Hi everyone. We're finally done with bye weeks here in the NFC North, and it's, like, so on for the rest of the season. Let's get to it...
Kevin,I asked you a week or two ago about why the Lions weren't getting the job done rushing the football. Your response was that they were a pass heavy team and that at this point in the season, you wouldn't call it problematic. After mustering just 76 rushing yards (2.9 yards per carry) in their 12-14 loss to the previously winless Bills (and their awful run defense), do you still think it's not a problem?
Honestly, they might have won if they gave up on the run game earlier. Obviously, it would help to be able to run the ball better. But with respect to the Buffalo game, if anything, they were too stubborn.
As a Packers fan, I know that I am biased. However, I see the Packers as a team that could be 9-0 just as easily as they are 6-3 right now. Short by a FG in 3 games is keeping them from a perfect record. Not to mention they have seemed to turn on the afterburners since that game at NYJ. I see the Packers winning the North by 2 games over the Bears. Is this thought too impossible? I really don't think so, but you're the expert...
Well, the chances of something going wrong at some point are pretty high. But the important point is the Packers have obviously had a chance to win all of their games. No other team in this division can say that.
A lot of football folk have gazed into their crystal balls and determined the Bears are doomed based on the difficultly of their remaining schedule. But--my god--how is the Packers schedule any easier?
Well, the big thing with the Bears is that they have to play the three tough AFC East teams -- the Jets, Patriots and Dolphins. The Packers have already played the Jets and Dolphins. That's basically the difference in their schedule. It's true the Packers have Atlanta yet to play, but in the end all three of those AFC East teams might be better than the Falcons.
So how loud are the FIRE CHILDRESS chants going to be at the Vikings' house Sunday?
It was pretty muted two weeks ago at the Cardinals game. Guessing that fans have Childress fatigue. Also guessing there will be even more Packers fans in attendance than normal. They LOVE Childress.
Hey Kev. I think I'm just going to chill here on the bench and see how bad this train wreck actually is.
Well, your value might never be higher. The Vikings have been desperate to get your skill set on the field, first with Vincent Jackson and later with Randy Moss. The last thing you want to do is get on the field and do anything less than what you did last year.
Hi Kevin! My Vikings and Favre are done arent they? Thanks!
'Fraid so. Stranger things have happened, but nothing's happened to this point to tell us the Vikings are any closer to getting themselves together. They're just about out of time.
Will Best ever get back on track or will that turf toe bother him till he rests it?
It's a good question. It seems so predictable: We'll get to training camp next summer (or whenever the lockout ends) and the Lions will say Best was never the same after the injury. You can only hope so if you're a Lions fan. He sure doesn't look the same.
If the vikings were to move, it would most likely be in a AFC region (LA or Toronto). Which AFC team would likely move to the north division? Indy or KC?
Easiest play would be moving to the NFC West and switching divisions with the Rams.
if the bears miss the playoffs again, they've only played one winner, will Angelo and Phillips head roll as well as lovies? Is martz' ascention to head coach a built in fallback? Or will the newest McCaskey perform a search?
Right now, it's hard to imagine anyone getting fired unless the Bears lose the rest of their games. And I don't see Martz as the next Bears head coach if that does happen.
I understand that Wilf may be practicing loyalty to Childress (who in my opinion hasn't earned it), but what about loyalty to Frazier. Wilf could fire Chilly move in Frazier. Then even if we brought in somebody else big as a coach next year, Cowher or Gruden ,then at least you have given teams a look at what Frazier could do as a head coach. So either you can reward him with this job or reward him with HC experience which is all he is lacking for a job right now.
Then there is this conspiracy theory: What if Frazier does well enough that there is a groundswell of support to hire him? That's fine if he is Wilf's guy, but what if Wilf is thinking Cowher or Gruden or even Billick? Then it becomes a murky situation.
A lot of slipping at Soldier Field on Sunday, mostly by the Vikings causing big plays for the Bears. Any comments on that home field advantage?
That's been the case for years at Soldier Field. The Park District looked at replacing the grass with Field Turf, but the Bears actually objected to it over the winter. It's a home-field advantage to be sure, but a fair one.
