Hi everyone. We're live from NFC North headquarters and ready to chat about all things Black and Blue. Let's get to it!
Can we finally remove the tag of having to play someone because of their contract on Frank Omiyale. I think his name was called second most to Cutler but not ever for a good reason. He can't block an average Falcons defensive line and this isn' the first week he has blown blocks. Blame Forte but to me it seems a little hard to run well when you are hit three yards deep by a dt every play.
Yeah, that's an interesting situation. Going back to training camp, there were rumblings that Josh Beekman looked 10 times better than Omiyale at left guard. Beekman started off camp there at the first team, but eventually Omiyale was inserted there even though Beekman had played well. That decision is looking pretty bad right now.
What hass happened to NFC North Football? When did we stop being a run it between the tackles division? I love watching a team throw the deep ball but you need to be able to run it between the tackles on 2nd or 3rd and short and watching football this season it seems like we aren't doing that. Agree or Disagree?
Agreed, but I think that's made for a pretty interesting year. (And that's why we're using "Air and Space" instead of "Black and Blue.") When you have quarterbacks like Jay Cutler, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, it doesn't make a lot of sense to build your offense around off-tackle running. Function of personnel.
Does it seem that Forte does better with me in the backfield instead of the H-back (take your pick: Olsen or Clark)?
Possibly. But I think the line is a bigger issue -- and, frankly, Forte's own ability to make yards on his own. Or lack thereof.
How many more penalty flags does ray edwards have to get before robison starts ahead of him?
Apparently a few more.
Kevin, I understand that Cutler has more potential and a bigger arm than Orton, but each game that goes by makes me think the Bears made the wrong move. Your thoughts? Thanks!
Not at all. I think that's one of the biggest fallacies making the NFL rounds right now. Cutler has made some mistakes in the Bears' two losses, but I think he's made the complete difference in at least one victory -- Pittsburgh -- and has made them a better team overall. I can't deny Orton has played well in Denver, but you can't then make the suggestion that he would have produced the same performance if he were still with Chicago. Different situation, different (and better) personnel.
There has been a lot of buzz about Adrian Peterson "falling off" or being in a "slump." However, compared to last year at this time Peterson has more yards on less carries and more touchdowns. If this is true why are people saying he is in a slump?
To the extent they're saying that, I'm guessing it has to do with him going four whole games without running for 100 yards. But he went for 143 against Baltimore and is still leading the NFL in rushing. No slump.
Kevin, Do you think the packers can still win the division?
Sure it's possible. But at the very least, they'll have to win three more games than the Vikings do the rest of the way.
How do the Packers address their extremely offensive OL? I see two possible scenarios: 1. Trade for an established Tackle (highly unlikely), 2. Wait for the draft and trade down to the 6th and 7th Rounds to "shore up" the line (almost a certainty). Your thoughts?
Hah. We'll know for sure in a few hours, but I don't know of any big trade coming down the pike. Interesting you joke (I assume) about trading down to shore up the line. I think what you're seeing now is a result of a belief that you can build a line with lower-round draft picks. That might be true at some of the line positions, particularly center. But there aren't a lot of people in each draft who can play left tackle, or even right tackle, at a high level in the NFL. If you want one of those players, usually you've got to spend a high draft choice to get him.
As I'm sure you're aware, a lot of Vikings fans are not happy with Childress' performance on Sunday, nearly coughing up a win in the last quarter, and I'm not saying this should happen, but has a head coach ever been demoted to a coordinator before mid season? There are plenty of headcoaches out there not active (Billick, Shanahan, Edwards, Dungy), and Childress is bad enough that he could singlehandedly take down the Vikings in the postseason.
Yikes. I questioned his decision to play for the field goal, but it's hard to take too many shots at a coach whose team is 6-0. I can say with some confidence that no coach of a 6-0 team has ever been demoted to a coordinator in season.
Kevin,I heard you on K-Fan yesterday, responding to criticism over your "Curb Your Enthusiasm" column about the Vikings' win over Baltimore on Sunday. In fact, I believe the word "luck" was bandied about. The Vikings have indeed had their share of good fortune this year, most of which, I believe, is the result of positioning themselves with sound play. However, I think you fail to consider that their opponents too, have had their share of "lucky" bounces, as the field goal returned for a touchdown, just before halftime of the 49rs game will attest. In the end, teams win or lose by an accumulation of good sound plays made throughout the game, not just a a fortuitous made or missed field goal as time expires.
Fair enough. Perhaps "fortunate" is a better way to look at how I felt about the Vikings win. I'll have to go back and see if I ever used the word "lucky." A lot of people seem offended by the stance, but that's how I felt when the game was over. They were fortunate that a field goal kicker didn't make a very makeable kicker, finishing off what would have been an embarrassing loss.
I really did a bang up job Sunday when I was on the line, and it seems that I'm more comfortable when playing from that position, do you think I should be there full time? What's the best way to utilize me?
Agreed. The best way to utilize you is to have you play a 4-3 defensive end. That's not the way the Packers play anymore. But Dom Capers will have to continue looking for ways to get you in your comfort zone.
