Paul Allen Proudly Endorses:
|TUESDAY, MAY 21 (subject to change)|
OPEN: TOP 50 NFL PLAYERS
|9:20: calls on top 50 nfl bit|
9:33: MIKE FLORIO profootballtalk.com
|9:55: KEVIN GORG FSN from atlanta/twins|
|10:33: SPORTS ESSENTIALS|
|10:53: ANTHONY LAPANTA FSN IN STUDIO|
|11:20: ERIN HENDERSON IN-STUDIO vikes lb|
|11:33: henderson stays|
Click here to view the WCHT photo gallery.
We celebrate the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey Team and one of its stars, Jonny "The Mouse" Mikkelson, who once told me "Our team was so good the varsity wouldn't play us." When asked why he didn't play varsity Mouse said, "Too little." Cutest ever. So, we salute the greatest Club Hockey Team ever, a squad so vaunted even Jim Craig's Miracle team wanted nothing to do with it. Trottier, Bossy, Gretzky, Messier ... dead! Long live the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey team!
follow jonny via twitter
LATE APRIL B&B ...
Minnesota vs. Chicago – NHL Playoffs!
I think we took their best shot yesterday at MOA Field. And I know our defense is capable of playing better Saturday night at Lambeau. Their defense will improve, too, given it's a home game, but to a man I cannot see their passing game whizzing along at a better clip than what we saw most of yesterday. And we won. And BEN LEBER just told BUMP we will win again. Cool.
We just went 4-and-1 in December and are going great guns. We beat four good-to-quality defenses in Chicago, St. Louis, Houston and Green Bay. Our QB has zero picks the last three games. CHRISTIAN is 16-for-23 on third down the last two games. ADRIAN went for 409 and three (one catching) the last two versus Green Bay.
Green Bay fans don't take us seriously and are as smug as ever. Despite losing four of their last six home playoff games, Packers' fans look at us as a lucky bunch and a team that had everything for which to play yesterday and used that edge to win.
True, it was a win-and-in, lose-and-snooze scenario for the Minnesota Vikings, but Green Bay (a) very much wanted to bump us from the postseason and (b) desperately wanted that week off to get CHARLES WOODSON and maybe RANDALL COBB more squared away for the playoffs. Green Bay offensively looked every bit as good as it has most of the season, and the ultra competitive AARON RODGERS has no lay down to him.
He swung hard and Christian responded with some knockout blows of his own. Their defense is not as good as the four-game stat leading up to the game (13 PPG allowed, second best in the NFL). Adrian has a way of wrecking games for the adversary. And because of it Ponder found single coverage all over the field. And it will be there again Saturday night.
It's important to Christian to hold up his end of the bargain, as he told me on the 9-to-Nooner today. Ponder gets down on himself when he performs poorly and feels like he's letting teammates down. It bugged him too much during the middle part of this playoff-bound season. Growing pains, for sure.
But on the other side of the second guessing is a kid bursting with confidence and a learned man when it comes to the gameplan. He knew MICHAEL JENKINS would get the preferred matchup late when he daggered the Packers for the 25-yard hit on third-and-11. He also knew JARIUS WRIGHT was too fast for SAM SHIELDS on the 65-yarder and "threw him open" like the good QB's do.
They may get back Randall Cobb for Saturday night, and he'll give them another threat in the passing game. But what does that do to GREG JENNINGS, who did most of his damage from the slot spot yesterday? Cobb is a slot guy who made his money and was able to lead the team in receptions due to injuries to Jennings and JORDY NELSON.
They treat Randall like he's "Pocket Percy" and they run Percy plays for him. I like Randall but he's not in Harvin's class. So, if they force us into a "dime" defense, meaning six DBs and GREENWAY playing LB, that means they will need the sub-standard OL to defend our DL, and I think that's a big advantage our way. Of course, there are not many better than Rodgers at hitting receivers in stride and/or running from trouble, but we got him five times yesterday, and quite honestly I don't think Green Bay is capable of blocking our DL sans help from TEs and KUHN.
If they keep those guys back to chip and bug and help, that means WRs and/or FINLEY don't play, and that takes options away from Rodgers. We missed tackles and took some bad angles yesterday and have to be more sound in that department to win Saturday night.
If we win maybe then GB fans will respect our powerhouse, run-first product and will give the improvement the credit it deserves. Until then the GB fans with whom I chat think this is a mere formality in front of a meeting with MATT RYAN and the Falcons. We'll take our chances because we are twice the team we were when we lost there December 2nd and just found a way to beat the Packers on a day their offense fired a bullet.