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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

1881!  Brett Favre's opening drive under Chili's V-V was a masterpiece.  They knew that we were going to run the ball ... they just didn't know when.  Watching Brett hit 81-Shank and 18-Syd over and over again was a just jaw dropping event.  This masterpiece evolved into a 14-zip lead quicker than snot.  

In our local rag that they call a newspaper they stated that the Viking receivers were nothing to fear.  I wonder what they are thinking now.      

The Alley
What ever happened to the Lombardi's concept of "running it in the alley".  We've heard that quote so often that it's as if it were a right ... but its apparent that very few try to exploit it.  Today, for example, the blocking scheme of quick out to the wide receiver enables the wide receiver to run in the alley, but there are very few plays that continually exploit the weaknesses of the alley.  Maybe I'm wrong, but wasn't Ray Rice's recent touchdown run a product of running in the alley.  Is it just me or do we see AD to often trying to outrun defenders to the sideline.

In other words, what appears to be a strength (defending the alley) is actually its weakness.  

For the offense, the side line can be a very bad idea.  The sideline rewards the defender with an additional defender in the form of the sideline itself.  A 2 for 1 deal that does not exist in the alley.  Maybe Lombardi continuously stressed this concept for a reason.  At the sideline, due to 2 for 1 deal, the defender gets to fly at the carrier at full speed, which exposes the carrier to an unwarranted risk.  In the alley, the defender has no choice but to bleed energy unless the runner is stacked and held upward for the cheap shot.  

AD's first big gash run versus the Raven's was not achieved from a sideline run but was the result of a between the tackles run.  Brett Favre has demonstrated the effective exploitation of the seams and the center (slants), however to run effectively with the greatest risk-reward maybe the targets need to be shifted to either between the tackles or to exploit the alleys, forgoing the sideline scamper.

If I had a choice between taking-on AD either on at the sideline or in the alley the answer becomes quite obvious.  There just not enough money to make that a reality.    

John Randle
It's hard not to notice that Mike Tomlin is particularly overconfident in regard to our upcoming match with the Steelers.  Who could blame him as his top rated passing offense is about to go head to head with our defense, which has been labeled suspect versus the pass.  Seeing Toine' in a boot is like blood on the water. 

Could Brett Favre be the dominant Saturn, like Moss in the Monday night contest up in Greenbay back in 98.  Too many will be waiting on the cusp hoping to witness the demise of Brett's unblemished record.  Time will tell.      

In a way, this reminds me of the 1998 missing rings episode with John Randle's stirring quote, which explained the provisions of the blue print to the Vikings demise.  In 98, the Vikings were undefeated going into Tampa Bay where they were to face Tony Dungy's squad.  For John and his defensive mates, it was like playing themselves, as Tony built the Viking's defense where he knew their strengths and weaknesses.  The Viking defense was built for turf & speed, which was particularly vulnerable to an offense that could physically pound that rock.  Dungy exploited our weakness, which ultimately provided the blue print for the 98 Falcons.  

Today, we are in a similar situation, only from an opposite spectrum.  Mike Tomlin did not build this defense ... he only coordinated it for 1 year.  Few might remember that under Tomlin although that defense was #1 versus the run, that Viking defense was also dead last versus the pass that season.  Maybe John Randle might have some words of wisdom in regard to this upcoming match versus our former defensive coordinator but one might expect that in confronting Mike Tomlin ... you'll need to confront yourself.  In other words, this defense can only be made to beat itself ... not to be beaten.  In short, the only thing we need to fear is fear itself.  Tomlin is going to know and exploit some of the strengths and weaknesses of each individual player however in the scheme of things it can be made to be irrelevant.  What is certain is that he's not going to know the heart of the 85 Bears and its interchange.  There's a new sheriff in town.     

In any case, there will always be something from Brett's V-V to exploit, regardless of the situation as our defenders aren't the only thing that can be exploited.  Tomlin, and his crew, have their own set of weaknesses.     

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: October 22, 2009

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