What I Saw

Well, Mrs. Warwas and I made it back from the motherland (Minnesota) safe and sound and are working to get ourselves settled back into the daily routines.  Being back in Minny was a very good time that included bowling and beer with old pals, a nice dinner at Chianti Grill with family, watching one of my best friends get married at the beautiful Northwestern Chapel, celebrating my mom’s birthday, doing some paranormal investigating (yes, I’m a nerd) with my brother at the Mounds Theatre, and overall enjoying ourselves to no end.

The great week was capped by having amazing tickets to the Ravens game which, as always, was a real treat.

As I listened to the 93X “Half-Assed Morning Show” discussion throughout the week, there were discussions as to whether this team was better than the ’98 team.  I thought this was a ridiculous statement, as the ’98 team won games because of their superiority, not because of blunders by the other teams.  Either way, I wanted to pose that question to you all to hash out in the comments section.  Is this team better than ’98?

Also, I know you all have heard, seen, and read about the Ravens game to no end by now, so I’ll give only some brief notes about what I saw before moving onto talking Steelers.

  • Brett Favre was great.  There… I said it.  I still have to wonder about the wisdom of relying on a forty-year old arm down the stretch, but I have to admit I was impressed with Favre’s play on Sunday.  When he dropped back I wasn’t worried, but rather felt like something big was about to happen… and usually it did.

 

  • Sidney Rice is a beast.  Rice is quietly going to become one of the better receivers in the game if he keeps this up.  He is on the verge of putting up Pro Bowl numbers, believe it or not.  His 409 yards is 11th in the NFL.  He is averaging 17.8 yards per reception, which is the most among receivers with at least 20 catches.  Only Desean Jackson has more catches for over 40 yards than Rice does (3).  Add those numbers to his two ever-important onside recoveries against the Packers, and this kid is really making a name for himself.

 

  • The zone blocking isn’t working quite right.  Brad Childress wants the best of both worlds, I think, in that he wants giant offensive linemen for their power, but wants a zone blocking scheme too.  Braynt McKinnie and Phil Loadholt in particular are really struggling in a system that is usually better suited for smaller more versatile and athletic players.  Even Steve Hutchison seems to be having issues (see the play where Adrian got hurt).  I don’t mind the zone-blocking scheme, but now more than ever, the Vikings do not seem to have personnel that properly fill out the scheme.

 

  • The Vikings controlled the time-of-possession clock by almost 10 whole minutes more than the Ravens.  That’s impressive.  Imagine how much more impressive it would have been if they had converted more than a lousy 35% of their third downs (5 of 14).  Seriously, the defense would have been less tired heading into the fourth quarter and the Vikings could have done to the Ravens what the Patriots did to the Titans.  Instead, overly-conservative playcalling combined with an unjustified abandonment of “what is working” allowed the Ravens to get back in the game.  The Vikings coaches are lucky they have Karl Paymah to blame that one on.

 

  • This team looks too rigid, as they don’t seem to have an inspirational leader.  Instead of going out and playing football like the Inglorious Basterds, this team looks like a bunch of accountants afraid of making a mistake.  Childress is leading a team that looks uninterested on the sidelines and have principles so strictly ingrained in their heads that they look afraid to make a play in fear of making a mistake.  I’d love to see someone get this team really amped and open that throttle.

 

  • The fans of section 108 need to realize they’re watching a football game.  It seemed to me that every other section of the Dome was intense… standing on their feet and yelling every defensive down.  There were a few fans like that in section 108, but the rest of the section were constantly yelling at them to sit down and shut up… that’s just wrong.  Homefield advantage is important, and some of those season ticket holders need to dislodge whatever object is rammed up their bums.

 

  • Madieu Williams and Tyrell Johnson need to start tackling better.  I know the cover two means these guys are unsung heroes most of the time as they’re used as the last line of defense in the strictest sense, but watching Ed Reed tackle Adrian Peterson in the open field made me jealous.  Williams and Johnson are missing too many tackles, plain and simple.

Well, there are just a few quick notes.  Over the next couple of days I will be looking ahead towards the Steelers game and also towards the upcoming offseason, so make sure to check back.

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15 Responses to “What I Saw”

  1. […] the original post here: What I Saw Filed under: Object Tags: daily-norseman, features, game-stories, ravens, team, tickets, time, […]

  2. B says:

    I think that the people who are questioning if this Vikings roster rivals the ’98 roster need to look up the difference between LUCK and SKILL in the dictionary… Yes, we are good, better than we have been in several seasons BUT a lot of things have just happened to work out for us. If we beat the Steelers this week, THEN it may be time to start reconsidering how this roster measures up

  3. bigjohnny84 says:

    Adam, I thought for a while our defense would be better than 1998 but not so sure now. Obviously the offense of 1998 would be hard to beat for any team. Dont remember how the special teams were then, do you?

  4. bigjohnny84 says:

    How about our return game and coverage units? That missed field goal still burns in my memory, but he did make a hell of alot of them.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      Coverage units in ’98? I got two words for ya:

      Chris

      Walsh

      🙂 I loved that guy!

      • bigjohnny84 says:

        Oh ya Chris Walsh was the man. Not to bad as a receiver either, but he had some pretty big guns ahead of him. Adam do you know what our salary cap position is? Guys were talking about CB’s we could look at, but we didnt know if we had any cap room.

      • Adam Warwas says:

        I can do some looking into our cap space numbers… but it isn’t much and hasn’t been ever since we signed Favre.

        We should have quite a bit next offseason though.

        I’ll do some research and get back to you with better numbers.

  5. bigjohnny84 says:

    Thanks Adam appreciate it.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      No problem Johnny.

      The NFL does not publish exact numbers for cap space. Also, the numbers are a little different this year because of it being the last capped year of this collective bargaining agreement.

      A major part of this is that contract incentives are no longer charged to next year’s cap if they are met.

      Instead, incentives are charged to this year’s cap right away, until they are unable to be met. An example of this: Let’s say Bryant McKinnie has an incentive where he makes an extra $1 million if he plays in all 16 games. Now if he gets hurt and misses a game then he can no longer trigger the incentive and the Vikings then get $1 million in additional cap space.

      So you can see where this gets tough, having to track down each player’s individual contract incentives and see which ones are able to be triggered.

      However, a rough estimation is that the Vikings currently have only about $750,000 in cap space left for this year.

      How the CBA negotiations pan out, if Favre retires or not, who the Vikings decide to obtain (Chester, Ray Edwards, T-Jack), and also how much if any the NFL decides to increase next year’s salary cap will all play into how much space the Vikes have going into next offseason.

      How is that for a confusing answer?

    • Adam Warwas says:

      As far as signing another corner goes, there is nobody on the market right now who we shouldn’t be able to sign given a third of the season is over and they’re not that talented.

      Pacman? Yeah right.
      McCallister? He’s more injured than Winfield.
      Jason David? No thanks.

  6. SupaScout says:

    This team compared to the 98 Vikes,

    in 98 there were 10 Vikings that made the Pro bowl.
    in 08 there were 6 Vikings and one Jet that made the Pro bowl

    From those 7 players that made the Pro bowl last year. One is not having a season worthy of a return. Possible additions would be E.J. Henderson, R. Longwell, and maybe V. Shiancoe.

    I’m not sure what this proves. A certain number of pro-bowlers does not necessarily make for a Super bowl team. Last year the Pittsburgh Steelers had only two pro-bowlers on there squad.

  7. bigjohnny84 says:

    Awsome work Adam. Looks like we gotta go with what we got. I’d just hate to see us being 5 million under the cap and not try to get a top notch corner.

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