Tuesday (Jared Allen) edition: Wha’ Happened?

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

allen.JPGWe will admit to having a certain amount of Jared Allen fatigue before this season started, particularly while listening to a certain local sports talk radio station from 9 a.m. to noon. But we will also now say this: any naysayers are fools. The guy has 7 sacks through eight games and has pretty much been as advertised: a fierce pass rusher with a relentless motor who makes the players around him better. Kevin Williams has been a beast in the middle, and Ray Edwards was the recipient of a gift this past Sunday when Allen flushed a sack right into his lap. He also makes opposing coaches furious. In short, he’s the kind of guy you love to have on your side and hate to play against. And now we learn that Allen has a sprained shoulder and played much of his two-sack game against the Texans with it. There is a possibility that it will keep him out of the Packers game. To us, this is perfect timing. This is where Allen cements his reputation in Minnesota, one way or another. We’re not suggesting he should play through an injury that could get worse; we’ll leave that to him.

The decision on Allen’s availability could come down to his pain threshold, which apparently is very high given that he continued to play Sunday. “Pain tolerance is usually what [determines] whether or not you are physically able to go,” Childress said. “Some people are able to take it and some people are able not to take it. I’d say it has to do with that.”

Allen was at Winter Park on Monday receiving treatment but did not speak with reporters. During an appearance on KSTP-TV (Ch. 5) Sunday night, he had his arm in a sling but said he would play against the Packers.

So there you have it. If Allen plays, and plays well, and the Vikings defeat the Packers, this is where the money becomes worth it to the vast majority of fans. If he guts it out but is ineffective, some folks will turn on him. If he doesn’t play at all, fair or not, he will get an altogether different label. It’s a huge game for both teams, and a gigantic game for one player. We’re guessing he’s up to the task, but we’ll find out for sure as the progressing week culminates Sunday.

(Oh, and sorry for the late start today. Voting and stuff).

Fasola-link! Let’s go to a NASCAR race.

Blogging for you from an undisclosed location (update)

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Yes, we had to bring the car in to have the window fixed. It would have happened anyway, but still the dollar menu just turned into the hundred dollar menu. But enough about that. We’re at the dealership right now. They have Internet here. It’s like being at the office, except here there’s free English toffee cappuccino. We’re wondering if they’d mind if we just showed up every day.

In any event, we came across a huge slap in the face for the Vikings fans out there. ESPN has ranked the 80 all-time Super Bowl teams. That’s right, 40 winners and 40 losers. And coming in at No. 78, just third from the bottom? The 2000 New York Giants. That’s right, a team that defeated the Vikings by a scant 41 points in the NFC title game has been deemed the third-worst Super Bowl team of all time. Maybe that’s why the Vikings were the road favorite in that game. Unbelievable. We won’t ruin the list if you haven’t seen it, but just know the undefeated 1972 Dolphins? No. 7. Guess they’ll have to keep the champagne corked on that one.

Update: Thanks to RandBall nation for this link to ESPN’s top 10 non-Super Bowl teams. Let’s just say the 1998 Vikings are high on the list. Very high. Like about as high as you can get without playing for the 2004 Portland Trailblazers.

Please don’t talk about draft picks

Friday, December 29th, 2006

We’ll leave you for the weekend with a thought: If you are a Vikings fan, you want the team to win on Sunday. You do not want them to lose so they can get a better draft pick. The latter logic has never appealed to us. You play to play. And you play to win. If you don’t, you will pay for it somewhere down the road. Just look at the Houston Texans last year: They lost several close games down the stretch, some in questionable fashion, and finished with the No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft. And then their collective brains froze, and they didn’t pick Reggie Bush. They didn’t even take Vince Young. They took Mario Williams.

A win is a win. Don’t mess with karma.

Plenty of blame to go around; let’s divide it up

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

We want to keep this thread alive, so we’re butting in with a quick update: The second RandBall Commenter Of the Week (COW) award will be determined at 4:30 today. That person will get a 300-word post on RandBall on a topic of their choice Friday. Details to follow in an hour. And now back to your regularly scheduled Vikings ranting: 

The Vikings should have been a playoff team this season. There’s no other way around it. Their defense is at least top 15, maybe top 10. They put enough money into the offensive line that they should have been able to dominate the line of scrimmage, both running and passing. And the biggest component: Look at their schedule. The NFC is horrendous; and with the excpetion of the Jets, and to a much lesser extent the 49ers, every team on their schedule has either played at an expected level or underachieved. Washington? Bad. Carolina? Overrated. Same with Miami. Detroit? Even worse than expected. Ditto for Arizona. Ditto for St. Louis. Ditto for Seattle. The Packers? A mediorcre team that would be 5-10 had the Vikings defeated them twice instead of the other way around. Simply put, to be 6-9 right now is unacceptable. So: Who’s to blame? We’ll try to break it down percentage-wise. 

Brad Childress, 50 percent: The Vikings coach is getting absolutely whaled on by readers. Seriously, the anti-Childress e-mails we get dwarf the anti-Tice e-mails we got last year. His play-it-safe strategy worked early, but he’s proven to be clueless when it comes to adjustments, both within games and within the season. This is his system, and to a certain extent this is his personnel. And right now, not much he’s touching is working.

Zygi Wilf, 15 percent: He signs the checks. He made the call on Childress. The owner is on the hook for some of this mess.

Brad Johnson, 15 percent: He was handcuffed somewhat by the system he was playing in, but he also dug his own grave many times by making the wrong decisions – both in terms of forcing the ball at the wrong times and checking down to a two-yard completion when other things were open.

Offensive line, 7 percent: Too inconsistent for the amount of money and talent. It should have paved the way for consistent TD drives, not sporadic field goal drives.

Pass defense, 7 percent: This includes the pass rush. This includes linebackers not covering well. This includes the secondary falling asleep at times. This includes D coaches not making adjustments. This includes the off-field stupidity of Dwight Smith, Fred Smoot and Darren Sharper.

Wide receivers, 6 percent: Troy Williamson. Catch the ball. Everyone else: Get open once in a while.

Add it up. 100 percent. 6-9. Unacceptable. Your thoughts? 

Fred Smoot will stop at nothing to impress the Bengals

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

That quip was thieved from a RandBall correspondent, but it has to be thrown out there. How else can you explain the news that Smoot broke his jaw in a one-car accident Friday in Mississippi? There are few details at this point, but this sort of negative publicity has to be attractive to the Cin-city Bengals, who have had eight players arrested this season. Don’t be surprised when Smoot signs there in the offseason. Just wait. It’s going to happen. And yes, we’re linking from one Star Tribune blog to another. We’re just one big blog family. Whee! The Interweb is fun!