Trench Warfare

Anyone who thinks the Vikings have a chance this Sunday at Lambeau must be delusional. One hundred percent certifiable. We all saw how quality teams with quality quarterbacks respond to being whipped  in front of a national audience. Aaron Rodgers will throw for 400 and 4. End of story. Vikings fans who have been teased by early overachieving best prepare to wear their most stoic of faces. Anyone who thinks otherwise cannot be taken seriously.

Call me delusional. Call me certifiable. There was a time when football was won in the trenches. That time is not past. If I am right, then Minnesota should have a big advantage. Simply put, if one forgets brands and reputations and puts on the tape it is plain. The Vikings have got some nasty to them. Special K has gotten vicious as the season has progressed. Brandon Fusco, despite his shortcomings, has flashed the ability to maul in the run game. Phil Loadholt is no slouch himself. I could go on, but I would be wasting my words. If you have watched the balance of Vikings games this campaign, it is evident that this offensive line has the ability to beat up opponents.

 

About to go to work

On the other side, Green Bay does not have one of the better odd fronts in the league. B.J. Raji did have a decent game against the Giants, but lately his success has come more in the realm of insurance ads, not lined-up across from the center. He is rated more on reputation than body of work. Moreover, this D still misses Cullen Jenkins, albeit the 2010 version, not the current iteration. Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson are serviceable but no one would mistake them for Justin Smith. The rookie Jerel Worthy has demonstrated ability. Without Clay Matthews III buzzing around and popping about in different spots, giving both offensive linemen and coordinators headaches, this Green Bay front can be had.

On the flip side, Minnesota’s defensive line did disappoint last week. Yet I wouldn’t bet on that continuing.Even with his sack numbers down, Jared Allen is still getting a lot of pressures, sixth most at his position according to Profootballfocus. Kevin Williams has shown the ability to drink from the fountain of youth, while Robison and Griffen have explosiveness to spare thanks to an effective rotation policy.

The Green Bay o-line has had to play some musical chairs with Bryan Bulaga on IR, and opposing defenses have been able to feast. Aaron Rodgers’ penchant for holding onto the ball forever doesn’t help. Even before the Giants pass rush did what it is they do, Detroit and Nick Fairley specifically were living in the Packers’ backfield. Packer fans should be worried. Not least because Ndamukong Suh is not the only NFC North-er who kicks players in the johnson.

Given the axiom that football is won and lost in the trenches, Leslie’s gang is looking pretty good. Although, there is this guy named Greg Jennings, and the last time our favorite team went to Lambeau, there was kind of this 45-7 beatdown, and Aaron Rodgers owns the Vikings with a 19-3 TD to pick ratio. Besides, with Rodgers’ legs, there should be more than enough time for the league’s most talented group of wideouts to find space. It will ultimately be difficult, but this was never an easy matchup. We don’t want it that way. Winning a marquee matchup with dominant lines could become the catalyst of this team’s postseason surge…or just a tease. Only time will tell for sure, but any victory will start in the trenches. Of this I am certain.

 

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4 Responses to “Trench Warfare”

  1. purplereign57 says:

