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 Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games 
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Post Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
The next 5 games are going to show us what we have in our 2017 Vikings. At 5-2 we are sitting a top the NFC North and amongst the top records in the NFC.

Next 5 games:

@CLE in London
Bye Week
@WSH
LAR
@DET
@ATL

Cleveland should be a win, but going to London is always stressful. This is a must win game in the sense that we should win it. It would be stupid to rack up a L against arguably the worst team in the NFL.

The game against WSH will be the first strong test. WSH has smart coaches and is a gritty team. They have beaten tough opponents this year, including the LAR and OAK. Their defense is going to game plan well for us. The offense will make plays against our D. We will need to come to play to beat them. Great game to take a barometer of this team. Also, this will be the first game coming out of the bye. Will Keenum still be our QB? Major, major implications for our season there...

LAR are the surprise team of the NFC this year, but they have played a fairly cake schedule. They got beat by SEA and WAS which are also the two best teams they've played. They did beat DAL, but I as I've said before, I do not feel like DAL is a legitimate SB team. Everyone else they've beat up on has been highly dysfunctional. They have the feel of a one and done wild card team this year, likely winning 9-10 games due to the ease of their schedule. As a home game, if we are a contender, then this is a game we should win.

@DET: Huge game for us. Probably the most important of these five. DET got us when at a good time with Keenum having a terrible game. Can we rebound in Michigan and beat them? We should be beating teams like DET, so this is a huge statement game. Also, this game likely will determine if we win the NFC N.

@ATL: Before the season started, this was a game that most everyone rated as a loss. It is still going to be a tough matchup given the potency of the ATL offense. However, ATL really missed Kyle Shanahan this year. Their offense is not as precise or as confident as it was last season. This is a game we can take if the defense can play a great game. The Patriots basically pitched a shut out against them last night for 3 1/2 quarters. They'll fix some of their issues before we face them, but this is no longer a game where we should feel outclassed. Far from it.

All in all this a pivotal stretch for the season and should be a lot of fun to watch. Heck, just the state of the QB position going into WSH is high drama.

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:21 am
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
I think this should be for the 5 games after the BYE. 4 tough road games and probably our toughest home game.

Next week should be a win, good teams beat bad teams, but we have already been doing that this season so next week shouldn't show us anything as long as we win convincingly. I think by the time we get through the game @ Carolina we will know the answer.

1 vote to shift your 5 games back one.

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:33 am
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
Ahem.... The next 5 games are the next 5 games. By the time we get to Carolina we are going to know who this team is. The fact that CLE is in there as what should be an easy win is irrelevant, thank the NFL schedule makers for putting them on the schedule and thank the CLE front office for maintaining a pitiful organization.

More to the point though, if we lose to WSH, LAR, DET, and ATL, then it doesn't matter what we do vs. CAR, we are at best an 5 or 6 seed in the Wild Card and are going to need DET to lose some games if we want a shot at the NFCN crown. What interests me is who we are if we go 2-2 or 3-1 vs. that group. (and how we do it.) That will tell us a lot about this team.

Also CAR is a shell of what it was in 2015. Their OL woes are ongoing, (How is that Matt Kalil deal now?) plus Cam Newton is not playing close to the level he was at two seasons ago. On the Defensive side of the ball they still haven't recovered from letting Josh Norman walk. We dismantled that club last season, it wouldn't surprise me if we do it again. We'll learn a lot more against the LAR defense, the WSH coaching staff, playing in DET, and on the road vs. the Falcons. So let's talk about that stretch please.

If it is that important to you, you can make your own thread about the CAR game.

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
Cleveland will not be an easy win. Idk why people keep saying that. They will play with Nothing to lose and who knows what could happen during the game.

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:33 pm
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
Apologize, my comment was not meant as a slight.

you just said yourself that the Browns are irrelevant, so maybe you should have done the next 4 games after the bye. Those are the games that your post is truly about. And I agree with the premise of your post as it pertains to those 4 games. I am excited to see where we end up after those 4 games.

