Hi everyone. Sorry about last week's scheduling. Let's try to make up for it this week. Here we go...
Enjoyed watching the Vikings & Bears do battle in the night air. Any hope of the Vikings getting an outdoor stadium or is there the possibility of moving to warmer climates after all the stadium problems?
I would say everything is on the board right now. The problem for outdoor proponents is that politically, a dome is more viable because it can host many other events throughout the year. An outdoor stadium to replace the Metrodome wouldn't be nearly as versatile. And a retractable roof is the most expensive option. It's one of many issues the Vikings have run into on this.
Ndamukong Suh has been held in check the last two or three weeks. Have defenses been double-teaming him? Do you see him reaching double-digit sacks for the year? (If I remember right, he's still stuck on 8.5.)
He's still been involved, and sacks themselves come in spurts. But look at the number of sacks from the guys around him: Lawrence Jackson, Cliff Avril, Turk McBride, etc. Some of those recent totals have to be attributed to attention on Suh.
What is farve lasting legacy?
Ultimately, he'll be remembered most for starting 297 consecutive games.
Who is the better mad scientist/evil genius, Mike Martz or Dom Capers?
Good one. I would say both guys have made major personal adjustments this season to their schemes. I'll give Capers the nod in performance this season but note that Martz has done what many people thought he wouldn't -- subordinate his ego to field a less explosive but still efficient offense.
Favre plays in 2011: Yes or No?
I'm saying no, not after the beating he took this season.
How awesome do you think I am? Do you think Green Bay will start a new, multiple full back trend, or is this just becuase Ryan Grant is gone and no coach would willingly start 3 fullbacks?
I think you've been great, but your rise is due in large part to the personnel availability your team was left with following the Ryan Grant injury.
Do you think the lions can win their final two games and finish the season on an unheard of (for the lions) 4 game winning streak and what type of team do you see them being next season?
Yes, it's possible. Winning in Miami is a tough task, but at this point I would make them the favorite to beat the Vikings in Week 17. The Vikings appear to have rolled over, and that game will be at Ford Field. Even winning three of four to end the season would be a big momentum builder. It's early to start talking about next season, but the next step in their progression would be to emerge as playoff contenders.
Am I the worst Safety in the league?
We would be hard-pressed to find another. Some of the angles you've taken this season have been difficult to understand.
If special teams is 1/3 of the game, as most coaches claim it is....is Hester a HOF candidate?
I think he will be, mostly because he almost assuredly is going to add to the 14 TDs he already has. Remember, he's only 28. Who knows where his numbers could wind up. But he's been a game-changing weapon for most of his career.
My bootleg touchdown was pretty awesome, no?
Yes. For the most part, I think people saw why you were drafted. You're a big-time playmaking threat, but probably not one that projects as a full-time quarterback.
How does a player like Stafford prevent future injuries (specifically shoulder injuries)? He really shouldn't be considered injury prone yet, but are there any preventative measures that he or the coaching staff can take to keep him healthy next year?
That's a question above my pay grade, but the only thing you ever hear in these situations is that players can help themselves by strengthening the area around an injury. So, presumably Stafford could limit the chances of another separated shoulder by strengthening the muscles around the shoulder. Otherwise, it's a matter of luck and biology.
I was playing with the playoff machine, and if the Packers lose to the Giants this weekend, I couldn't get them into the playoffs no matter what. Did I miss a scenario, or is this a do-or-die game for the Pack?
Hmmm. I haven't tried that but obviously losing to the Giants would be another NFC loss, and conference record is a key tiebreaker. Let me take a rain check on that one.
Kevin, do you think Aaron Rodgers starts this week? When I was watching the game this weekend, he looked alert on the sideline, so I took that as a good sign. Matt Flynn played great, but the Packers are gonna need Rodgers if they wanna go on a playoff run...any insight into the situation?
Yeah, it's probably a mistake to judge a player's concussion recovery by his appearance on television. By all accounts, Rodgers improved last week but wasn't all the way back. Based on recent history of other players, his progression should get him back on the field this week. But if it doesn't, it won't be totally out of the ordinary, either. I would hate to see him rushed back before he is ready. That's the whole point of concussion awareness.
Kevin, great blog and chat. Was wondering what you put the chances of Vikes leaving MN at.
It sounds like the new Governor, Mark Dayton, is more interested in this issue than his predecessor. But there is a long way to go to get a stadium approved in this session. I don't think they're anywhere close to moving, but at some point the stadium situation will have to be addressed.
it seems that Jay Cutler has a problem hearing the calls every game and has to call a timeout. Why has this not been fixed by now?
Yeah, he's got that awesome expression that says something like, "Another timeout lost to complete incompetence." I don't think it's a problem with hearing the play. It seems more likely to be an issue of a late call.
Why do you think Chester Taylor has been unable to find success with the Bears this season?
Some of his carries have been in short-yardage situations, which naturally are going to lead to relatively short-yardage gains. But he is on pace for one of the least productive seasons on a per-carry basis in the history of the NFL. Perhaps it's been a slow adjustment to the Martz offense. I don't think he has "lost" a step. It's hard to figure out.
