Hi everyone. Let's do this. Remember, we're giving it our best 30 minutes.
how much longer until the return of Greg Jennings and Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson? we know that those injuries helped the Packers get blown out against the Giants
Jennings will be back this week, almost certainly. Sounds iffy at best on Matthews and Woodson.
Since Andy Reid is most likely done in Philly would him to Detroit happen or does Schwartz get another year?
I don't get the sense that Schwartz's job is in any way in jeopardy.
Dear Kevin, while I generally trust the judgment of Mike McCarthy and the Packer administration, they seem to be leaving themselves vulnerable by not getting a decent back up for Rodgers, standing by Crosby, and not reinforcing their porous o-line. What are they thinking?
In the case of Crosby, it's really tough to find a better kicker that you can trust this late in the season. It sounds good to want to cut a player that's struggling, but you don't do it unless there is an obvious upgrade available. On the offensive line, again, not sure there is much they can do at this point. That is an excellent question for the offseason. And I don't know that we can say anything about the Harrell decision until he plays a meaningful game.
Like many other Vikes fans I am still mad we took Ponder over Dalton and Kaepernick...especially when Gruden said Ponder was a 3rd round talent, at best. But to be fair, even Montana would have a tough time with the middle of the O line getting blown up the last few games compounded with receivers who cant separate and multiple dropped balls. Let's face it, this Offense could use three or four free agents so it's not so...offensive.
They definitely have not made it easy on Ponder. That's for sure. But the one thing you left out is the running game the have given him. Many quarterbacks would be thrilled to get the kind of pass-friendly looks opponents are giving the Vikings this year. They've faced more eight-plus men in the box than any other team.
If it weren't for Kalil, Smith and Walsh would Spielman be nervous about his job? No one else is working out and taking Ponder before Dalton and Kaepernick looks just as stupid as everyone thought on draft night 2011. Even more so now that Kap is crushing it with SF.
If he were nervous for his job, the Vikings would be more dysfunctional that we realize. It would make no sense to hire a general manager one year, embark on a rebuilding process, and then fire him after one year.
Do you really thinks the Bears can win a Super Bowl with Mike Tice as OC as it took him 13 games to come up with his first quality game plan?
Ha. It doesn't matter when you figure it out, as long as you figure it out before it's too late.
Will we see Titus Young return to the Lions this season?
Last Thursday's game indicated there is no rush. If he has issues deep enough to warrant being sent home, you wonder if he can get them right in a matter of a week.
Alex Smith to the Vikes next year? I know he's no Colin Kaepernick but he has lots more tread left on his tires than Brett or McPudge did... Just thinking Mr Ponder could learn something by sitting behind a "pretty good" q.b. and then perhaps blossom late ala Rich Gannon....
Wishful thinking, I imagine. Wouldn't think Alex Smith would be interested in going to another team to play ahead (temporarily) of a young quarterback.
Has there been, or will there be, any action taken against Jared Allen for his hit on Lance Louis on the interception return?
Typically fines are decided during the week, communicated to the player on Wednesday and revealed publicly on Friday of the next game week. So we should hear in the next few days.
Kevin, is there any chance Percy Harvin will play this Sunday against the Packers?
It sounded like he was having a hard time putting weight on it last Friday. He would have to recover pretty quickly. I'd say 50-50 at best.
Hey Kevin, i know the Bears have denied this but do you think that secretly they have plans to replace Urlacher with McClellin at some point down the road? If Lovie fails to make the playoffs would they switch to a 3-4 defense? Could McClellin even play MLB? They seem to drop him into coverage a lot. Thanks.
I really would be surprised by that, but I guess anything is possible. If you have a guy you think can be a consistent pass rusher at defensive end, you keep him there. There are other ways to find a middle linebacker.
Ryan Broyles and Mike Thomas producing so well doesn't bode well for me does it?
At least not in the short-term, no. But as we've learned this season, you can never have too much depth.
Kevin, Granted Ponder appears to suffer from "analysis paralysis" ...(maybe his Wonderlic was too high). but from what I see Musgrave is a bit too eager to force the passing game, 18 carries for AD? ..really?... your thoughts?
They were down by three touchdowns at halftime. Tough to be a run-first offense in that situation.
The only way the Bears get to the Super Bowl is if they can beat Green Bay and or the NY Giants in the playoffs, no other team should cause them a serious problem IMO. Do you think they can pull it off?
Let's not forget about the 49ers.
I understand the argument that Suh was falling down and not aiming for the groin, but he clearly kicked out and was trying to hit Schaub. He just probably wasn't being specific with his aim.
Who knows. I just know there is a lot of gray area there. It's hard for anyone to be definitive about it one way or the other.
Hey Kevin, considering Gabe Carimi's recent demotion from right tackle and subsequent re-promotion to right guard, do you see the Bears keeping him there for the foreseeable future? I mean he has not been the same since his knee injury and can't move like he needs to be a tackle in this league. But, he has shown since his college days that he is a great run blocker.