I only suggested sliding the the games back to stick to the "5 games" in your title. In response to your response, I believe that playing Carolina in Carolina is going to be a much tougher game than playing the Browns in London. Also, it will be interesting to see if after that tough stretch of games if we come out of it still able to beat the teams that we should beat. Obviously if we come through 3-1 we should roll right through the panthers but if we go 1-3 will we be able to bounce back and beat the inferior team?

Why are you posting in a forum if you are going to take such offense to someone replying to your post? Again, i was not trying to personally slight you in anyway, merely an attempt to engage you in conversation. I rarely post on here, when i do it is because it is a topic that interests me. I agree with you that the Browns game is irrelevant and was suggesting just looking at the games after the bye (4 games or 5 games, i do not care)

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:04 pm
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
I didn't take offense, it just seems silly to go after my post about not including the game @CAR, but to fail to offer any view point on the 5 games preceding it. I agree, the CLE game is most winnable of the bunch. However, the next 4 are full of interesting story lines, far more so than the game in Charlotte immediately following them.

LAR - A likely NFCW Champion, currently with a 5-2 record, best defense we'll see all season
DET - Biggest threat in the NFCN, and a road game
WSH - Very well coached and well balanced team, a tough opponent, they put up 26 points on our defense last season
ATL - The reigning NFC Champion, and until recently, widely considered the class of the NFC.

Carolina might not be as bad as CLE, but they are not in the same class as the four teams above.

Also, consider where we could be if they win the next 5 games: They will likely be the undisputed kings of the NFC, sitting with a 10-2 record and wins against 4 of the other upper echelon squads in the conference. They will have signature wins against other potential division leaders in the NFC in the Rams and Falcons, as well as a needed revenge vs. the Lions and an under appreciated victory vs. a strong Redskins club. They will also likely be on their way to a playoff bye and likely home field throughout the playoffs. It will also be very unique in that such advantage will also include the Super Bowl.

Next 5 games are huge.

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:18 pm
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
We should take any game for granted especially Cleveland. Its something about London games that bring out the unexpected.

Also for ATL. I think a healthy Vikings team could be ATL even before the season started


Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:31 pm
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
There's not a game in that group that's not winnable. Not one.

I'm not saying we'll win them all. But with our defense, we can win any or all of them.

As for Cleveland, let's not be silly. No, we can't take them for granted. But we're the far superior team, and we'd darned well better beat them. We should be 6-2 going into the bye.

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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
Cleveland game not to be taken lightly, but Joe Thomas gone for the season will hurt the Browns.


Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
halfgiz wrote:
Cleveland game not to be taken lightly, but Joe Thomas gone for the season will hurt the Browns.


Absolutely. And none of the three QBs seem to be very competent. Their running game isn't a threat. We just can't beat ourselves.

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:28 pm
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
@mansquatch i was more probing for you to add to your post, im more of a lurker than a poster. But I posted about the Carolina game above, not much more to add.
As far as us being top of the NFL by week 13, tonite game could have a large influence on that.
It will be good to have a solid win going into the BYE and it's going to be a long two weeks waiting for the Vikings to start that stretch.
The NFL as a whole has been whacky this season, who knows where some of those tougher matchups will be. A lot of teams have been up an down already this season.

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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
1 week at a time, " Any given Sunday" as they say. ALL of the teams on the schedule are equally dangerous if overlooked. Carolina included, they beat the Patriots in Foxborough a few weeks back. I don't understand how you can say they aren't in the same class as the teams you listed above?? That really makes no sense. A few Key injuries and a few rough outings doesn't take anything away from what they are capable of. Having said that, I agree with the premise of your thread; the stretch of games immediately ( 4, 5 games, it really doesn't matter) after the bye are going to be challenging and we are going to get to see what this team is made of


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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
dead_poet wrote:
halfgiz wrote:
Cleveland game not to be taken lightly, but Joe Thomas gone for the season will hurt the Browns.


