Week 16 & 17: Vikings @ Baltimore & vs. Chicago
At this point, there isn't really anything to talk about. The Vikings laid an egg against a
horrible Baltimore team, and that ended their playoff hopes. It was probably for the best because it
would have been painful to sit and watch Washington win and eliminate the Vikings that way.
That set up a meaningless final game at home against Chicago, which the Vikings beat up on the
Chicago second stringers. The big shocked happened about 20 minutes after the game ended. The
scroller across the bottom of the TV reads: Mike Tice fired as Vikings Head Coach
Whaaaaa?!?!?! Didn't the game just end 20 minutes ago? I suppose there is something to be said
about not letting a guy twist in the wind, but that was the first classless move the new ownership
has done. At least have the decency to let the team enjoy the day. Don't make the players who are
just trying to get out of Dodge have to dodge questions about the firing of their coach.
At any rate, was I surprise? No. I wouldn't have been surprised either way. Part of me thought
that it would make sense to give Tice a 2 year contract and see how next year went. However, with
a season like this (Whizzinator/Ticket Scalping/Boat Cruise) how could you let your Head Coach
slide? The downside of the firing is what to do with the coordinators who showed signs of life in
the 2nd half of the season?
But now that's all up to Brad Childress:
"Kinda doofy lookin'" - K. Gerbschmidt
I'm not too excited about the hiring of Childress. Most of the successful Head Coaches as of late
come from the defensive ranks. Think of Belicheck, Dungy, etc. On the offensive side you've got
Martz and Brian "The Brain" Billick. My Philly connection tells me that although it's been widely
reported that Childress didn't call the plays, Andy Reid scripted the first X number of plays, and
Childress took over after that. Although I'm not sure that's true, at least the media isn't reporting
that. At least it seems like Philly
is somewhat disappointed the guy is leaving, which should be a good sign.
Childress does have a good reputation as a smart, well organized, football coach. Someone very good
at the administration that comes along with the position. Less is known about his play calling and
his in-game coaching.
Some side news which may be of interest. Sounds like the next big coaching decision is whether
or not to keep Ted Cottrell. I'm pretty ambivalent on that. As I wrote earlier in the year, I was
not impressed with his defense, both today and his Bills teams of the past. However, the second
half of the season made me rethink that, and I certainly think it would be advantageous to keep
Additionally, Childress is looking bring in some of his own assistants, one of the names being
floated is Eric "Sleeping with" Bieniemy, which would be fantastic from a pure comedic standpoint.
So, with the Vikings firing Tice (and taking away most of the basis for my last article of the season),
where does this leave the Vikings?
Franchise QB Daunte Culpepper is still questionable for next year (and his career). Idiot fans
think Brad Johnson is the answer. We still need a reliable every down RB... they'll be dumping Bennett
somehow, and giving Ontario one last chance, which he will piss away (pun intended). The defense may
have over-achieved the second half of the year, but hopefully not, which means we should have a respectable
middle of the pack defense next year. Our stud punter (if you can say such a thing) might be out
as well, and our FG kicker is slightly above average. The good news is that our division will be
more of the same next year. The only threat being Chicago. So we have a good chance to win the division
with a season record of 10-6, which could be done by this team. The big question mark being QB.
So my prediction: Culpepper will return in time for the first game of the season. He will have
an average season with flashes of brilliance, and fewer turnovers. Mewelde Moore will emerge
as the best RB, and will rush for over 1000 yards, but not much more. The defense will be vastly
improved, but will be the same bend, but not break defense we've seen. Childress will bring a
stronger hand to the team, but he will be criticized for poor play calling and not using the players
2006 record: 9-7