Monday, April 27, 2015
Blog Page 171

Antoine Winfield is not retiring after all.

At least not yet.

Winfield’s agent, Ashanti Webb, said the 36-year-old free agent cornerback has yet to file retirement papers. On the same note, Webb said he hasn’t “heard anything substantive from (Vikings) to bring back to Antoine.”

Before the season opener, shortly after reports came out that Seattle would release the veteran corner, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said that he would “welcome” a chance to reunite with the Winfield.

“You know, I have a ton of respect for Antoine,” Frazier said. “He did a lot of good things for us here, had a great career here in Minnesota and really helped me look good at times with some of the plays he made. I have a deep affection for him.

“But if he wanted to play, I’d welcome the opportunity to work with Antoine again if that’s what he wanted to do. But if he’s retired, I wish him nothing but the best. He’s been a great player, a great person, and he’s going to enjoy retirement. But he was a tremendous player for a long time in our league.”

Minnesota’s defense struggled against Detroit on Sunday. While some of the blame should be attributed to the game planning against the Lion’s potent passing attack, the team’s secondary allowed many unnecessary plays for long yards.

One would assume the Vikings would welcome Winfield back, but apparently little conversation has happened between Winfield and Minnesota since his release from the Seahawks. Familiarity with the Vikings’ defense would make it appealing for both sides, but many other teams in the NFL employ some form of the tampa-2 scheme that Winfield could smoothly transition to.

The other day I hit a squirrel.  I didn’t mean to and I did everything I could to safely miss the thing.  I went right and so did the squirrel.  I went left and the squirrel reversed course and stayed right in front of me.  This went on for a number of slight swerves when suddenly a definitive “THUD” made the outcome of this little episode quite clear.

On Sunday afternoon, the Detroit Lions played the part of my car, doing seemingly everything they could to keep that squirrel (the Minnesota Vikings) alive.

In the end:  THUD.

Things started out fairly promising.  A botched field goal attempt led to the Vikings first offensive snap, which Adrian Peterson took to the house from 78 yards out, but it was all downhill from there.  Here are my graded observations from the action:

GRADE A

Watching Adrian Peterson take that ball 78 yards for a touchdown really gave me hope about this game.  Hope is officially dead for a week one win, but runs like that still give me hope for the rest of the season.  In the hours following this loss I had to keep reminding myself just how ugly that loss to Indianapolis was last year and that the 2012 Vikings were able to turn things around, so the 2013 version might be able to do the same.

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It is finally here. Week 1 of the regular season. Games that actually count!

The Vikings travel to Detroit to take on the Motor City Kitties – one of four tough games to open up the season.

The Vikings come into the game relatively healthy despite the fact that Kevin Williams will sit this one out. (Rookie Shariff Floyd will start in his place.)

Make sure to join the live chat during the game to chat it up with some of the best Vikings fans around.

My prediction for the game? I got the Vikings 27-24.

Enjoy Vikings fans!

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Well, I made it back from vacation just in time for kickoff.  About 2,000 miles, a fish or two, and one emergency room visit later I am ready to watch some Vikings football to top off a great week.

The Vikings have announced Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, safety Mistral Raymond, rookie linebackers Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti, guard Jeff Baca, defensive end George Johnson and defensive tackle Kevin Williams will all be inactive for today’s opener in Detroit.  Letroy Guion, not rookie Sharrif Floyd, will be starting in Williams’ place on the defensive line.

Don’t forget to join our live chat to enjoy the action with a bunch of other rowdy fans.  Click here to chat it up.  Enjoy your Vikings football!

SKOL.

The Lions have won their last two opening games by scoring 27 points each against the Rams and Buccaneers over the past two seasons. I don’t think the Vikings offense is ready for a shoot-out in the Motor City, so let’s hope the defense and special teams can keep us in the game.

 The Lions lost their final eight games of the season last year to end a disappointing 4-12 campaign after making the playoffs in 2011. You can bet Jim Schwartz will have his team fired up and ready for a fresh start on Sunday.

 Detroit has averaged 26 points in 4 preseason games and could be on the brink to a fast start in 2013. Detroit has scored 11 touchdowns and converted 72 first downs compared to 8 touchdowns and 65 first downs for the Vikings over the last 4 weeks.

 The good news for the Vikings is Mathew Stafford only connected on 49% of his passes in preseason. So, if the Vikings’ defense can set the tone early and disrupt the connection between Stafford and Calvin Johnson, they might have a chance to grind out a win.

 In week four last year at Detroit, the Vikings sacked Stafford 5 times and the special teams returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns to steal a 20-13 victory. Can the Vikings dial up a similar game plan again this week?

The Lions added another weapon this off-season in RB Reggie Bush. Stafford might look to dump the ball off to Bush a lot to help relieve some of the pressure from our front four. It is no secret the Vikings’ corners will need to do a great job covering Calvin Johnson, but I think the linebackers and safeties will also need to do a good job containing Bush and TE Brandon Pettigrew if the Vikings want to leave Detroit with a win.

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