Absolutely. And none of the three QBs seem to be very competent. Their running game isn't a threat. We just can't beat ourselves.
Obviously been a while since I've posted, but what's the pulse around here on optimism? Reddit seems to be inviting heartbreak with open arms, but I know the more tenured fans aren't as likely to welcome pain.


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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
DK Sweets wrote:
dead_poet wrote:
halfgiz wrote:
Cleveland game not to be taken lightly, but Joe Thomas gone for the season will hurt the Browns.


Absolutely. And none of the three QBs seem to be very competent. Their running game isn't a threat. We just can't beat ourselves.
Obviously been a while since I've posted, but what's the pulse around here on optimism? Reddit seems to be inviting heartbreak with open arms, but I know the more tenured fans aren't as likely to welcome pain.



Good to see you back DK. Optimism? Depends on who you talk to. :D

Me? I think this is the most complete team since the Culpepper Moss days. Run D? Check. Pass D? Check. OL? Check. ST? Check. WR? Check. LBs? Check. RB? Good so far. They just have to get the QB position secure which looks like is coming just at the right time. Even if Case stays the starter for the rest of the year, I think they still make the playoffs and gain valuable experience for next year's SB run.

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Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:35 am
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
DK Sweets wrote:
Obviously been a while since I've posted, but what's the pulse around here on optimism? Reddit seems to be inviting heartbreak with open arms, but I know the more tenured fans aren't as likely to welcome pain.


I'd be a lot more confident with Sam/Teddy along with Cook and Diggs healthy. As it stands, I'm cautiously optimistic. The offense is struggling but the defense is solid. This season hinges on quarterback play (and overall health of the team). We have the potential to play like we did vs. the Steelers and Lions so the floor is very low, with a mediocre ceiling absent those key guys on offense. The schedule doesn't look too terrible given how our opponents are playing right now. We should be "in" every game at least. I think we can make the playoffs (especially now with Rodgers out), but unless we have a healthy Sam and/or healthy and rust-free Teddy, I don't think we can expect an overly deep run.

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Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:06 am
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
Prediction: We lose the next game going into the bye. A bunch of players come back from injury after the bye, Teddy starts, and the Vikings don't lose another game including the Super Bowl at home. :govikes:

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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
Cliff wrote:
Prediction: We lose the next two games going into the bye. A bunch of players come back from injury after the bye, Teddy starts, and the Vikings don't lose another game including the Super Bowl at home. :govikes:
We only have one game before the bye. Duh.

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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
PurpleMustReign wrote:
Cliff wrote:
Prediction: We lose the next two games going into the bye. A bunch of players come back from injury after the bye, Teddy starts, and the Vikings don't lose another game including the Super Bowl at home. :govikes:
We only have one game before the bye. Duh.

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Leave it to the Vikings to figure out how to go 0-2 in 1 game. :lol:


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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
Texas Vike wrote:
PurpleMustReign wrote:
Cliff wrote:
Prediction: We lose the next two games going into the bye. A bunch of players come back from injury after the bye, Teddy starts, and the Vikings don't lose another game including the Super Bowl at home. :govikes:
We only have one game before the bye. Duh.

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Leave it to the Vikings to figure out how to go 0-2 in 1 game. :lol:


I don't need your stupid counting!

What year is it?

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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
808vikingsfan wrote:
Good to see you back DK. Optimism? Depends on who you talk to. :D

Me? I think this is the most complete team since the Culpepper Moss days. Run D? Check. Pass D? Check. OL? Check. ST? Check. WR? Check. LBs? Check. RB? Good so far. They just have to get the QB position secure which looks like is coming just at the right time. Even if Case stays the starter for the rest of the year, I think they still make the playoffs and gain valuable experience for next year's SB run.
Thanks! It's good to be back.