Hey KS - have you heard anything about the injuries in GB? Picket, Driver, Matthews?
Sounds like the hope Pickett will return to practice Thursday. Driver had a personal issue Monday and wasn't at practice. Not sure if he'll be ready or not. Matthews will most certainly be ready.
heyyyy seifert answer this question....but u probably wont....why do u always write about the vikings even to this day when there not even in the playoff hunt.......everyday its the same stuff dude.....there are 3 other teams in this division dude....why cant we get the same coverage.....ur thoughts dude.......all us fans want to know why
Because, as I've said many times, news doesn't parcel out in 25 percent increments. We follow what we think is the best stories in the division, and over time it evens out between teams.
Do you think the Vikings WRs have quit on Chilly?
It doesn't look good when two of your presumptive starters are tapping out of games. At least, that's the way Childress portrayed the decisions of Rice and Berrian last week. I don't think the receivers feel any different than any other position group. Players have felt distanced and not particularly loyal to Childress since the start of his tenure.
Am I lucky or am I becoming the next great ball hawk on a menacing defense?
Maybe after the first couple of interceptions we could call you lucky. But when it gets to four, and the fourth was a near-touchdown, I think we can at least say you have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
Will Blackman was returning for the Giants last weekend. I thought him and the packers reached an injury settlement. Not that he was lighting up the return game but why do you think the packers did not retain him?
I think they didn't want to carry him on their 53-man roster for the time it would take him to recover when, at best, he would be their return guy. He didn't fit into their defensive backfield apparently.
The Bears leading the NFC North after Week 10? I never dreamed it could happen before the season started! With 7 games left, do you see the Bears winning the division, making it as a wild card, or is their remaining schedule against winning teams going to do them in?
They definitely have a tough schedule, but they have the kind of formula that can win in November and December: A defense that is tough on third downs and causes turnovers, and a dynamic special teams player in Devin Hester. I think they've got a decent shot at a wild-card, if nothing else.
Kevin, we all know where you'll be on Sunday...at the Vikings game. What a shock! Just kidding. Anyways, did the Bears get away with playing a game against a couldn't-care-less-Vikings team?
I don't think so. I think they really took it to the Vikings, beating them physically as well as with some scheme adjustments. I do think the Vikings never recovered from that missed opportunity early in the second quarter. (Longwell's field goal attempt clanged off the upright.)
Okay, so it would seem Childress is safe (for now) since Wilf, as you pointed out, is a patient man that runs his business like a family. What are the chances a loss to GB on Sunday legitimizes the decision to SIT FAVRE so the team can begin sorting out its future?
I can't see that as an option. They should already know by now that Tarvaris Jackson shouldn't be the quarterback they build their next generation around. If they don't know that, there's no sense discussing the rest of the particulars.
Will the Dolphins kick to Hester?
I don't know for sure, but generally speaking, Hester has already done enough this season to merit that kind of treatment from most teams. That means the Bears should get a big boost in field position even if he doesn't have another TD return this year.
A large sports news outlet (not the one you work for) has told me Adrian Peterson got hit with a new speeding ticket...but this was a mere 53 mph in a 35. Is this news worthy? Clearly endangering people's lives at 109 mph is one thing, but do you think--as a person working in the reporting business--it is advantageous that the news cycle creates the situation where I know so much about a player's life?
In my opinion it was newsworthy because of the circumstances. It happened just before a scheduled team meeting, and in the end Peterson missed the meeting entirely and could face discipline. In the past, he has been benched for the start of the next game for missing or being late to team functions. So the possibility of him not starting against the Packers for discipline reasons makes it newsworthy.
Kevin,Is it time for the fords to scrap everything and try again? Why wouldn't a franchise who has never won go out and get proven WINNERS?
Well, Steve Mariucci was a proven winner. That alone isn't enough to hire someone. The big thing they have to do is let the people they hire have enough tools and time to get the job done. I think Mayhew-Schwartz deserve at least three years. I think they've shown progress this year, even if the record remains terrible.
Kevin! do you agree that of all 7 games that the Bears have remaining on their schedule the Eagles game is the most important and not the Packers game? I think this could wind up to be the tie breaker for the last wild card in the NFC. I'm assuming here that the NFC south will get the other wild card.
