It's time for our weekly Q&A session with a blogger who covers the Patriots next opponent. Up this week is The Purple Jesus Diaries, a hilarious blog covering the Vikings that joined the Bloguin earlier this year. I asked the site's lead blogger, a series of questions about the Vikes, and he, in turn, asked me a few about the Pats. His responses are below, followed by a link to Foxboro Blog's Q&A session on PJD.
1. What is the main problem that has caused Minnesota to get off to a 2-4 start?
Oh Lord. MAIN problem? I'd like to say Favre because I personally find it enjoyable to blame everything on him, but I'd say more so coaching and unrealistic expectations that this team would get the same bounces and performance as they did last year. But Favre definitely has something to do with it, that bastard.
2. With six sacks in six games, what do you think is the reason Minnesota has not had more sacks like the quarterback like they did a year ago?
Don't know the actual reason to this either. Their running defense has looked weaker too. I'd guess some of this is age. I'd guess some of it is people figuring out how to play the team now. The main reason probably is closer to the fact that the defense hasn't been playing with a lead hardly at all, which means they have to play more honest and can't just rear back and rush the passer every down. Also, teams don't have to throw as much, or as many deep patterns, making it harder to get sacks. like the Patriots did last time these two teams played, I see them dinking and dunking and negating a pass rush again this week.
3. I know it will only be Week 8, but do you think Brett Favre finishes the year as the starting quarterback for the Vikings? If not, do you have a guess of when Childress will go to Tarvaris Jackson at QB?
There's a ton of talk about Childress switching to TarVar this week already, but I don't think it happens. Favre is getting $16 Million this year and he's retiring at the end of the year before I hunt him down. There's no way he sits. And if you put TarVar in that's just like losing anyway. I hope the team rides Favre down this Titanic and gets the Vikings in position to use a high draft pick on a legit franchise QB FINALLY.
4. What do you make of Brad Childress as a head coach?
He's terrible. Poor clock management, questionable playcalling, largely unlikable, and he has a stupid mustache. I think the general feeling around Minneapolis is much the same as well.
5. What weaknesses do you see in New England that you think Minnesota can exploit? What weaknesses in Minnesota can New England exploit?
Uh .... Do you stop the run well? Because that's all Minnesota's got, and that's BARELY worth noting. Maybe utilizing Percy Harvin in more odd ball rolls to throw your defense off, but that would mean our coach would have to think that play up, which I promise you he won't. As I said before, I think the Patriots will throw quick, short passes to keep the Vikings on their heels, and eat the clock. Belichick will confuse our overrated offensive line with exotic blitzes as well, and you won't really have much of a game.
6. At season's end, do you think the Vikings will make the playoffs?
Eh, maybe. The team still has a chance to turn things around if the offense ever decides to not be a bunch of idiots. I think they could sneak in as a wild card or even still win the terrible NFC North division. The Bears currently are the leaders, and they are terrible, so that says all you need to know. I think if the Vikings D can play with a lead ever, they're still good enough to be a scary defensive team in the playoffs.
7. Your thoughts on the Randy Moss trade? How do you think Moss will be received by Patriots' fans on Sunday?
Minnesota fans loved Randy way more than New England fans ever did, I can promise you that. I get the feeling Pats fans won't really care. You guys always run people through and don't give it second thought, it seems like. You also have a propensity to steal Minnesota athletes and win with them, which we're all really happy with. I think Viking fans love the Moss trade even if we don't win. I know I don't care about the wins, I would pay that guy $16 Million instead of Favre just to make my weeks interesting
8. Where do you put New England in terms of the best in the AFC?
They're up there. The whole NFL is so screwy this year, I don't think you can really make a correct assumption about any team. I think the Jets and the Steelers are the two best AFC teams, easily. The Patriots, are probably top five, but I don't know if I could really put teams in order right now. It's something about their offense right now that keeps them from being elite, I feel. That might be crap though, because what do I know, I cheer for the Vikings!
9. What is your one main key to the game, and a prediction?
The key is going to be Favre's health. If he's out, or not up to full speed, the Pats defense will take him and the Vikings to the woodshed, and it won't even be close. I don't think even anyone in Minnesota expects the Vikings to win this week, and a lot of it is because of how terrible the offense has been and how underwhelming the defense has been. When it comes down to it, I see the Pats winning by like two touchdowns, something like 31-17 or so. It'll be ugly.