I agree with most of what you said, but I'm guzzling Kool-Aid and think the sky is the limit at this point. The energy around this team and the way they want to see each other succeed (RB room has a great relationship, so do the receivers, and the entire defense is is cohesive and excited for their teammates) reminds me of Seattle before their run. The way they've fought through injuries since Teddy went down makes me remember what made the 2010 Super Bowl champs winners. I am openly talking about this team as the most complete I've seen since '98 and I believe this team can go as far as it wants as long as one of our QBs come back 85%+.

I think the failures of years past hang a dark cloud over our fanbase, I think that cloud pours onto the field when things are going bad, and I don't want to contribute to it. I'm arms wide open waiting for the warm embrace of Lombardi....or a knife in the back. If it happens, it happens!

I obviously don't judge the more jaded among us, and I realize that ultimately it all comes down to the payers on the field. I'm also aware that most games come down to 1 play, and I wonder if an energized and optimistic fanbase might be the energy boost or drain that tips the scales. I just like knowing where others stand! :D


dead_poet wrote:
I'd be a lot more confident with Sam/Teddy along with Cook and Diggs healthy. As it stands, I'm cautiously optimistic. The offense is struggling but the defense is solid. This season hinges on quarterback play (and overall health of the team). We have the potential to play like we did vs. the Steelers and Lions so the floor is very low, with a mediocre ceiling absent those key guys on offense. The schedule doesn't look too terrible given how our opponents are playing right now. We should be "in" every game at least. I think we can make the playoffs (especially now with Rodgers out), but unless we have a healthy Sam and/or healthy and rust-free Teddy, I don't think we can expect an overly deep run.
To your point, I would argue Chicago was just as bad on the offensive side of the ball and it's not like we set Baltimore on fire (risky word choice!) with our dynamic plays.

I have an amazing amount of faith in every level of our defense, though, and I think our receivers could ball with just about any competent human with an arm and two knees.

If my optimism hasn't been obvious, I also think we can make the playoffs, but what level of QB play do you think we are going to need to be serious contenders? I think with mid-level QB play (which is what I think we will have from somebody by December) we have as good of a shot as any team in the league, but I also respect that not everybody else buys Kool-Aid at CostCo.


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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
Cliff wrote:
Prediction: We lose the next two games going into the bye. A bunch of players come back from injury after the bye, Teddy starts, and the Vikings don't lose another game including the Super Bowl at home. :govikes:


I was thinking the same thing. Actually, the Vikings could lose the next 4 and then run the table with whichever QB is healthy. And if Rodgers can initially be ruled out for the season and then announce he could return in six weeks, why can't Cook do the same? (just kidding of course)

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Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
Let's hope the Vikings aren't thinking about the next five games. There's only one game they can control now, and it's in London. I hope they don't already think that one is in the win column.

If they win that and go 6-2 without serious injury, they are pretty well set up for the season. You have two games where the Vikings will be overwhelming favorites - home against the Bengals and the Bears. Taking care of business gets the Vikes to eight wins there. Then it's whether they split the competitive games.

So even if the Vikes have a mini-slump and go 1-3 in games two through five in the above scenario, they will still be in good shape, especially if they get back to full health either Sam or Teddy. It might actually make the team stronger in the long term, to play without those guys and find ways to win that don't depend on top flight QB play.


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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
John_Viveiros wrote:
Let's hope the Vikings aren't thinking about the next five games. There's only one game they can control now, and it's in London. I hope they don't already think that one is in the win column.

If they win that and go 6-2 without serious injury, they are pretty well set up for the season. You have two games where the Vikings will be overwhelming favorites - home against the Bengals and the Bears. Taking care of business gets the Vikes to eight wins there. Then it's whether they split the competitive games.

So even if the Vikes have a mini-slump and go 1-3 in games two through five in the above scenario, they will still be in good shape, especially if they get back to full health either Sam or Teddy. It might actually make the team stronger in the long term, to play without those guys and find ways to win that don't depend on top flight QB play.
I'm worried about how many road games we're playing, we could see a big swing of momentum soon. :|


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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
DK Sweets wrote:
Obviously been a while since I've posted, but what's the pulse around here on optimism? Reddit seems to be inviting heartbreak with open arms, but I know the more tenured fans aren't as likely to welcome pain.

