all and end all that everyone is making it out to be. Then again, conventional wisdom is all about overreacting, so that's to be expected. I also think the ability to run the ball is very important, but it's a lot easier to score a lot with a potent passing game. The best offenses are balanced, unless you are so ridiculously stacked that you don't have to run at all (I think the Patriots are the only one that can get away with that this year)

Curly R: Todd Collins is a career backup. He has been effective in two games but the league will catch up to him eventually. What do you think the Vikings will do create problems for Todd?

The Ragnarok: He was effective in that first game, but I really don't think 8 for 25 and yards was all that effective. He didn't throw any picks though, which is key. I think they'll send a lot of blitzes at him on Sunday, hit him a lot and generally try and make him move or make plays with a guy in his face, a strategy that's been very effective against all the mediocrity the Vikings have seen so far at quarterback. I think the Vikings focus will mainly be on stopping the run, and that should be a very scary thought if you are a Redskins fan.

Curly R: Tarvaris Jackson, last year you called him the Vikings quarterback of the future. You've had a solid season to look at him, what do you think? Is he a keeper or a stopgap?

The Ragnarok: You know, I'm still not sure. He's yet to break 250 yards passing in a game, but he looked like he'd turned the corner after his injury, at least up until Monday night. I don't know if that was a learning experience, or the real Tarvaris coming out, but it worried me. There were some positive signs in the fourth quarter, and his accuracy, even with those three picks, is still way better than it used to be. I think the best thing to do is to sign a real backup and let him go another year, with the understanding that he needs to go from being a game manager to being a good quarterback. They also need to get him a real #1 receiver as well, because it's not fair to lay all the blame on his lack of passing yards on him, seeing as how his leading receiver is Bobby Wade.

Curly R: Two major contributors, receiver Sydney Rice and cornerback Antoine Winfield are looking doubtful for the game. Do you think they will gut it out and play? What does it mean for the Vikings if they sit out?

The Ragnarok: Neither Rice nor Winfield has practiced this week, so I'd be very surprised to see them play. And that's a big loss to the Purple, as it means their best corner and their best wide receiver will be on the bench. The drop off from Rice to Robert Ferguson or Troy Williamson is a big one, but the Vikings focus on running first will likely take some of the pain out of it, though it could also effect Bobby Wade's ability to get open, as he'll be the main focus of the 'Skins pass defense, something he wouldn't be if Rice were playing.

Winfield's injury is also going to hurt the Purple, as he is unquestionably their best cover corner, and has been a big part of the run defense. Somehow, Winfield plays the run like he's a strong safety, not a corner and he's probably the only corner in the league that can have 8-10 tackles in the game without giving up a lot of receptions. He is a beast against the run and a sure tackler--something Devin Hester learned on Monday when Winfield tackled him in the open field multiple times on reverses.

Curly R: I just read this game is a sellout, is that an exception? Are the Vikings having problems with attendance and blackouts? Are there still talks about a new stadium?

The Ragnarok: It's not an exception, but the Vikings are having problems selling out this year. The mediocrity of the Tice/Red McCombs era had caught up to them, along with the lack of a playmaker (until the Purple Jesus' emergence). They've sold out home games since 1997, I believe, but this year needed corporate help a few times to avoid a blackout. I don't see it being a problem anymore, with Peterson, a few free agent signings to add to their offense and a playoff berth this year. A new stadium? Well, the governor said that the legislature wasn't going to address it in 2008, which means that a new stadium cannot be built before the lease is up in 2011. I was relatively confident that something would get done by the time the lease would be up, but I'm not as confident anymore. Honestly, I prefer not to think about it, because it's a massive buzzkill.

CURLY R BONUS QUESTION: if the Vikings lose, what will be the reason?

The Ragnarok: Stupid turnovers. The Vikings' showed the Redskins how to beat them on Monday night, but the only thing the 'Skins can add to the formula is to convert the turnovers into touchdowns. If the 'Skins do end up winning, it will be because Tarvaris threw stupid passes, Peterson/Taylor/the wide receivers fumbled when they shouldn't have, and Washington capitalized. Don't be surprised if this happens, because I know I won't be.


My two cents, no 8 for 25 is not Tom Brady like. That said the Redskins forced the Giants to throw 52 times. I'll take 8 of 25 efficiency in that weather.

Thanks to Thomas, head over to The Ragnarok and see the other side of the coin. This is a must win for the Redskins.