Final Five

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cstelter
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Final Five

Post by cstelter » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:30 pm

I enjoyed the "Contender or Pretender" discussion looking at the 5 game stretch of CLE-ATL. At worst we're 4-1 in that bach, but we stand a fair shot at being 5-0.

Then we had the "Five Games for Division Championship". We've already gotten 3 of those supposed 5. With Bengals and Bears at home, those two seem like "Teams we should beat", and so far we've done a good job of beating teams we should beat. Looking at the math, I guess 3 wins would clinch the division, 2 could land us tied with Detroit. Most of the scenarios that land us tied with Detroit at 11-2 seem to favor Detroit as they would then be 10-4 conference and 5-1 in the division. They win a tie unless our 2 wins are against GB and CHI. But then we beat LAR and WAS while they beat ARI and NYG so that would imply our common opponents would be tied. That would fall us to NFC games and they would win at 10-4 vs our 9-5. Next week at BAL looks like their best opportunity to miss 5-- to end the season. Possibly their final game with GB if AR is back and playing to form. For the most part, 2 more wins ought to be enough, but we need 3 at this point to remove any doubt.

So I propose a look at the final five:

@ATL (looking much more formidable then they did 4 weeks ago when they were the last of 5)
@CAR (Also on a roll)
CIN
@GB (likely with an annoyed AR)
CHI

Concern #1 Playoffs-- 3 DET losses and 2 GB losses and we can get in with our current record. 1 win and 2DET losses and 1 GB loss and we are in. 2 wins and 1 DET loss and we are in, or 3 wins. I think winning the division is the easiest path to the playoffs-- losing the division and winning a wildcard looks like it would be tough to do.

Concern #2 First round bye-- We can't do anything about the Eagles-- we could win out and still not get HFA, but we should be hopeful to get a first round bye and a home game. I'm not sure we do that without winning the next 2 games. hat spot seems up for grabs between ATL, CAR, NO, LAR and ourselves. With only a 1 game lead (and most tiebreakers) over NO and LAR, a 2 game lead and 1 game lead over ATL and CAR are precarious without wins against them. If we win those two games, we are 11-2 with a minimum 1 game lead over LAR/NO and a min 2 game lead over CAR, and a min 3 game lead over ATL with tie breakers over all of them. We could also be seeing only a 2 game lead over SEA. So winning against ATL and CAR followed by 2/3 of the final games looks like it ought to clinch a first round bye. Winning any 4/5 goes a long way unless CAR wins out. Then our one loss would be to CAR and we'd end up tied with them and they'd own tiebreaker.

Thankfully, CAR/NO/ATL have a fair number of games between them
CAR/NO
CAR/ATL
NO/ATL
ATL/NO

And LAR and CAR both have some difficult teams left on their schedule:
CAR/NO
CAR/MIN
GB/CAR (if AR is back)
CAR/NO
CAR/ATL
PHI/LAR
LAR/SEA

so maybe we won't *need* to go 4/5 given the multitude of ways the above games can play out. I'd say 3 wins would keep us in pretty good shape realistically to get a first round bye-- as long as CAR is one of them.

Me? I want to see us beat ATL, CAR, and CIN setting up the ability to clinch the #2 seed @GB *with* AR. If that scenario plays out and we take it to GB in GB with something real to win (Who knows, maybe it would be a must-win to keep their playoffs alive as well), we would have beaten NO, ATL, CAR, GB (+/- AR), and LAR. Pretty much any team of any salt except for SEA and PHI.

Sadly, my hopes and dreams are dashed yearly, so I refuse to get too excited about it. The higher the hopes, the more significant the pain. I still rue the day I said to myself as we got into FG range for the go-ahead score against NO in 2009 "We're actually going to make it to the SB". Never again.
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Re: Final Five

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:50 pm

All I can say is this ...

We're only a game behind Philly for the NUMBER ONE seed.

The Eagles have 9 wins against sub-.500 teams. They play the Rams and Seahawks the next two weeks, both on the road.

We need to win 'em all. This is not out of reach.

Also, I read today on ESPN that Rodgers likely will only play if his team is still in the playoff hunt. Not gonna happen.
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Re: Final Five

Post by jackal » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:27 pm

Green Bay is likely to be out in two weeks and it
would very foolish to rush Rodgers back early and
risk an even worse injury that could possibly even
cost him another season or worse.

Not to mention their back up did pretty good
against Pittsburgh.

Detroit can’t run the ball or stop the run
very well,and with the weather turning and
playoffs looming, will drop some games.
The Bears will probably take a game from one
of them; before the end of the season.

We just have to keep doing what we have
been doing for months. If things go south
for Philly in Seattle, which is very possible
we might even slide into the number one
seed.

