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Redskins Fan

Washington Redskins are in need of a Leader. posted by Redskins Fan

The (3-6) Washington Redskins are having yet another disappointing season. RGIII when not battling nagging injuries has looked less than stellar. The defense is nothing to write home about and the head coaching lacks any sort of innovation, on either side of the ball.

However the most disconcerting thing about the Redskins this year is how they are handling themselves off the field. Multiple times this year, the Redskins’ locker room has caused the team headaches and distractions that while, never show up on the stat sheet, are definitely a contributing factor to their poor on field performance.

Players weren’t happy when word got out that certain veterans were laughing and joking in the locker room within a half-hour or so of a 10-point loss to the Seahawks last month. And then two days before last week’s game against the Vikings, a substantial group of players became so rowdy and disruptive that Robert Griffin III’s media session had to be moved outside the locker room. And there’s been evidence that the team feels RGIII has ‘alienated’ himself from the rest of the team.

This is troubling for a team that is struggling to win games, it shouldn’t be struggling to keep their team dynamic. This wouldn’t be happening with a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady on the team. Not that RGIII can’t be that focal leader for this team, but he has yet to display that.

For many years, it was London Fletcher, the defensive captain who never missed a game. But when he retired at the end of last season it left a vacuum that has yet to be filled. And if the Redskins don’t fill it soon, it can and will be a very long, disappointing season for the people of Washington.

Continue reading "Washington Redskins are in need of a Leader."

Vikings Fan

Adrian Peterson's Contract with Nike Terminated by Company posted by Vikings Fan

There’s another log to throw onto the proverbial fire, concerning Minnesota Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson. Shoe conglomerate Nike has pulled it’s endorsement of the potential future Hall Of Famer.

The news coming in the wake of Peterson’s no contest plea to charges of child injury involving his children. People have speculated that Nike waited for the no contest plea from Peterson so they can easily pull out of their contract and distance themselves from the Vikings running back without any sort of financial penalty.

After Adrian Peterson’s no contest, he entered into a plea deal yet that had little effect on his status with the NFL, as the league rejected his offer to be immediately re-instated.

This is a huge step in the way NFL players are perceived. No longer does on field performance matter, so nearly as much as the off field persona one creates and maintains. Already a multi-billion dollar industry, the NFL becomes bigger and bigger each and every year.

With more revenue, more is at stake and that puts players, especially elite players, like Peterson, into the national spotlight, where every move and action is watched, scrutinized, and analyzed like any actor or celebrity, where their actions off camera are sometimes detrimental to their on screen opportunities.

Moving forward, the NFL has a lot of rebuilding to do with the general public as their image has been severely tarnished in the recent months with Peterson, Ray Rice, Wes Welker, and countless other ‘blemishes’ to the otherwise squeaky clean image the NFL is so desperately trying to keep, in order to drive up merchandise sales and keep advertisers buying air time. And that means players, now more than ever, have to watch each and every step they make because they no longer do anything in a vacuum.

Continue reading "Adrian Peterson's Contract with Nike ..."

Vikings Fan

The 2014 Minnesota Vikings Report Card posted by Vikings Fan

Adrian Peterson has been amazing the past few years but the running back has not had a solid quarterback to help him out. Matt Cassel provided solid minutes in the quarterback role but the team knows he isn’t the signal caller that team needs if it were to advance into the playoffs. The Vikings hope that rookie Teddy Bridgewater would be the answer.

To be fair, the Vikings have some weapons for Bridgewater to utilize. Aside from Peterson whom the opposing defenses would be looking to stop, there’s Cordarrelle Patterson who showed some flashes of brilliance during the latter part of the season. Offensive coordinator Nury Turner would have to get the sophomore heavily involved this time to get the most out of Patterson. He’ll start across from Greg Jennings who disappointed last year.  Bridgewater will have other options lie tight end Kyle Rudolph and Jerome Simpson.

