So, how’d I do?
After going 5-8 last week, it couldn’t get any worse could it. Let me get this out of the way first. I was wrong about Miami being able to hang on and beat the Saints. I was wrong about Chicago at Cincinnati…really, really wrong. Sorry Cedric. I was a believer at the end of the preseason. I just slipped. Next time you all are in New York to collect rent from the Jets, holler!
I wasn’t perfect this week, but I was better. Heading into the Monday night game featuring the heavily-favored Eagles vs. the seriously-sedated Redskins, I had a record of 7-5. Let’s get to the good.
Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Minnesota Vikings 17. I have maintained two things since the beginning of Brett Favre’s flirtations with the Vikings…that this team is going to be a tough out in the post-season and that if the Vikings play teams that Adrian Peterson does not dominate – teams that force Brett Favre to beat them, he’s not going to do it. I don’t dislike Favre. For me it’s simpler than that. Since 1997, he hasn’t won more than one playoff game in any season. To play in a Super Bowl, the Vikings will need to win 2 or 3 playoff games. The Steelers allowed 69 rushing yards to Adrian Peterson and the game was put in the hands of Favre to win or lose.
He threw 51 passes. The chances of losing increase exponentially for most QBs after 45 passes (at least in the post-season). Favre, for much of the game, did a masterful job of mixing up plays. The Vikings attacked short and deep. There are were a few plays where only good fortune and a very strong sun prevented Percy Harvin from dominating the action. He is a very impressive young player. The hamstring injury to Bernard Berrian significantly impacted the game. Berrian did drop an easy pass, but he was otherwise having his way with William Gay. Berrian’s speed forced Gay to play off — leaving room for underneath routes. When Berrian went out of the game, Favre was reduced to throwing to Harvin, Sidney Rice (another great game) and Visanthe Shincoe.
The Steelers still have issues. Rashard Mendenhall is a fumbler — until proven otherwise. He’s not a nice back who happens to fumble. He’s not a young power back with great speed and agility who happens to fumble. He’s a fumbler. He is a player who jeopardizes possessions each time he touches the ball. After his Red Zone fumble yesterday, Coach Mike Tomlin went to former Viking Mewelde Moore to hold down the fort. Moore, of course, is not a powerful between the tackles runner, but he is not a fumbler.
Adrian Peterson Runs Over Steeler RCB William Gay