Good point. It could. But it all depends on where the Bears and Packers are heading into Week 17. Even if the Bears are a game behind the Packers, they can win the division by beating the Packers at Lambeau in the season finale.
A co-worker and I were discussing Percy Harvin and Jonny Knox. He immediately stated that Harvin is a much better player than Knox, but is that really true. The media attention paid to Harvin suggests it is, however when you look at their stats the very comparable. You could even argue that Knox is more explosive than Harvin based on his YPC. Although, Harvin?s YAC is scary good.
The big thing is that Harvin is more versatile. The Vikings are just cracking the surface, but he really is a hybrid receiver/running back. Knox is faster, but I think Harvin is more dangerous with the ball in his hands, if that makes sense.
Lets get real...what are the odds the Bears can contend in the division title when they have the Eagles, Pats, and Packers in Lambeau. It should be the Packers' division to lose, don't you think?
It is theirs to lose, yes. But that doesn't mean the Bears can't do it. And we want DRAMA baby DRAMA for the rest of the season, don't we?
I'd like to apologize to all the Lions fans for offering hope this season... my bad.
Ha. The good news is that you were pretty good in the short time you were on the field. But somehow you're going to have to stay on the field for more than a couple games at a time.
Who would you choose as the next coach for the Vikings? Do you go Leslie Frazier or are you trying to lure Cowher or Gruden to the Twin Cities?
I suppose it depends on how much money you want to spend. If you fire Childress after this year, you're paying out at least $12 million. Then you probably have to commit at least, what, $25 or $30 million to sign Cowher or Gruden? And that's with the possibility of no games in 2011. Frazier would be a lot cheaper.
I'm surprised at the Bills win over the Lions. I thought Detroit had really turned a corner. Was this game a fluke, or have the Lions really not made the progress it appeared they had?
Well, it should be noted that the Bills had played a couple of pretty tight games in the weeks leading up to the Lions matchup. The Lions have made some progress, but obviously not enough to overcome 11 penalties and some sloppy play even against a team like the Bills.
Who are the Bears the happiest to see on the injury report, Pennington, Henne, Wake, or Long?
I'll go with Wake. The Bears might not want to push their luck with their pass protection.
Think Starks is going to see the field this year?
It sounds like they are pretty exicted about him. But they should be careful. He hasn't played a game at any level in almost 700 days.
Congrats Kevin Clampett, you just struck oil in your backyard, and used your newfound riches to purchase the new NFL franchise in Los Angeles. To help you get started, the League is allowing you to pick one GM, one head coach, two coordinators, one offensive player and one defensive player from current NFC North teams. This is the core you will build your franchise around for the next 5-10 years. Names please, you are on the clock.
This is long but I like it. Here we go. For GM, I would choose Martin Mayhew. Love his drafting so far. For a coach, I would go with Mike McCarthy. For offensive coordinator, it would be tough because McCarthy would call his plays. But I'd want Scott Linehan. For defensive coordinator, I think I want Dom Capers. For the offensive player, give me Aaron Rodgers. (Shocker.) On defense, I want Julius Peppers.
Do the Lions coaching staff have absolutely no faith in Drew Stanton?
Evidently not if they started Shaun Hill with his left arm in a splint. But a better question: Has Stanton given them any reason to have faith?
Hey Kevin, hear anything about the Jenn Sterger situation? Any chance that Favre will get suspended before the Packers game?
If that were to happen, I'm thinking we would hear in the next few hours. Literally. The NFL doesn't typically drop a suspension on a team late in the week.
You know what I'm tired of hearing? Lions players who make comments like, "we are mad about losing" or "this is getting old" or "we should be embarassed". Especially Dominic Raiola... that guy needs to go.
Not sure I think Raiola needs to go. But I do think that refrain is tired. How much embarrassment can one person feel before he's numb?
Any important packers in contract years? Any chance of signing said packers before the offseason?
A big one is Tramon Williams. His value is going up every day.
In back-to-back weeks I have singlehandedly lost 2 games with inexcusable plays. First I hit LT out of bounds resulting in a FG. Secondly... did you see that horrid excuse of an attempted tackle on Fred Jackson? Shame on me.
