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News » Second guesses: Vikings fail to silence doubters


Second guesses: Vikings fail to silence doubters


Second guesses: Vikings fail to silence doubters
I have no confidence in the Vikings. Yes, they beat the New York Giants with a 50-yard Ryan Longwell field goal Sunday, but did you see coach Brad Childress nearly flitter away 20 seconds at the end of the game? What was he thinking? I guess he was simply counting on Longwell finishing the regular-season a perfect 6-for-6 in kicks of 50 yards or longer.


Adrian Peterson produced another home-run touchdown, but he also fumbled again. That's five this month. Although Tarvaris Jackson continues to commit fewer mistakes than in the past, he was intercepted in the end zone and his long touchdown to Bernard Berrian was made possible by a rookie cornerback falling down. I don't think Jackson can count on that happening next Sunday when he faces the Eagles.

NFL Week 17

Week 17 action

    Vikings 20, Giants 19 -- Recap | Box
    Panthers 33, Saints 31 -- Recap | Box
    Packers 31, Lions 21 -- Recap | Box
    Falcons 31, Rams 27 -- Recap | Box
    Texans 31, Bears 24 -- Recap | Box
    Patriots 13, Bills 0 -- Recap | Box
    Colts 23, Titans 0 -- Recap | Box
    Steelers 31, Browns 0 -- Recap | Box
    Raiders 31, Bucs 24 -- Recap | Box
    Bengals 16, Chiefs 6 -- Recap | Box
    Eagles 44, Cowboys 6 -- Recap | Box
    Dolphins 24, Jets 17 -- Recap | Box
    49ers 27, Redskins 24 -- Recap | Box
    Ravens 27, Jaguars 7 -- Recap | Box
    Cardinals 34, 'Hawks 24 -- Recap | Box
    Chargers 52, Broncos 21 -- Recap | Box

Analysis

  • Marvez: Standing pat could hurt 'Boys
  • Schrager: Pennington a feel-good story

Video

  • NFL on Fox: NFC playoff preview

Photos

  • NFL Week 17 snapshots
  • NFL cheerleaders
  • Worst teams ever
  • NFL year in photos

The Eagles and defensive coordinator Jim Johnson's schemes definitely aren't the combination that Childress wanted to be playing in the first round. You think that Johnson and his blitz schemes made Tony Romo look like a fool Sunday? Well, wait to you see what they can do to Jackson.

I've never been sold on the teams in the NFC North and the NFC West this season. The Vikings backed into the playoffs. Yes, they beat the Giants, who were resting some of their biggest stars and playing with David Carr at quarterback in the second half. Yes, they beat the Panthers and the Saints with Gus Frerotte back in October, but I don't think it would happen again.

The bottom line with the Vikings is that Childress wanted to get Brett Favre as his quarterback in July. Childress didn't want his current crop of quarterbacks. He wanted a veteran. And you can bet that he will be looking again in the offseason when the Eagles take care of business and advance to the second round of the playoffs.

Excluded Patriots have issues

It is a shame the New England Patriots are missing the playoffs, especially with 11 wins. They are definitely better than Arizona, who finally showed some heart with a closing victory over Seattle in Mike Holmgren's final game.

This might have been one of Bill Belichick's best coaching jobs, because he and his staff had to coach up quarterback Matt Cassel as the season went along. They won six of eight games down the stretch, but it wasn't enough.

For the past couple of weeks, there have been varying reports about Tom Brady's rehab from knee surgery. Yes, Brady says things are going fine, but the rumors persist that a staph infection drastically set his progress back.

Belichick, of course, says nothing to convince us that Brady will definitely be 100 percent for training camp in late July. This story will linger until mid-February when the Patriots will have to make a decision on Cassel. Do they place the franchise tag on him at the cost of $14.5 million and keep him, protecting themselves if Brady isn't recovered? Or do they put the tag on him, knowing Brady will be fine, simply to trade him to any team other than the New York Jets?

With Brett Favre likely headed toward retirement, the Jets need a quarterback like Cassel. It's a move that makes sense. But Belichick can't have one of his biggest competitors signing his new star. Consequently, franchising Cassel makes the most sense. He's proven to be a capable replacement for Brady and it ensures the Patriots that if he's playing elsewhere — say Tampa Bay or Minnesota — that the Patriots will have some control over his landing place.

What's next for Parcells?

The ESPN report about Dolphins boss Bill Parcells being a potential unrestricted free agent is true. Parcells was worried that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would not honor his unique contract clause that says he can walk away from his job as executive vice president of football operations of the Dolphins if Wayne Huizenga no longer owns the team.

Well, folks, Huizenga no longer owns the Dolphins. Stephen Ross owns the team now, 95 percent of it. There are millions of dollars at stake and Parcells can walk away with a lot of cash if he decides to exercise his option.

But Parcells just helped put the Dolphins in the playoffs. Does he really want to move on? Does he really want to take his money and finally retire? Or does he want to go and work somewhere else? Don't underestimate his influence on this franchise, starting with the hiring of coach Tony Sparano and GM Jeff Ireland. Both of these men were handpicked by Parcells, plus the former coach moved quickly to guarantee that Chad Pennington was Miami's quarterback when the Jets went fishing with Brett Favre. How savvy of a move was that?

Maybe Parcells sees his work in Miami as complete. What more can he do for the franchise? From 1-15 to the playoffs! The pieces are in place, no doubt about that. And if Parcells does exercise his option, he's definitely entitled. Huizenga hired him for just these kind of results. Parcells made the Dolphins better and his presence in the front office also made them attractive to the new owner. Huizenga would not have cashed out without Parcells.

Must-read:

  • Marvez: Standing pat could hurt 'Boys
  • Schrager: Pennington a feel-good story

Must-see:

  • NFL on Fox: NFC playoff preview
View more videos >>

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 29, 2008

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