Is Matt Forte hurt, or not that good, he looks like he's running w the fridge on his backAlso, do you think the Lions are the worst run organization outside of oakland, will they ever get good again?
I don't think he's hurt, but I agree that Matt Forte looks like a very average runner this season. He hasn't gotten much help from the offensive line, but he also hasn't made many yards on his own, either. As for the Lions, they can't be run any worse than they were under Matt Millen. I'd say they have some glimmers of hope with Mayhew and Schwartz.
Wisconsin ex-pat here- Should I be worried about the Browns this Sunday? The Packers sorta walked through the detroit game, and I'm sure they're looking forward to Nov. 1. P.S.- Will B-Jax ever get a legit shot?
No. Unless Cleveland has changed dramatically since I saw them in Week 1, it shouldn't be a problem. The Browns are terrible. As for Brandon Jackson, I've never seen anything to suggest he deserves a legit shot.
Was it a wise move for the Bears to trade for Gaines when there is a more pressing need at linebacker and offensive line than at DE. Not to say Gaines won't be a valuable player but it seems like the front office is just sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to the real problems of the team.
One of the hardest positions to fill is pass-rushing defensive ends. There aren't may of them and they're rarely available. So if you come across a guy that has the potential to be a 10-12 sack guy, I think he's worth a second-round pick.
How much has playing in a dome helped Brett Favre this year?
I don't know if it's helped yet, J.B. But at the end of the season it'll definitely play a role. Favre hasn't looked like he's enjoyed playing in the elements during the past few years.
Michael Oher vs. Jared Allen. Cage match. Who's the last man standing?
Always side with the combatant you think would play dirtiest. I'll leave the rest up to you....
how did the bears rise two spots in the power rankings after a loss?
Wish I could explain that one. I'm not on the voting committee anymore. I would say that there is no shame in losing at Atlanta by a touchdown. The Falcons are a Top-10 team. Also, you have to look around at what the teams ranked on either side of the Bears did last week.
How are you coping with the NFCN becoming the crown jewel of the NFL? From your reaction on the latest post, I'd be surprised if you're any short of having a heart attack.
This isn't so much a question, but more of a request to our fellow bloggers. The comments section is a great way to throw around ideas and have conversations, but lately there's been a lot of mean spirited posts. I'm not saying do away good natured ribbing, just the nasty, off topic attack posts. I'll start by apologizing to anyone I've inadvertently offended, so let's be good to each other and have fun, ok guys?
Ha. Nothing wrong with a little enthusiasm. I'm enjoying this season, and I hope everyone else is too.
Whoops. Answers to the past two questions are reversed. I agree with both comments. Let's play nice!
Kevin- another week, another 7 blogs about the Vikings. When will you show other NFC North teams some love? Any new information on Stafford or Johnson? How many wins for the lions this year?
One thing I've learned with this blog is that I'm not going to please four audiences who all want more coverage of their team. There has been more Vikings coverage this year because they've been a big story and are now 6-0. Not much I can do about that. In some cases I think people are reacting to increased Vikings coverage while not recognizing that it hasn't come at the expense of the other teams. In many cases, the Vikings coverage has been in addition to what we would otherwise do.
With how terrible Paymah played in the 2nd half vs Baltimore and Winfield being out a few weeks, what's the likelihood Minnesota either picks up a CB off waivers or makes a trade for one?
They're not going to find anyone better. Like defensive end, good cover cornerbacks aren't usually available at midseason.
With Brett Favre getting better and better, how can critics assume he's going to tail off after week 11? He's not even throwing as much as he has in the last few years on an average game attempts basis...
I think that's a good point, but it's just a pattern he has shown over time. In those years, he didn't start tailing off before week 11, eiether. It was just a drop, as if he had reached a limit. That doesn't mean it will happen this year, but that's what history shows has happened in the past.
Kevin, it's both Beekman and Graham. Both guys are 10 times better than Omiyale and Bowman. Why isn't Lovie using his best guys to succeed? He's always stubborn when it comes to things like this.
I'm surprised at how far Graham got buried this year. I have no explanation for that. Bowman was really good in OTAs and in training camp before he got hurt. I wouldn't rule him out as a legitimate cornerback yet.
Do you think Minnesota or New Orleans ends up with home field advantage throughout the playoffs?
Looking ahead, huh? Wonder how many Favre fans would make the trip from Mississippi to Louisiana?
Against the Packers it looked like 3rd string QB had alot more success moving the ball downfield than Culpepper. He took strikes downfeild which opened up the running game a bit downfield. Do you think their is a chance detroit will play him if Stafford is not ready to go against the Rams in 2 weeks?
There's definitely been some talk about that. I'm surprised Daunte has become so conservative. I thought that after getting paired with Scott Linehan that he would approach his old self. But he really hasn't been very explosive at all when he's gotten a chance to play, even in the preseason.
When is ESPN going to fix it's chat application so that you guys don't skip over questions?
Not sure. In my case, I think I've hit "submit answer" but the answer doesn't always post right away. So I'm trying to slow down to see if that helps.