I guess it isn't out of the question if the Bears decide to use him as Louis' replacement for the rest of the year and he does well. But I would think their first choice is for him to work out at right tackle.
Is it just me or does the Green Bay line not look anything like it did the last 2yrs? I know they have injuries but the Giants D-line made them submit at halftime. I bet they will be thinking O-line in the draft.
There are some things they can do to help out the line, and I'll have a post on that up later today. But I do think they'll probably be looking for depth, at least, this offseason.
Good QB's elevate the play of people around them, is it fair to say Ponder fails in this catagory, and the Vikings should cut their losses and move on?
I think that's a fair point. There are plenty of factors going on that Ponder can't control, but it wouldn't be against the rules for him to rise above at least some of them. You can't always have a perfect situation around you.
What are the chances of the Bears surviving the injuries over they suffered over the weekend to make the playoffs?
Oh, I'd be shocked if they didn't make the playoffs, presuming Cutler stay healthy.
Does E Bennett not know how to get open? i cant figure out why they don't go to him more this year?
I think there has just been a really concerted effort to make Brandon Marshall the focal point of the passing game. I don't think it's a matter of Bennett not being able to get open.
Is Jennings likely to have asignificant role, or is he back in name only?
No, I think he'll be back full time when he comes back. That's why they held him back for that final week, to get his conditioning straight.
I am still trying to figure out why they started Davon House over Casey Hayward. I know they said based on matchups, but how can they take away their top defensive playmaker? When they are already lacking Woodson and Mathews, you can't take away their only other true 'spark' on defense. Am I right or wrong?
I wonder if they didn't overanalyze that situation. Yes, House is bigger. But to this point, at least, Hayward has been the better playmaker you would think. Coaching is about getting your best players on the field, and Hayward is one of them for the Packers, at least on defense.
Is Suh just too aggressive after plays because of the insanity it must take to play his position? Or do you think his intent is malicious?
He's just one of those guys who works himself into an angry frenzy during games. He's not the only one. But you can be frenzied without being extracurricular.
I guess Mikel Leshore wasn't the answer after all! Your thoughts???
He hasn't been bad. Really, the book on him was that he was a power runner. That's what he's been. The idea was to pair him with Jahvid Best, a breakaway runner. If you thought Leshoure was going to start breaking big runs, then I understand why you're disappointed. He's not that kind of player.
Are the Vikings' struggles in the Red Zone this year an indictment on Musgrave, or is that just a reflection on what happens to a team that doesnt have any tall, dynamic WRs?
All of the above. I do think sometimes they get away from what's working, or what should work, when they get to the red zone. There have been enough occasions when they have used odd personnel groupings, and left obvious targets on the sideline or uninvolved, to at least wonder if Musgrave overthinks those situations.
Who has a worse OL: Chicago or GB?
Yowzers. Not sure I would want to pick. The Bears certainly have more injuries and are thus playing more backups and/or people out of position.
"Let's not forget about the 49ers." Touche, but let's realize that the Bears defense is not likely to play that badly again this year and having J Cutler is a huge difference.
Cutler would make a difference, but I'm not sure I buy the defense would be much different. The 49ers smoked them awfully thoroughly to think it could be easily reversed.
I received 8 carries last week in a game in which establishing the run was crucial. I had only three carries before the 4th quarter.Is this an indication that Coach Mike knows who poured sugar in his gas tank and stole his credit card?
Ha. For whatever reason, you're not fully trusted. Is it blitz pickup? Fumbles? Injuries? I'm not sure. But I have yet to see a reason that Alex Green should have more carries than you.
What is the plan for the packers to be successful against the 2 man deep safety? Also any plans on changing up the O Line?
There really isn't much they can do from a personnel standpoint on the line. Maybe Greg Jennings can help against the Cover 2, though.
OK, a few more here.
Why do teams seem to have a win now philosophy instead of giving young players a chance to develop? example: Ponder it's his 2nd year in the league and the vikes were not exactly a powerhouse when he was drafted.
The question is how long should a player be given? Historically, most quarterbacks give a pretty good indication of how good they'll be after 20-25 starts. Ponder just hit his 20th.
Kevin, while I understand how many fans are disappointed in Ponder's performance to date for the Vikings, we need to keep in mind that he seems to be improving. It does not help when his receivers drop the ball - NINE times in the Bears game on Sunday! Personally, I hope Ponder makes it as the Vikings' first-string QB going forward. However, I trust that Spielman and Co. will do what's right. Thoughts?
He has improved ... and has a long way to go.
Looking at the Seattle suspensions and the Tampa schedule, it seems that the Vikings have a real shot at the playoffs if they can go 2-2 vs GBx2, vs Chicago and @Houston. Is this doable?
Would be tough.
Thanks everyone! Chat with you next week.