Welcome back!

I consider myself fairly tenured -- next year will be my 50th as a Vikings fan, and I've been on the board 11 years. I don't welcome pain, but I'm not afraid of it, either. I'm truly optimistic about the Vikings. Because of the quarterback situation and the loss of Dalvin Cook, it might not be this year, but I think our time to hoist the Lombardi Trophy is coming.

There's one reason for my optimism. His name is Mike Zimmer.

I think this guy is the real deal, the best we've had since Bud Grant. His players love him and would run through fire for him, yet he doesn't coddle them. In fact, I think that's why they love him so much. He's brutally honest with them, and they know that honesty stems from Zimmer wanting them to be the best they can be. I look at a guy like Andrew Sendejo, who was the object of universal scorn just 3-4 years ago -- now he's often one of the Vikings who stand out on film with analysts. Look at Trae Waynes, whom Zimmer brought along ever-so-slowly (much to our chagrin). He's one of the most targeted CBs in the league because he plays opposite of Xavier Rhodes, but he's giving up a very low QBR and almost no YAC. Even though Zimmer specializes in defense, he's got relatively unknown offensive guys playing the best football of their careers.

Don't know what's going to happen over these next few games. Having 6 of the last 9 on the road (including the Cleveland game in London) is no joke. But I'd bet my paycheck that the Vikings are very competitive in all of them, and it wouldn't surprise me to see them win 3 or 4 out of these next 5. In my life, I've seen nearly every heartache game (except for a few in the 80s when I was in the Navy on submarine duty). The one thing I know is this: I'd rather see the Vikings get to an important game and suffer the heartache of defeat, than to watch them lose meaningless games in a 3-13 season.

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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
PurpleMustReign wrote:
Cleveland will not be an easy win. Idk why people keep saying that. They will play with Nothing to lose and who knows what could happen during the game.

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I didn't read anyone say it should be an EASY win. my view is no game is an easy win in the nfl. hell, the ravens beat the dolphins by 40 last night and I doubt anyone said it was "easy".

that said, if this isn't a game the vikes "should" win, then there isn't such thing. there should be no betting lines because there is no such thing as one team being favorites over other teams.

the browns have won ONE game in their last 23 games. that is 92 quarters of football. you know how many of those quarters they had a lead in? two. two quarters they have had a lead in. this team is simply not good. they are pretty bad.

am I suggesting the vikes are going to beat them by 50? of course not. it's an nfl team playing another nfl team. I can assure you the vikes are preparing 110% just as if they were playing the packers, eagles, patriots or chiefs. but we are not players. we can look ahead and promise wins if we choose to do so. I don't care if the game is in London, Cleveland or on the moon. the vikes SHOULD win this game!

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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
DK Sweets wrote:
Obviously been a while since I've posted, but what's the pulse around here on optimism? Reddit seems to be inviting heartbreak with open arms, but I know the more tenured fans aren't as likely to welcome pain.

Welcome back!

I consider myself fairly tenured -- next year will be my 50th as a Vikings fan, and I've been on the board 11 years. I don't welcome pain, but I'm not afraid of it, either. I'm truly optimistic about the Vikings. Because of the quarterback situation and the loss of Dalvin Cook, it might not be this year, but I think our time to hoist the Lombardi Trophy is coming.

There's one reason for my optimism. His name is Mike Zimmer.