Yeah, and I've been pretty harsh on you in our Sunday wrap-up posts. I don't mean to single you out, but come on....
why do people use dude so often in a queston?
They must think I was in the Big Lebowski.
Seems like Gerhart is being used more and more by Brad Childress. Is he trying to conserve AP?
I don't know. I've not seen much from Gerhart to suggest he should be playing so much, but what do I know?
Hey Kev, I was just wondering if you were ever going to attend a non-Viking game again...?
Yes I am. Your location is a big clue as to when.
With the recent moves of the Packers releasing Al Harris and putting Mark Tauscher on IR, do you see any other older players in GB that need to worry about their job security next year?
There aren't many left. I imagine Chad Clifton is on that list, although he has played pretty decently. I doubt Charles Woodson is going anywhere. Maybe Donald Lee if Quarless continues to emerge.
Should the Vikings alter their leadership structure next year to have the GM duties vested in one person without interference from the head coach?
I'm not a big fan of the committee system, but Zygi Wilf is an that's what counts. I think someone has to be in charge, especially when the owner lives out-of-state. Power vacuums are dangerous.
Do you think the Packers should look to someone else other then Tramon Williams to return punts? I think he is just to valuable and playing at such a high level that the risk is to high to have him back there returning.
It's definitely a risk. I'm kind of surprised it's gone on this long. I would think Jordy Nelson would have gotten a shot, but he did have a couple fumbles on kickoff returns earlier this year.
Kevin, Do you agree with the Packers decision to cut Al Harris? Tramon Williams is playing great this year, but depth in the secondary would be welcome. Did they not think Harris could or would contribute in the nickel? Thanks.
I would agree if they had determined that he wasn't a good player anymore. His performance with the Dolphins last week would suggest otherwise. But if they did it because they didn't want a backup cornerback who can't contribute on special teams, I think it was a little short-sighted in what could be a Super Bowl year.
What do you think the Lions should do with their first round pick in the draft. Any players in mind who could skip into the lineup and help right away next year? Personally, I'm thinking help on the o line.
Uh-oh. The Lions draft questions have begun. You look at their team and say the biggest needs are in the secondary and perhaps offensive line. Otherwise, I don't have much for you yet on specific players.
Kevin: What are you seeing different about Jared Allen this season? Is he another of the Chilly malcontents that just isn't motivated? Personally I don't see that being his style.
I don't think he's unmotivated, but when you watch him you see significant chunks of games where he's not getting separation. He's had some pressures that haven't led to sacks, but it's not as if someone else on the Vikings' line is benefiting from his presence.
Kevin, would you rather A) participate in these weekly chats, or B) have me extract your wisdom teeth through your ear canal?
Already had my wisdom teeth removed... That probably explains a lot.
Ok folks, a few more here.
If the Vikings lose this week they are DONE. But if they pull off the upset in the dome where they have lost once the last 2 years dont they still have a shot with the bears playing in miami and against philly while the pack then go to atlanta?
If the moon were closer, I would grab it.
Thanks for not ignoring me while you chat. A+ for multi-tasking!
The wonders of future posting!
You say Wilf may be holding out for a Gruden, Cowher, (insert big name), but doesn't he realize theres a 0.0% chance of them coming with no quarterback on the horizon? They will kindly pass and wait for a more stable opportunity.
I bet Gruden or Billick would want to draft a quarterback high, where the Vikings could be positioned in 2011, and develop him.
Come on Kev, answer the question. Will Dom Capers be a Head coach next year based on what he's been able to do?
It's a fair question. You wonder if he isn't at the point where people consider him a great coordinator who is a middling head coach. Of course, Chan Gailey is a decent coordinator and a middling head coach and he still keeps getting jobs.
I never saw you response to our poll last week. Are you a Star Trek, Star Wars, D&D, or WoW "geek"?
Missed that one. What's WoW? Women of Wrestling? Hmmmm. I'll go Star Wars and Star Trek.
Peppers over Matthews? Really?
Just figured I would continue my unintentional dissing of the presumptive DPOY.
OK everyone, thanks so much. Chat with you next week.