I would love to see us be able to ride the
home field advantage all through the Super Bowl
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Re: Final Five

Post by mansquatch » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:06 am

I started the 5 games thread, and so far in my "Prove It" 5 we are 4-0. We also won the most important of the group when we beat DET on Thanksgiving.

The next two games are the toughest on the remaining schedule. I think this Sunday is probably the toughest game we have left to play. A great test for the defense, but also the offense is going up against Dan Quinn, the architect of the legion of boom. Is he going to find a scheming flaw in the Vikings O? No one has yet, but if anyone is going to do it, it'll be Quinn.

From there we go to Carolina. Maybe it is arrogance, but that game doesn't scare me that much. They are a good team, but Zimmer has had Cam Newton's number since he became HC of the Vikings. Unless our O lays an egg, we should like our chances to win that game.

In terms of where we are at: We completely dismantled the Rams. That shouldn't be overlooked. Goff had a terrible game and Gurley was completely marginalized. That is a statement performance by our defense. When it comes to Philly, it is fair to ask what makes them different than St. Louis in such a way that we couldn't dismantle them in similar fashion? I'm not seeing a reason.

Philly probably has a better defense than the RAMs, but the RB comparison favors LA. IMO Philly has yet to really prove they can do something against an upper echelon NFL team. They have been feasting on short fields and turnover my mistake prone bad NFL clubs. As Kapp said, they have 9 wins against teams with sub .500 records. Their one victory of note was beating CAR on the road.

IMO, it is hard to not conclude that part of the hype over Philly is East Coast Media Bias. The NFC East is probably the worst conference in the NFC right now, yet the teams get all the hype, so the victories Philly has racked up in the division are probably inflated in their importance.

Philly has also yet to play a truly elite NFL defense. They got handled by a Chiefs team that had momentum, but lacked Eric Barry. The beat CAR in Charlottte, but Carolina has a soft secondary. We'll have a much better feel for them once we see them go on the road at LAR and again vs. SEA, but even SEA is lacking several of it's players in the Secondary due to injury. Those two games will allow us to take measure of the Eagles. If they lose one or both we should feel very strongly about our chances in the playoffs, even if they win.

As a fan of the NFL, this season is shaping up to be a golden opportunity for the Vikings to make a SB run. The biggest threat to our team in the Playoffs is Seattle and right now, it looks like SEA will not make it to the post season due to the strength of the NFC South teams. That could still change since the NFC South is going to beat itself up in the coming weeks, but as it stands now the most likely playoff teams will be something like this:

PHI
MIN
LAR
NO
CAR
ATL

It is entirely possible that in that scenario we will have beaten every playoff team except the Eagles. If the Eagles lose even one game, we might be on top and the entire playoffs is on our turf. That isn't just possible anymore, it is become probable.

The next two Sundays should paint a clear picture of where we stand in the NFC. It is my opinion that after the dust settles we will be the kings. I do not think Philly is going to survive it's trip to the NFC W without a loss. We've played two teams on that list and beaten both of them soundly. My friends, the dream is REAL.
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Re: Final Five

Post by cstelter » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:11 pm

mansquatch wrote: My friends, the dream is REAL.
:nono: Fingers in ears singing la-la-la-la-la-la......

I advise *all* to do likewise. This is exactly what we want to hear, and exactly what we cannot accept until it is in the past.

I *am* enjoying the ride , but so far every previous season has been a roller coaster that has ended badly in a pile of twisted mangled machinery. I refuse to dream, only to live in the moment with this team. I truly do hope we realize the potential here, but I can't go one step further than that.
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Re: Final Five

Post by PurpleMustReign » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:54 pm

Amen, other Craig!

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Re: Final Five

Post by DK Sweets » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:57 pm

Mansquatch, that was a really insightful post. Thanks for the contribution!

I agree with you about Atlanta, although I feel marginally better about that game since Zim has had an extra few days to prepare. Carolina has seemed like a good game for us for years, although depending on Griffen's mobility that could become a bit more difficult. Bengals don't worry me, Bears don't worry anybody, and I PRAY we get to smash Rodgers again.

I like our chances, but with all that said, I'm with the other Craig. I'm not buying into anything until Zimmer is laughing at America from behind his new Lombardi.
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Re: Final Five

Post by Raptorman » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:15 pm

This is simple. Win out and it will take care of itself. I don't see the Eagles winning out. The Vikings I know are capable.

Currently I feel our toughest games are now in order he way we play them with the toughest being this week and going down in order until we get to the Bears.
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Re: Final Five

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:04 pm

cstelter wrote: :nono: Fingers in ears singing la-la-la-la-la-la......

I advise *all* to do likewise. This is exactly what we want to hear, and exactly what we cannot accept until it is in the past.