The rookie quarterback will benefit from having a solid offensive line. Left guard Charlie Johnson was the only liability up front last season and he could be pushed out by rookie David Yankey. The interior is also comprised of right guard Brandon Fusco and center John Sullivan.  Left tackle Matt Kalil surrendered only four sacks last year, and look for him to further improve.

The defense will be a bit different this year with the departure of long-time Vikings Kevin Williams and Jared Allen. But the team did spend money to bolster the defense, signing Linval Joseph to a five-year deal. Joseph is a strong defensive tackle and should play with 2013 pick Sharrif Floyd who should improve this year.

Continue reading "The 2014 Minnesota Vikings Report Card"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: 2013 Wild Card Round posted by Joe Anello

Wild Card weekend in the NFL is a wrap! Note that this late posting is a testament to the dangers of kitties. (When you’re allergic to them.) There were bad offenses, great defenses, and ugly injuries to be found in the four match-ups, so let’s get through all the stories in The Final Drive!

(13-4) Houston Texans 19

(10-7) Cincinnati Bengals 13

The first half was a show of ugly offense, with three field goals by the Texans and only a pick-six by the Bengals to account for all the points on the board. Houston suffered because of failed third down conversions and a drop from Andre Johnson at the goal line, forcing them to settle for kicks. Andy Dalton threw a costly interception, but it was essentially wiped away as Leon Hall picked a Schaub pass and ran it back 21 yards to take a momentary lead. But the Bengal offense didn’t score at all in the first half. They barely improved.

In a trending theme of Saturday passing statistics, Cincinnati had -6 net yards passing at halftime. That prompted a “U-G-L-Y. You ain’t got no alibi. It’s ugly.” from Mike Mayock at halftime. (You have no idea how much Microsoft Word just hated that sentence.) When the Texans came out in the third quarter and mounted a touchdown drive, it practically was an insurmountable lead. The Bengals had no chance.

On a key drive in the fourth quarter, (while they were only down six), the Bengals were closing in on the redzone when they had to burn a timeout (play-calling disaster). On the ensuing play, they lost five yards due to a false start penalty. Then they went for it on fourth down (and failed), meaning the six point lead held.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: 2013 Wild Card Round"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: 2013 Wild Card Round posted by Joe Anello

It’s that time of year. The NFL Playoffs are upon us, and with it come the unmitigated disasters that are my picks against the spread. (Which means I’m not picking winners or losers, but I’m predicting if a team will win by or keep it closer than the designated spread. Odds are grabbed from We’ve got some stellar match-ups as well, so without any further BS, it’s time to start the playoffs with this Wild Card edition of The Opening Drive!

(10-6) Cincinnati Bengals at

(12-4) Houston Texans

4:30 PM ET, NBC

In typical playoff fashion, the Wild Card round starts with what is most likely to be the most lackluster match-up of the weekend. This solid Bengals team (that apparently no one outside of Cincinnati believes in) heads to Houston to face a Texan squad that was in near free-fall the last month of the season. It’s not exactly thrilling drama (even though it is a rematch of last year’s playoff game), but this I think game is going to very tight. The Bengals can’t explode offensively and the Texans haven’t been lighting up the scoreboards lately. They’d prefer to get Arian Foster going anyway, which means a slower paced game, full of that exciting clock management stuff. Cincy has a shot at getting passes completed on the outside if A.J. Green can handle the one-on-one match-up with corner Jonathan Joseph. I believe he can, so Andy Dalton has to be able to find him consistently in order to free up the running game and the underneath passes to tight end Jermaine Gresham.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: 2013 Wild Card Round"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Vikings 21, Bears 14 posted by Joe Anello

If you were looking for a reason to feel good about the Chicago Bears, today didn’t help you out. In the slightest. At all. So if you’re already too PO’d to care, I understand. If not, come on in for my Gameday Review!