Why wasn't a fumble ruled when Favre lost the ball when sacked?
I wish I could answer that. It should have been. It's almost like they called early in the grasp or something.
Mike McCarthy has to be on the hot seat now right? His inability to manage challenges, and timeouts have to be called into question. His coaching has cost Green Bay at least three games this year. If the Packers don't make the playoffs, is there a chance he is fired?
Thanks for re-posting after I mistakenly deleted earlier. I think there are some individual situations where McCarthy has brought on some legitimate criticism this year, but to me it would be awfully hard to heap big-time blame on his shoulders when he's now playing without NINE of his Week 1 starters. To be 8-6 at this point is disappointing but also respectable given the circumstances.
Do you think the Pack can pull come out with a wildcard spot? If they can do you think they are too thin at CB to go toe to toe with the eagles or saints? I think maybe they can get deep but with all the hurt guys they are going to be on thin ice.
With both games at home, I absolutely think they can do it and probably should. I would say they're better stacked at cornerback this year than they were last year at this time as it relates to the playoffs.
Don't you think it is unfair to judge Frazier's performance based on losses to the Giants, Bears, and most likel the Eagles as well considering that he doesn't have a healthy QB, AP is hurt, and the O-line is banged up
That all has to be taken into account. You also have to point out the curveballs he's been thrown as far as scheduling because of the Metrodome roof collapse. But this team appears to have quit, at least in the past two games, and on some levels that is a reflection on the coach.
Kevin, did you get a chance to walk on the field before the game? It looked like they did a great job of getting the field ready, then came the accumulation and it looked horrible. Congrats to the Bears on being NFC North Champs.
I did walk on the field several times. More than anything, it was really slick. And there were definitely parts that were icy. It wasn't exactly frozen tundra, and as probably the best it could have been given the circumstances. But it's tough to have a thawed field when you don't have heating coils underneath.
Looking over the number of moves GM Martin Mayhew has made this year, shouldn't he be considered as a favourite for NFL executive of the year?For instance he picked up Stefan Logan, Rob Sims, Alphonso Smith, Chris Houston, Lawrence Jackson, Shaun Hill, and Corey Williams for late round picks. He signed Kyle Vandenbosch and Nate Burleson as free agents. Mayhew has also picked up Tyler Polumbus off of the waiver wire and then traded him to Seattle for picks.Picked up Stefan Logan for nothingTraded for Rob Sims
He's done well, and the Lions have a chance at a building-block season as a result. But the onus is on having another strong offseason to rebuild a few more position groups, including linebacker and the secondary.
Kevin, have you had enough of the cold this first day of winter? Are you taking your writing talents and blogs to South Beach this weekend to see if the Lions can win 3 in a row?
That sounds awfully tempting. But I think we need to find out if the Packers can keep their playoff hopes alive.
If Wilf and the Vikings want to play outdoors, why don't they just share the stadium with the Gophers? Seats could be added.
The Vikings wouldn't do it because the stadium doesn't have enough luxury suites/club seats. And the University doesn't want NFL games on campus. That's why they couldn't agree on a joint deal in the first place.
With the drama in DC over McNabb, do you see the Vikings making a play for his services? Any other contenders to get in the mix?
A lot of people are hoping for that, but it totally depends on who the new coach is and whether he has total personnel control or not. There's no way to predict the Vikings' next moves before then.
Kevin, How was Brett Favre able to start yesterday after being reported "OUT" on the injury report? What's to prevent other teams from making the same report for a player they know will play?
It's a fair question. According to Football Outsiders, this has happened 20 times over the past 10 seasons combined. To me, if a player is ruled out, it should be irreversible. If there is a slight chance, make him doubtful.
Are Suh and CJ probowlers?????
They should be. CJ is tied for second in TDs for the NFL and ranks second in the NFC in receptions and yards. That should do it if it holds up, right?
Any chance I come back this season? The Pack seriously needs me for a late playoff push.
I think the Packers are hoping you could be available for the Week 17 game against the Bears.
I think his two best games of the year have come against the Vikings.
How selfish it was of "Brett Favrever" yo start on Monday night; the season was over (no playoffs) the treak is over; he's a bum!
I wouldn't go that far. Based on how Joe Webb played, you can't dispute Favre was still a better option. But it's awfully unusual for a player to wake up on game day and tell his coach he wants to play. At some point, you have to maintain some order based on who actually practiced.
He threw the long ball! He threw the long ball! Come on Seifert, don't act like you weren't excited to see that!
Assume you're referring to Cutler. Yep, it was a great throw and I did a post on it Tuesday morning. I just don't want to see Cutler start forcing those.
Are you still sticking with the Packers to win the division?
Uh, er, well....
Nice to see you back in the chat KS. Now everyone stop talking about the Connolly return please. It was awesome that a lineman almost scored on a kickoff return, but he had to have 2 egregious non-called penalties to do so. Block in the back on Quinn Johnson that took out 2 other defenders and a backward bear hug on Atari Bigby took him out of pursuit. Man the officiating has been terrible all around this year.
