By Scott Taylor and Dave Petrishen
MINNEAPOLIS – Having been in the belly of the old beast for a week, I get the sense pretty much everyone in the Twin Towns feels the same way:
(1) Christian Ponder is not the Minnesota Vikings quarterback of the future but he is a better option than Matt Cassel or Josh Freeman.
(2) Speaking of Josh Freeman, what happened to that guy?
(3) If Adrian Peterson sees the football 20-plus times, the Vikings will score.
(4) All the problems – real or imagined – faced by the offensive line are the least of head coach Leslie Frazier’s problems.
(5) The defensive secondary is a mess. Hurt, young and scared to make a mistake, the secondary continues to play miles off receivers for fear that somebody will break a long one. Which somebody usually does anyway.
(6) The defensive line would be better if the people behind them could cover.
(7) There is nothing wrong with Jeremy Simpson, Greg Jennings ad Kyle Rudolph. They just need somebody to find them and then get them the football.
(8) And the Vikings need to play for 60 minutes. The team is 1-7 and in three of the losses – Chicago, Cleveland and Dallas — the defense went soft for the final two minutes, let the opposition walk down the field virtually unabated and gave up late touchdowns to lose. Because of the injury to Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, three teams are tied for first in the Central Division at 5-3. The Vikings could be 4-4 if it weren’t for Prevent Defense.
On Thursday night against Washington, the Vikings must play 60 minutes of football. If they do, they will have a chance. Something tells me they won’t.
After a great week in Week 8, our experts stubbed their toes in Week 9. Dr. Football was 8-5 (86-47) straight up and 4-9 (59-74) against the spread while The Coach went 8-5 (90-43) straight up and 5-8 (71-62) against the spread.
Week 10 is here. It’s the Thursday Nighter between the Washingtons and the Vikings, a game that means a heck of a lot more to Washington than it does to Minnesota. As always, The Doc writes our take while The Coach sits in the Auxiliary Press Box at the Dome and wonders when dinner will be served.
Washington Redskins (3-5) at Minnesota Vikings (1-7) Line: Washington by 2.
The Vikings gave it a good try last week in Dallas, but won’t consistently win with Christian Ponder. Adrian Peterson returned to form last week, getting a solid 140 yards under his belt, and they almost pulled it off. After a brutal 0-3 start, Washington is still in the playoff race in the NFC East. I can’t see the Vikings dropping another game at home even if Washington is the better team. The Coach says: Maybe this time the Vikings will play 60 minutes of football. Likely not.
The Doc: TAKE THE VIKINGS IN AN UPSET.
The Coach: TAKE WASHINGTON TO WIN AND COVER.