(7-6) Minnesota Vikings 21

(8-5) Chicago Bears 14 

It was a horrifying first quarter for Bear fans, who watched their defense come out on the first play of scrimmage and give up 51 yards to Adrian Peterson. Out of the six plays on their opening drive, the Vikings handed it off to AP five times, marching right down the field for what was the first opening drive score Chicago’s given up all season. Jay Cutler came out to try and even the score on offense, but a slip by Alshon Jeffery led to a Josh Robinson interception, who ran it all the way back to the Bear five yard line (after a review took back another TD). Two plays later, Peterson predictably ran it in the endzone for a second touchdown, putting Chicago in a surprisingly deep 14-0 hole. AP had 103 yards in the opening frame as the Bears failed to tackle early on. Late in the second quarter, right tackle Jonathan Scotts fell on a sack fumble of Cutler, who made up for the play by finding Jeffery for 23 yards and the offense’s first score of the day.

From there the defense held strong, not letting the Vikings get past the 50 except on two drives in the second half. They got pressure on Ponder at times, and even picked him off at the end of the first half, but the Vikes were really disinterested in giving the ball to anyone else besides Peterson. But after his huge first quarter, the defense held him to only 51 yards. The Bear offense moved the ball sporadically on the afternoon, especially when Cutler/Campbell found Brandon Marshall, which they did 10 times for 160 yards and a fourth quarter touchdown. But it wasn’t enough to get points on the board.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Vikings 21, Bears 14"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings posted by Joe Anello

With the Bears losing at home to Seattle in week 13, the NFC North race for the playoffs became much more interesting. Green Bay moved back into first place and the Bears dropped to the first wildcard slot. Meanwhile, Minnesota is close behind and fighting to get to the second wildcard position. The stakes are high in week 14, so let’s jump into the Gameday Preview!


(8-4) Chicago Bears at

(6-6) Minnesota Vikings 

The Offense

Jay Cutler lost his first game in which his QB rating was over 100 last week.  He’ll have to continue to build on that performance today if he’s going to make up for any defensive deficiencies. He’ll get Devin Hester and Alshon Jeffery back from injuries, meaning the wide-out corps isn’t as depleted. Jeffery should help move the chains against corner A.J. Jefferson so that Brandon Marshall doesn’t have to do EVERYTHING. I’m not overly impressed with Minnesota’s run defense, so I think there has to be a focus on getting Matt Forte and Michael Bush the ball. Win time of possession and keep Adrian Peterson off the field. In their last meeting (week 12), Jared Allen was pretty quiet. He’s going to want to flip that script this week against an offensive line that actually played relatively well versus Seattle. Jonathan Scott is going to see a ton of Allen today, and it might not be pretty unless Chicago chips and helps out early. Jay needs to stay upright so he can rip through this secondary.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Chicago ..."

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Bears 28, Vikings 10 posted by Joe Anello

It felt closer than it really was at times, but the Chicago Bears started fast and held strong, topping the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on Sunday. The offense got early help from the defense in the form of short fields and they capitalized. That’s the standard Bear recipe for success. Let’s dive into the details in this Gameday Review!


(8-3) Chicago Bears 28

(6-5) Minnesota Vikings 10 

On the opening play from scrimmage, Henry Melton burst through the Viking o-line for a sack on Christian Ponder. When Chicago received the ensuing punt, Matt Forte fumbled on their first play. Forte fumbles so rarely that it was an early stunner, which gave the Vikings a short field and the ability to get three points on the board. On Minnesota’s next drive, Nick Roach forced a fumble from Adrian Peterson, which was recovered by Charles Tillman. A completed pass to Kellen Davis at the one (I know, an actual completion) set-up Michal Bush for a one-yard run and seven points.

Chicago’s defense and special teams then took the reigns as Julius Peppers blocked a field goal attempt to keep the score at 7-3. More pressure on Ponder led to an interception by Chris Conte, who ran it back 35 yards to get the Bears in scoring position. Jay didn’t wait long either, finding Matt Spaeth on the edge of the endzone for a beautiful grab. A tight end actually made a touchdown catch. It was that kind of day. And it didn’t end there.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Bears 28, Vikings 10"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears posted by Joe Anello

Having lost two straight games, the Chicago Bears need a win in the worst possible way. With QB Jay Cutler supposedly returning to the starting line-up, they’ve got the advantage over their division rival Sunday. Let’s get into the Gameday Preview!