What of the Rumors that Stafford is going to be out for the season? Have you heard anything about it? Please tell me those are just rumors.
Here is what Chris Mortensen reported: Stafford's knee got swollen last Wednesday. The Lions took a new MRI and sent it to Dr. Andrews to have it examined. If Andrews determined that some kind of surgery was needed, Stafford's season would be in doubt. But to this point, we've gotten no indication that surgery is needed.
if percey harvin sits this week will we see darius reynaud or greg lewis get more playing time?
Probably Lewis. Reynaud hasn't practiced in several weeks.
Kevin, Do you think that Chili will ever let Favre do what Manning does with the play calling? To me, it would be a perfect situation to throw 3 plays at him and choose according to the defense presented.
He gets a lot of run/pass options, actually. And from what I've seen, Favre gets more leeway from Childress than all of the other quarterbacks who have played for him in Minnesota -- combined.
I am not preparing my team well enough to play football on sundays. We constantly have mental mistakes that kill the momentum we build up. Its getting downright embarrassing! What do I need to do to eliminate the penalties/blown offensive line assignments/dropped passes?? Help me Kevin!
Gotta hold the offending parties more accountable. Jump offsides more than once and you're benched. Line up wrong and someone else plays for a while.
Is there any truth to the Joe Thomas to GB rumors?
Can't see that being a good deal for Cleveland. Why would they give him up?
Hey Kevin, we need your input on the power rankings. The lions only ever get one line explanations. What can we do to get you back on the voting committee?
Nothing. I'm fine with leaving it to the others.
Would anybody be interested in Jeff Backus?
Er, uh, well...
Do blitzes seem less effective this year? Cutler, Favre and Rodgers have all picked apart defenses trying to bring extra pressure.
Agreed. I don't have an explanation for that. Maybe the less time to think the better?
Keith -- you're omitting the part about Gaines Adams being a bust. Terrible trade by Angelo.
BB -- thanks.
Kevin, I blacked out Sunday night and forgot what I was saying into my headset during the last 6 minutes of the game. Which was it?1. "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god...."2. "What do we do, what do we do, what do we do, what do we do?...."3. "We need to get the ball back so we can run it straight up the middle 3 times"4. "Let's all refer to our 'Andy Reid School of Clock Mismanagement" guides"
Too funny not to post.
Is Dr. Andrews the scariest person in sports? I mean no one wants to see that guy.
I don't know of any specialist in any field in this country who has the blue-chip market cornered like he does.
I'm not a Lions fan, but Culpepper hasn't ever really had Calvin Johnson to throw to in a game yet this year. Johnson was held out for most of the preseason and he didn't play against the Pack last week either. That's probably a big reason for the lack of downfield passing...
Fair point. I thought of that after I posted my last Lions answer.
Is Minnesota better, worse or where you thought they'd be six games into the season?
I probably would have been accused of Minnesota bias if I had ever suggested the Vikings would be 6-0. I thought they would be good but not undefeated.
Asher Allen is not playing because of numbers or because he lacks the skill right now?
I'm guessing they like Paymah better on special teams.
With Chad Clifton struggling sooo badly in his return, would it be better for the Pack to just take their lumps with the rookie Lang? Seems to me, at the very least, the run game would benefit from that move and in direct relation to an improved run game could be improved pass protection if the run game does indeed threaten defenses. Thoughts?
Left tackle is a scary position to give someone a regular-season tryout, but I agree that Clifton might be reaching the end.
How big of a loss would it be if Percy and Winfield didnt play at the Steelers? and how do you see that game playing out?
Well, if two big-time players are going to miss a game, it might as well be against an AFC team rather than a division team. Tiebreakers, if nothing else, would be far less affected. ... This will be a tough game for the Vikings whether Winfield and Harvin play or not.
Kevin, in your opinion which team in the NFc North had the toughest schedule so far?
I'd say the Bears. Pittsburgh and Atlanta are two of the best teams in the league.
Kevin, do you see a repeat of 2003 for the Vikings or are they better team in 2009?
Definitely a better team. Remember, that 2003 team missed the playoffs in historic fashion. Statistically, a 6-0 team is almost guaranteed to make the playoffs.
why am I ever on the field at all?
Wish I could answer that one. One day I will research the percentage of 1-yard plays he's made in his career.
The way the Bears and Vikings are playing right now, who has the advantage between the two head-to-head?
I'm really looking forward to when we can get those teams on the field at the same time. I think they're very evenly matched.
I can't Paymah rent the way I've been playing. Time to bring in Chris Mcallister.
Why isn't Jermichael Finley the Packers full time TE? He's got elite receiving skills and I've also seen him decleat several defenders this year.
We've had a pretty tough schedule as well. Minnesota, Chicago, Washington(easy), Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Green Bay. Only one easy team on the whole schedule.
I think he's playing a lot. The Packers use a lot of 2-tight end formations.
Sorry. That last answer was to the Finley question.
As for the Lions, fair enough.
OK everyone, that'll do it. Thanks so much for joining us!