Somewhere deep in the bowels of One Arrowhead Drive, Todd Haley, Bill Muir, and Romeo Crennel are sweating bullets. They have a whiteboard that is now stained with a thousand erased marker traces that have left faded residue behind as the X’s and O’s continue to befuddle any gameplan these three might be trying to cook up. It’s September 30th. And in two days, a troop of very unpleasant visitors is coming to Arrowhead, and they’re wearing purple.
Few people understand how difficult this game is going to be for the Kansas City Chiefs. But Haley, Muir, and Crennel better know deep down inside.
Because if they don’t, it’s going to get very, very ugly on the Arrowhead turf. Because this team from Minnesota is not an 0-3 team. They are a playoff-quality team that has some of the best talent the NFL has to offer, and they play ferocious. And worse yet, this is a Vikings team that is ready to pound somebody’s ass for four quarters straight.
And this week, Kansas City has the unpleasant distinction of being in those crosshairs. Set your expectations now, folks. This one could get really ugly.
Let’s break down why, after the jump.
So you REALLY think the Vikings are going to blow us up this week?
It absolutely would not surprise me if they did. And it shouldn’t surprise you. The Vikings are a better team, they are playing really hard right now, and they’re in a situation where they are just ready to embarrass somebody for 60 minutes on a football field.
You know you’re talking about an 0-3 team, right?
I don’t care what their record is, and neither should you. That’s not how you project games. You look at the spots both teams are in, and what both teams bring to the table.
The Vikings have tons of talent on both sides of the ball. They’ve got one of the best 4-3 defensive lines in football with a guy who has more than enough purpose to challenge Derrick Thomas’ single-game sack record, Jared Allen. If there is any fanbase that doesn’t need to be tutored on how unstoppable Allen’s motor is, it’s Kansas City’s. Even when his team is terrible and losing games, Allen is a mean, dirty, relentless player with no regard for the wellbeing for his opponent between the whistles. And I have all the faith in the world in Branden Albert, but it wouldn’t matter if he played like Willie Roaf this week. Jared Allen is playing with extra purpose this week because of his history with this team, as if he’s ever needed any extra boost at all. He will be in our backfield all day, no matter how many men we throw at him. The only thing you can do this week is to get rid of the ball as fast as you can, but few QBs in the NFL hold the ball as long as Matt Cassel. Yikes.
E.J. Henderson. Kevin Williams. Everson Griffin. Chad Greenway. It’s a mean defense.
It’s not an offense to get too comfortable around either. QB Donovan McNabb is a shell’s shell’s shell of his former self, and Crennel will have him contained for most of the game. But I have little confidence that this team can handle All World RB Adrian Peterson, especially with the Vikings offensive line which is really only built for one thing: road grading. Tyson Jackson has proven he can stand up to this degree of punishment in 2011, but everybody else on the defensive line is going to need two bottles of aspirin, because our offensive woes are going to wear this defense down, and the Vikings will punish us for it. It will require we throw our entire defense at the line of scrimmage just to keep him contained, and that’s where McNabb can burn us. (And I haven’t even mentioned Percy Harvin.)
This is a team that loves to bring it and compete for their coach, Leslie Frazier. He’s extremely popular in the locker room and he’s three-for-three in getting his team to turn out and play their asses off in 2011.
Well they haven’t beaten a single team they’ve played yet, so…
Actually, they dominated all three teams they’ve played until their offensive coordinator (the suck-tastic Bill Musgrave) shoves his head up his ass and put the team in a shell. The Vikings have lost to the Chargers, the Bucs, and the Lions, but were absolutely outplaying each of them in the first halves of each game.
All of a sudden, the second half begins, their opponents make key adjustments, and Musgrave puts the team in a shell to minimize any and all risk. They don’t air the ball out, they don’t give the ball to Peterson. And the offense stagnates.
So there’s no reason to get concerned. Even if they get up on us, we can come back.
Not likely, my friend.
That will likely not happen this week if the Vikings get up. Frazier has seen this movie three times in a row now . His orders will be to keep the pedal to the metal until the 60th minute.
That’s why I’m predicting a blowout.
I don’t like your negativity. We’ve still got a lot of talent on this team.
We do, but it’s primarily on the offensive side of the ball. It’s a bad matchup with the defense. Cassel will have no time in the pocket, crap his pants like he usually does, and take about fifteen sacks from Jared Allen.
Assuming Cassel can get the ball out, Bowe remains a threat. But as usual, there’s him and then there’s everybody else… We shouldn’t expect much from Johnny Baldwin this week.
Our defense can neutralize McNabb — and the Vikings have poor pass protection, so Tamba should have yet another monster game.
But the Vikings don’t even need to pass the ball. Sans Tyson Jackson, our entire defensive line is getting demolished at the point of attack. Adrian Peterson could have a really big game, which will open things up for McNabb once Crennel understands he has to throw the house at AP to slow him down. We also have no decent matchup for Percy Harvin — we’ll sorely miss Brandon Flowers this week. Brandon Carr is effective against bigger receivers, smaller speedier guys can have big games on him.
Well, it’s one step closer to Andrew Luck, right?