I think this guy is the real deal, the best we've had since Bud Grant. His players love him and would run through fire for him, yet he doesn't coddle them. In fact, I think that's why they love him so much. He's brutally honest with them, and they know that honesty stems from Zimmer wanting them to be the best they can be. I look at a guy like Andrew Sendejo, who was the object of universal scorn just 3-4 years ago -- now he's often one of the Vikings who stand out on film with analysts. Look at Trae Waynes, whom Zimmer brought along ever-so-slowly (much to our chagrin). He's one of the most targeted CBs in the league because he plays opposite of Xavier Rhodes, but he's giving up a very low QBR and almost no YAC. Even though Zimmer specializes in defense, he's got relatively unknown offensive guys playing the best football of their careers.

Don't know what's going to happen over these next few games. Having 6 of the last 9 on the road (including the Cleveland game in London) is no joke. But I'd bet my paycheck that the Vikings are very competitive in all of them, and it wouldn't surprise me to see them win 3 or 4 out of these next 5. In my life, I've seen nearly every heartache game (except for a few in the 80s when I was in the Navy on submarine duty). The one thing I know is this: I'd rather see the Vikings get to an important game and suffer the heartache of defeat, than to watch them lose meaningless games in a 3-13 season.
Thanks for the input, Kapp!

I agree 100% on your assessment of Zimmer and Waynes. I'm actually really impressed with Waynes right now - he tackles well and has great recovery. Most of his passes given up are contested, and he's a young guy. You can't ask much more out of you CB2.

The away schedule is the largest source of my hesitation, but my belief in THIS team, the 2017 Vikings, is unwavering. Our fanbase is going to speak the greatest Super Bowl story into existence and the team is going to have no choice but follow through! :lol:


Okay, so maybe it won't really work out like that. My faith is here, though!


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Post Re: Contender or Pretender: Next 5 games
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
DK Sweets wrote:
Obviously been a while since I've posted, but what's the pulse around here on optimism? Reddit seems to be inviting heartbreak with open arms, but I know the more tenured fans aren't as likely to welcome pain.

Welcome back!

I consider myself fairly tenured -- next year will be my 50th as a Vikings fan, and I've been on the board 11 years. I don't welcome pain, but I'm not afraid of it, either. I'm truly optimistic about the Vikings. Because of the quarterback situation and the loss of Dalvin Cook, it might not be this year, but I think our time to hoist the Lombardi Trophy is coming.

There's one reason for my optimism. His name is Mike Zimmer.

I think this guy is the real deal, the best we've had since Bud Grant. His players love him and would run through fire for him, yet he doesn't coddle them. In fact, I think that's why they love him so much. He's brutally honest with them, and they know that honesty stems from Zimmer wanting them to be the best they can be. I look at a guy like Andrew Sendejo, who was the object of universal scorn just 3-4 years ago -- now he's often one of the Vikings who stand out on film with analysts. Look at Trae Waynes, whom Zimmer brought along ever-so-slowly (much to our chagrin). He's one of the most targeted CBs in the league because he plays opposite of Xavier Rhodes, but he's giving up a very low QBR and almost no YAC. Even though Zimmer specializes in defense, he's got relatively unknown offensive guys playing the best football of their careers.

Don't know what's going to happen over these next few games. Having 6 of the last 9 on the road (including the Cleveland game in London) is no joke. But I'd bet my paycheck that the Vikings are very competitive in all of them, and it wouldn't surprise me to see them win 3 or 4 out of these next 5. In my life, I've seen nearly every heartache game (except for a few in the 80s when I was in the Navy on submarine duty). The one thing I know is this: I'd rather see the Vikings get to an important game and suffer the heartache of defeat, than to watch them lose meaningless games in a 3-13 season.


I think Anthony Barr is another good example. There were some who felt Zimmer threw him under the bus last year but he's clearly responded well to the criticism.

There's always going to be players, like Rhett Ellison's dad, who may not like Zimmer's style but overall I'd have to agree with your sentiment. You often hear vets from other teams talk about how great the locker room is and how this is the best team they've played on. Case Keenum recently said something to that affect. I hope we can keep the nucleus of the team together and continue some of these strong bonds. Winning tends to help that type of stuff :D


Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:44 pm
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