I've gotten a lot of notes on that but haven't been able to check out the video. Sounds like a perfect Dirty Laundry post to me. And on the officiating, I would agree there have been more egregiously missed calls this year than I can recall from an anecdotal level.
I heard it said Sunday that MM thinks injuries have hurt the Packers special teams more than anything. How much truth is there to that, and how much blame should be pinned on Slocum?
How about both? Injuries have definitely impacted the Packers' special teams, but most teams routinely rotate the players they use in those roles based on other roster requirements. So whether there were injuries or not, part of Slocum's job is to manage a constant flow of personnel.
Kevin, did you get the case of Zima I shipped to you?
I was still finishing off the last batch of wine coolers.
If Wootton progresses well into next season, do the Bears move Izzy back inside to DT again?
Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Last night was Wootton's first career sack. And Idonije has had his best season as an outside guy. I wouldn't be eager to move him.
Kevin,Just looked at the power rankings How is it that Minny is up 2 after a big loss and detriot is only up one spot after beating the Bucs in OT?
This is one of those weeks where I'm glad I'm not part of the voting committee. Let's leave it at that.
Where did I go?
Maybe that shin injury is worse than advertised.
I know it's early but is Jahvid Best considered a bust or is he just seriously hampered by the two turf toe injuries?
Based on how different he looks now compared to the Eagles game, I would have to say the turf toe deal has really slowed him down. But part of being an NFL player is finding a way to be productive even when you're less than 100 percent.
Any chance Sydney Rice liked what he saw across the field last night and would consider the Bears as a free agent? I still would love to see a big go-to target for Cutler
I'm guessing that the Vikings will lock up Sidney once there is a new CBA.
Follow up to Harry's question... How has Al Harris been playing for MIA? Good enough to second guess the Pack's decision to cut him?
He was placed on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury.
Almost halfway through the chat and only one Hester question, time to change that. The guy could easily have 5 or 6 returns this year had it not been mostly for the punters who seem to have a knack for tackling him. He is so electric but man does our special teams unit know how to block. Those guys have been doing it for years and have become the best at it. Come playoff time, kicking to Hester and Manning will be hazardous for other teams. On the kickoff Hester almost housed, did you see the return set up. Two guys starting all the way on the right side of the field pull to the left and set the perfect wedge, impressive stuff coming from Dave Toub and company! Have you ever seen a unit like the Bears from the past 4 5 years?
Dave Toub is one of the best. Enough said...
Do you think Lions QB Matt Stafford is constantly getting injured because he is not in great football shape?
I didn't say that. I'm just saying that one suggestion you routinely hear in the NFL is that players need to strengthen the area near where they suffer recurring injuries.
If we're playing no way the Bears win the division.
We'll never know.
COME ON!!! We all know come June ESPN will be stationed outside my house and breaking news reports will be going on all day. I will be back.
Not I said the fly.
Lets predict that Stafford is in fact done for the rest of the year. How many more injuries until the Lions have to re-think the QB position? He just has not been able to stay healthy and the team is improving at all other positions...there has to be a time where the QB position needs to improve with them.
They've got to stay committed to him for at at least another year. But he does need to have 16 consecutive starts at some point very soon.
Sorry Seifert! Allowing injuries to save MM is NOT allowed. Most of the injuries have been on the D side and Capers has done great. The OL has been untouched and still spotty. Only Ryan and Finley lost. The team makes too many stupid mistakes on offense and ST's. Who's responsible?
"Only" Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley? Come on now...
The Bears made the playoffs. Does Angelo keep his job? I'd like to see someone new with a better drafting resume. Get this team in to an elite status with elite players. I do think all the coaches deserve to stay.
I don't see him going anywhere, but it is worth pointing out that Tim Ruskell is now his right-hand man.
Ok, a couple more here.
So apparently, Devin Hester's returned miss fg against the giants a few years ago does not count for his stats, but what is it classified as if not a special teams touchdown?
Technically it counts as a defensive touchdown. Can't really explain why, but the record is based on punts and kickoffs only. As long as its apples to apples with everyone else, I don't have a problem with it.
Kevin, do you think the Bears are actually the best team in the North or have they just done a great job of staying healthy. No meaningful contributor has been hurt all season.
They have stayed healthy and are the best team in the North. No caveats.
Hi Kev... there's a particularly bone-headed poster on the blogs who OVER and OVER again posts that Rodgers is a wimp for not playing last week like Favre did last night... would you kindly set that fool (JJ) straight?
I think you're letting said poster get under your skin. Did Favre lead his team to victory?
Congrats to the Bears on winning the Division, but remember... you lost to the Lions in Week 1.
Kevin, 1st question in Lovie's press conference last night was regarding the Bears 0-4 preseason...when will people start to realize that the preseason means absolutely nothing? The '85 Bears were 0-4 or 1-3 in the preseason and we all know what happened after that.
Well, the Bears looked horrible in the preseason and frankly didn't look a whole lot better in Week 1.
Kevin, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! Celebrate the holiday season!
Thanks. And the same goes to all of you as well. Thanks so much for chatting today!