Week 5. We need a win. And somebody here needs to knock Tuna off of his high horse.
asbestos_man kicks us off this week:
Before the season began everyone picked this match-up as the cure to our crappyscheduleitis. Now 4 weeks later we are looking at 3-1 Vikings team that beat a presumptive Super Bowl favorite the 49ers in the very loud Metrodome. Throw in an absent Jake Locker and emerging tight end Kyle Rudolph and there is plenty of reason to doubt the Vikings are the cure we hoped. However, I echo the sentiments of some that the next four to eight games will tell us much more about this team than the first four. Hasselbeck will be efficient enough, CJ will show up again, and a returning Colin McCarthy will spark the defense to maintain the good run D of last week and maybe even get a turnover or a sack (remember those?). If the Football Gods are truly good, Jerry Gray would take the gloves off for once, but that is probably too much to hope for. Bottom line Christian Ponder is not Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers, Matt Stafford, or the Texans' D.
Titans 26 - Vikings 23
Picks Tuna (3-1)
For the first time all year, I have a good feeling about a game. The Vikings are better than I thought they would be, but I am not buying them as a contender. I am also not buying the Titans as a contender, but I think they pull out a close one here.
Titans 20 - Vikings 17
Titans win, possibly big. Minnesota, while talented up front, brings conventional 4 man pressure. In the passing game, this offensive line seems to hold their own against that type of front. Matt Hasselbeck changes the dynamic in the passing game, likely making the short-intermediate game more of a focus. Given the production showed early last year when the two were healthy, I could see a huge game out of Kenny Britt. Defensively, we'll be tasked with keeping Adrian Peterson in check. Potentially more daunting, considering our recent struggles, may be the secondary's responsibility of containing Percy Harvin in the open field.
In terms of pure talent, I'd call this game the closest one we'll have watched all season. Unfortunately for the Titans, the Vikings have a young tight end looking to make good on his potential this week. I expect a huge game from Kyle Rudolph. Adrian Peterson too, and last but not least, a guy I think is pretty underrated, Percy Harvin. The Vikings, like everyone else we've faced, shouldn't have much trouble moving the ball.
I have my fingers crossed for another dominant rushing performance like the one we saw last week, but do not trust to hope, it is forbidden in these lands. It looks like we're going to have to rely on Nate Washington and Jared Cook to make big, timely plays and maybe a big play on special teams to get things going, because Matt Hasselbeck is just not a "screw it, I'm going deep" quarterback at this point in his career. Pray for broken tackles and busted coverages. If that happens, I think we've got a decent shot in this one, in lieu of that, I'll make a positive pick for the first time all year.