Purple in the playoffs? Possibly
JASON: Dare we say it, Helmet Hair? DARE WE SAY IT!?! (Insert high-pitched Jim Mora voice here) PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS!?! Is it possible Tarvaris Jackson could be staring a PLAYOFF game?
GUY: Hey, hey, hey. Hold on just a tick. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here Captain Purple. The Vikes have played a couple of nice games in a row and they have a lot of winnable games looming in the schedule. But you know as well as I do that the Vikings are as capable of going 1-4 the rest of the way as they are 4-1.
JASON: Oh, I’m well aware of how bad this Vikings team can look. I’ve seen Kelly Holcomb and Brooksie and Troy Williamson and the erratic pass defense. That’s why I’m stunned that they are even sniffing the postseason after 11 games. Of course, since fans are actually starting to believe in this team — even if just a tiny bit — this weekend is a perfect time for the Vikings to go out and lay a big egg. It’d fit right in with their wildly inconsistent season.
GUY: That’s the nice thing about this season, despite the Vikings’ inconsistency they are in the thick of a wild-card chase. A 4-1 finish would almost certainly land them a playoff spot. Fans might not remember, but the Vikings were also in the chase a year ago at 5-6 after 11 games and stumbled to a 1-4 finish. But let’s move on to this week’s foe, the Detroit Lions. The Vikings had beaten the Lions 10 straight times before losing in overtime earlier this season in Detroit.
JASON: That was one of T-Jack’s worst games (and he’s had some bad ones, eh?) of his young career. Still, the Purple are 5-2 with T-Jack as the starting QB. Say what you will about him, you can’t deny that record. And it looks like the Lions are turning into the Lions we’ve come to know and love. Players are publicly complaining and fans are getting restless. Still, they have a good receiving corps and a QB who can get them the ball if he gets time. That concerns me, considering Antoine Winfield may not play and the Vikes’ secondary hasn’t been stellar (despite the four picks last week).
GUY: So what you’re saying is, record-wise, T-Jack is already among the elite quarterbacks in Vikings history? Sure, I’ll buy that. This week all the Vikings need is for Jon Kitna to turn into Philip Rivers or Eli Manning and they’ll be in great shape. Or considering it’s the Lions, maybe Kitna can perform like Joey Harrington. What the Vikings, and you Captain Purple, should be excited about is the return of Adrian Peterson. The Vikings were 2-0 without their star rookie back, but his presence puts a lot more pressure on the Lions defense.
JASON: T-Jack? Elite? I think that should go without saying. As for A.P., it’ll be nice to have him back just to force the Lions’ defense to account for him on every play. His return also gives Vikes fans another reason to watch; of course, you and I may be among the only 60,000 or so who are able to watch. Everyone at home on their couches — at least at the time we’re writing this — might be watching a black screen.
GUY: Why not just move Vikings games to the NFL Network? Then no one would be able to see them. Back to the Lions, one thing that concerns me is Shaun Rogers, a big brute of a defensive tackle. He’s the type of guy, when healthy, that can control the middle of the line of scrimmage. If he’s making plays and the Lions bottle up the running back, then the Vikes are going to need that elite QB to step up and deliver.
JASON: Shaun Rogers? Please. He’s no match for our new secret weapon, Anthony Herrera. Our big right guard just got a big contract extension so he’s probably been out at the local steak houses fattening up so he can push Shaun Rogers around. Speaking of which, you’ve never taken me to the local steak house even though I make you look good every week.
GUY: Hey, we took in a game last year at Buffalo Wild Wings. And when the Vikings make the playoffs this year, we might as well meet there for that first-round game, since it won’t be at the Metrodome. Oh, and bring the corporate credit card along. This week, the Lions are just a speed bump as the Purple make it three straight. Vikings 27, Lions 19.
JASON: I still can’t shake the memory of the way the Purple played at Lambeau three weeks ago. I haven’t picked them since then and they’ve won both times. Why change now? Lions 29, Vikings 20.
Jason Feldman is trying to decide which steakhouse Guy Limbeck will take him to for carrying him through PoP every week. Feldman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guy N. Limbeck knows a great place where Jason Feldman can get a well-deserved steak. He can be reached at email@example.com