I *am* enjoying the ride , but so far every previous season has been a roller coaster that has ended badly in a pile of twisted mangled machinery. I refuse to dream, only to live in the moment with this team. I truly do hope we realize the potential here, but I can't go one step further than that.
Sorry, but I'm with mansquatch. I choose to believe.

In my opinion, the Minnesota Vikings are the best team in the NFC. Until somebody beats us, I'll continue to believe that. This is the best Vikings team I've seen since '98, and they may be more complete than that team.

Getting the No. 1 seed is EVERYTHING. If we do that, we exponentially increase our chances to get to the Big Game. And if we get to the Super Bowl at USB, I'll mortgage my house to get tickets. No wait ... my wife is 59 1/2 ... 401K without penalty. Who needs to retire?

Oh yeah. I'm dreamin'.
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Re: Final Five

Post by cstelter » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:46 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote: Sorry, but I'm with mansquatch. I choose to la-la-la.

In my opinion, the Minnesota Vikings are the la-la-la-la. Until somebody beats us, I'll continue to believe that. This is the la-la-la team I've seen since '98, and they may be more complete than that team.

Getting the No. 1 seed is EVERYTHING. If we do that, we exponentially increase our chances to get to the Big Game. And if we get to the Super Bowl at USB, I'll mortgage my house to get tickets. No wait ... my wife is 59 1/2 ... 401K without penalty. Who needs to retire?

Oh yeah. I'm dreamin'.
Can't do it-- scars not healed... Want to. Heart says yes, head says no.
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Re: Final Five

Post by 808vikingsfan » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:01 am

cstelter wrote: Can't do it-- scars not healed... Want to. Heart says yes, head says no.
1998. At one point in the 4th, I was already thinking how much I was going to absorb and enjoy the two weeks of media overload prior to the SB.

Trying very hard not to look ahead.
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Re: Final Five

Post by Cliff » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:22 am

It's ok to think your team is the best when they're this good. It's ok to think they can win any game. Enjoy the ride, guys, otherwise it's hard to enjoy the destination.

"The problem is -- and I learned this from the research -- that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can't say, 'here's the bad stuff. Here's vulnerability, here's grief, here's shame, here's fear, here's disappointment. I don't want to feel these so I'm going to have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. I don't want to feels these'. You can't numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our other emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness, and then we are miserable." - Brene Brown from The Power of Vulnerability TED Talk
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Re: Final Five

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:31 am

808vikingsfan wrote:1998. At one point in the 4th, I was already thinking how much I was going to absorb and enjoy the two weeks of media overload prior to the SB.

Trying very hard not to look ahead.
I lived through Super Bowl IV against the Chiefs.

I endured Super Bowl losses against Miami, Pittsburgh and Oakland.

I've been around for all five NFC Championship Game losses, and I was devastated by the Roger Staubach Hail Mary in 1975. For my money, 1998 was nothing compared to that. We were far and away the best team in the NFL in '75.

I've endured every big-game loss in Vikings history. But I refuse to let it turn me into a pessimist.

I love this year's team, the players, their resiliency, their refusal to allow adversity to get them down. If they don't get down, why should I?

But hoping to play the Super Bowl in your own stadium isn't really looking ahead if it's a realistic vision. Dreaming of the Super Bowl in 2013 wasn't realistic. This is. So I'm gonna go ahead and hope. If those hopes get smashed all over the rocks, then so be it.
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Re: Final Five

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:34 am

Cliff wrote:It's ok to think your team is the best when they're this good. It's ok to think they can win any game. Enjoy the ride, guys, otherwise it's hard to enjoy the destination.

"The problem is -- and I learned this from the research -- that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can't say, 'here's the bad stuff. Here's vulnerability, here's grief, here's shame, here's fear, here's disappointment. I don't want to feel these so I'm going to have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. I don't want to feels these'. You can't numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our other emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness, and then we are miserable." - Brene Brown from The Power of Vulnerability TED Talk
Awesome quote.

Nothing could sum it up better for me. Honestly, it's been awhile since we've had any real reason to be apprehensive about a great team getting beat. I'm enjoying this so much. Why would I want to squash it?
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Re: Final Five

Post by mansquatch » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:26 am

I'm choosing to enjoy it and believe it. This is the most balanced Vikings team i've ever seen and without a doubt the best defense since Dungy was the DC. (1998 still takes the cake on Offense, hard to imagine anything better) Even more importantly, this is the BEST COACHED Vikings team I've ever seen.

I'm not sold on Philly being a juggernaut over the rest of the conference, not like Atlanta was last year. If/when we play them I do not expect us to go quietly. Wentz has not faced a defense anywhere near what ours will bring to the table.
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