    It’s kind of funny, I mean strange funny Ron, how you talk down the Vikings so badly in the first few sentences of your article, then proceed throughout the rest of the article about how good it looks for the Vikings this Sunday. While it may be true that the Vikings have a snowball’s chance in hell at Lambeau this week, I find it sort of offensive that one of the authors of Vikings Gab puts them through the meat grinder so hard before the game even begins. I know,like most of us do, that Green Bay will probably win the ball game, but I mean really man…delusional? Certifiable? Don’t you think that puttin’ it to Viking fans a little roughly? Really raining on their parade? Hell, at least Mike Wobschall and Paul Allen over at Vikings.com give fans something to hope for each week when they always say that they think the vikings will pull out a victory. As for winning or losing in the trenches, for the most part I agree with you. Most EVERY game is won or lost in the trenches. But I also believe that there is one huge factor in this ball game (not in the trenches) that will win or lose it for the Vikings. That is the play of Christian Ponder and his second rate crew of receivers. Ponder MUST, ONCE AND FOR ALL, be able to get the ball to his receivers, and at least try to get it try to get the ball deep once or twice to shake things up a little bit on both sides of the ball. He (Ponder) HAS TO complete some passes, and not start the game going 0 for 6 or 0 for 9 passing, or something similar. That’s bad for morale and bad for his confidence. Jarius Wright and Kyle Rudolph are about all he has, so those are the receivers he needs to target. However, a shot down the middle to Aromashadu (ball on target) might not hurt. What I’m saying here is that there is a lot riding on the fact that there are skill positions that factor hugely in whether the Vikings win or lose. I DO AGREE that the trenches will loom large in the ball game, though. Especially the Vikings offensive line and how well they protect Ponder, and how much time they can give him. (He’s still too shaky in the pocket when given a small amount of time). Finally, I REALLY DON’T mean to sound like a hater (of you) by sort of trashing your article. It’s just that I think there are many factors besides the trenches that will ultimately decide the outcome of this game. Skill positions mean a lot. That’s why they get paid the big bucks. And by the way, although I am pulling extremely hard for the Vikings (I HATE the Peckers), I think it is sort of delusional to think that they will win. It’s just that Aaron Rodgers is a beast when he is on…and that’s most of the time. I also believe that it was a stupid move when the vikings waived Sage Rosenfels, because he was the only team member that the Vikings had that could groom Ponder for the future. It sure as hell can’t be Joe Webb or Mcleod Bethel-Thompson.

    • MnFergyfan says:

      I have few things to say about the vikings:
      1: Tar and Feather/send them to the Dallas Cowboys for anyone that says we need to take time to develop a mn quarterback.

      2. Give our quarterbacks a walk-and-chew-gum test.

      3. Anyone that keeps Ponder is the game is a damn fool.
      Last place in passing in the NFL. No complete receptions to a wide receiver, and 2 crucial interceptions against the Packers. He can’t even throw the ball on the move. It’s a no-brainer — get rid of loser and start playing Joe Webb.

    • Ron says:

      Hey Purplereign57,

      Firstly, when I said that people who think the Vikes have a shot are certifiable I was trying to echo the opinion of the national media. Even before today, they were laughing at our prospects to make a run, marking all the remaining games except for the Rams as definite losses. I apologize if somebody was offended by my attempt at rhetorical elegance.

      Secondly, (I am working with the benefit of hindsight) our superiority in the trenches nearly won us the game. The o-line did have some share in AD’s success. Green Bay’s pass rush was rather toothless, and my article was meant to highlight this gap – based in no small part on Claymaker’s absence. Moreover, their o-line committed six, repeat six holding penalties. Those 40 yards (one penalty offset, the other was declined) equal over three quarters worth of Ponder’s production!

      Here we get to my last point, my comeuppance if you will. You were right – the game came down to more than just the lines. Although you did say games are mostly won in the trenches, ad then turned around and said there is another huge part of football. In any case, I will take what seems to be the main thrust of your post and hand out the kudos.

      One final point, however, is that my article illustrates the importance of winning in the trenches. Skill players don’t have to be that good if you can thoroughly win both on the offensive and defensive lines, that was the point. Unfortunately, our QB wasn’t slightly worse than good. He was awful. Christian Ponder knows he’s got to improve, and he has a quarter of a season left, before he, Spielman, and Frazier come under siege. Bring on the Bears.

      • purplereign57 says:

        Bring on the Bears indeed!! MAYBE, but I doubt it, Ponder will look something like a quarterback in the game, and we can make the score look respectable. Being in the dome may help, we’ll just have to wait and see.The Bears lost again Sunday, so it’ll be VERY TOUGH to beat them. My take is 30-27, Bears.

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