(6-4) Minnesota Vikings at

(7-3) Chicago Bears 

The Offense

This is pretty simple. As we’ve seen, Brandon Marshall can beat almost any DB one-on-one (or two-on-one). Matt Forte and Michael Bush are competent runners that can break down defenses over time. Jay Cutler is a great quarterback… when he has the time to throw. You know where I’m going with this. The offensive line is going to be the focus of this game (and every subsequent  one). J’Marcus Webb is not a starting caliber NFL linemen and he might see a lot of Jared Allen today. Oh crap. And Gabe Carimi has been appropriately benched in favor of Jonathan Scott. Now I’ve got a slight unknown (in the Bear offense) protecting Jay’s right side. If he stays upright, Chicago can score the points needed to win. If they can’t, prepare for another devastating loss.

The Defense

Everyone knows the type of season Adrian Peterson is having. He’s been tearing up turf on a weekly basis and leads the NFL in rushing through 11 weeks. He’s going to have a good day regardless of how much the Bears stack the box. Where the Vikings are vastly inconsistent is at the quarterback position. Christian Ponder can’t have an 11 completions for 73 yards kind of day if Minnesota wants to win. Coming off a game where Colin freaking Kaepernick embarrassed them on national television, Brian Urlacher and that Bear defense is going to want to rebound.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Minnesota ..."

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 NFL Preview: The NFC posted by Joe Anello

I simply cannot wait for football to start. I’m been diving into preseason film, tearing through roster moves, and keeping myself awake at night pondering the possibilities of the 2012 season. Since the season kicks off with the Cowboys and Giants Wednesday night on NBC, let’s get right into my season predictions for the National Football Conference! As a preface, let me just say that this entire process is weird. I’ve looked a decent amount of schedules, but these records (which, when all totaled with the AFC, will equal out correctly) are more akin to indications of how good/crappy I think these teams will be. Let’s break it down!

The NFC East

Last year the NFC East turned into a slaughterhouse, with no team able to break the double-digit win mark. That didn’t stop these teams from making headlines on a daily basis though. With Philly re-charged for another run, a franchise QB finally in D.C., the Cowboys in a pivotal year and the Super Bowl champs looking to repeat, there won’t be any shortage of news in the NFC East. To preface these predictions, this division is a crap-shoot. The only team I’m sure won’t win the East is Washington. Otherwise these teams will just beat up on each other, ensuring that no one breaks away.

Philadelphia Eagles

Last year’s dream turned into something more like a nightmare as Andy Reid’s Eagles failed to meet expectations. Injuries and soft play contributed to their woes, as Michael Vick couldn’t stay on the field (as usual) and DeSean Jackson was worried about his contract situation. LeSean McCoy was a bright spot, but he couldn’t carry this team beyond its mediocre finish. Drafting Fletcher Cox and trading for linebacker DeMeco Ryans should boost second year coordinator Juan Castillo’s defensive unit quite a bit. If they can maintain that pass rush, Philly’s excellent corners will be able to take advantage of their match-up’s and show glimpses of the unit they were supposed to be in 2011. They’re primed to improve, but their over success still depends on Michael Vick’s health.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 NFL Preview: The NFC"

Minnesota Vikings News

View All Minnesota Vikings News

Phil Loadholt retires from NFL after 7 seasons with Vikings (Yahoo Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Right tackle Phil Loadholt has decided to retire from the NFL after seven seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Stadium ribbon-cutting Friday, some work yet to be done (Yahoo Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- It took about 8,000 construction workers to build the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium. And, at Friday's ceremonial ribbon-cutting, some of them will still be on the job at U.S. Bank Stadium. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Former NFL coach Dennis Green dies at 67 (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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