Monday, October 29, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sorry, I might be getting ahead of myself a little bit here. But any of you who caught the Vikings vs. Bears yesterday afternoon saw something special.
You saw the emergence of the next great running back in the NFL not named LaDanian Tomlinson.
I’m tired of hearing that the Bears defense was lacking some of it’s firepower. I must have been watching the wrong game, but I remember seeing Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, Adewale Ogunleye, Adam Archuleta and Alex Brown. But yes, you’re right…the Bears were clearly missing their Defense.
Adrian Peterson rushed for 224 yards on 20 carries and even had a 53 yard kick return to set up Ryan Longwell’s 55 yard field goal to beat the Bears as time ran out. The rookie from the University of Oklahoma, also the first running-back taken in the 2007 draft, has arrived in the NFL and he brought the snacks.
"I just got comfortable, more comfortable with the speed of the game, I knew anything was possible," Peterson said
He got comfortable alright. He made himself at home at Soldier Field. Rumor has it that the maintenance crew put up a locker in the Bears locker room with Peterson’s name on it. Since only the home running back is supposed to run like Peterson did.
He broke Chuck Foreman’s team record of 200 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976 and Ricky Williams’ record of 216 at Soldier Field in 2002. In other words, he had a day.
As for the rest of the team, yes…Adrian Peterson did not play every position today, the Vikings looked like an NFL team. Tarvaris Jackson did not turn over the ball, 9-23 with 136 yds and 1 td to Troy Williamson. The defense shut down the Bears rushing attack and made Brian Griese toss the football 45 times. If Rex Grossman had been starting today, the Vikings might have won this game by 35+.
Coming out of the bye week, the Vikings looked like they were on a mission. They looked crisp and not very sluggish for a team that hadn’t played for a week.
They’ve got another test next week down in Dallas against a Cowboys team that was subsequently crushed by the Patriots today 48-27. Other than that, the Vikings have a favorable schedule ahead of them.
10/21 @ Dallas
11/4 San Diego
11/11 @ Green Bay
The Vikings have a chance to win all of those games, but I say they go 3-2 in that stretch. That would bring them to 5-5 and still in the playoff hunt in the wide open NFC.
My interest in the Vikings has been revived. I nearly went hoarse and nearly had an aneurism at the end of that game.
As always, your comments are welcome and have a great Monday!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
This season saw the most historical achievements than any other previous year. Three players, Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, and Jim Thome, joined the 500 home run club, along with slugger Sammy Sosa joing the 600 home run club. Also, the hallowed all-time home run record of 755 home runs, set by Henry Aaron, was eclipsed by Barry Bonds. Other milestones reached this year included a 300 win pitcher (Tom Glavine) and 3,000 hits (
So much happened just in personal milestones, it almost hides the fact that young hitters came up from the minors for one of the best rookie classes since, well, last year. But these past two seasons have produced some of the best rookies in a LONG time, with many either already or on the verge of becoming all-stars (Hanley Ramirez, Prince Fielder, David Wright). Here are my predictions for A.L and N.L. Rookie of the Year:
A.L. Rookie of the Year – Dustin Pedroia (2B, Boston Red Sox): Pedroia held down the second base position the entire season, and finished the season with a .317 batting average, good enough for tenth in the American League. Considering that he also helped
N.L Rookie of the Year– Troy Tulowitzki (SS, Colorado Rockies): Tulowitzki literally won this award at the last possible moment in my mind. Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Ryan Braun had this locked up, but in the end baseball is about offense AND defense. Braun, when called up from the minors, went on to hit 34 home runs with a .324 average, but his defense was terrible. He ended the season with 26 errors, and a .895 fielding percentage, both good enough for worst in the league. Insert Tulowitzki. He finished the season with a .291 average, 24 home runs, and had some spectacular defense down the stretch, leading the Rockies to win 13 of their last 14 games. He also went four for seven in the one game playoff for the wildcard, and scored the game tying run in the bottom of the thirteenth inning. To me, offensive and defensive stats, combined with a team’s performance, are what make a rookie of the year, and Tulowitzki had it all.
With that look at the year’s best rookies, all that is left are the Cy Young and MVP predictions. Two of the four have been decided since midseason, and the other two may have been decided in the last week of the season.
A.L. Cy Young – C.C. Sabathia (SP, Cleveland Indians): Sabathia finished well down the stretch, winning his final five decisions. Throw in the fact that he led the Indians to the playoffs and out dueled 2006 Cy Young winner Johan Santana three times this season, and he is the easy choice for the award.
N.L. Cy Young – Jake Peavy (SP, San Diego Padres): Peavy won the N.L. pitching triple crown (wins, strikeouts, and earned run average), much like Johan Santana last year. Peavy is a shoo-in.
A.L. MVP – Alex Rodriguez (3B, New York Yankees): It seems like A-Rod has had this award since the first day of the season. He has simply been the best offensive threat in the A.L. all season long. Combine the fact that he eclipsed 500 career home runs this year, and A-Rod is also a lock to win the award.
N.L. MVP – Matt Holliday (OF, Colorado Rockies): This award really could go to Holliday or any of the deserving Philadelphia Phillies (Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, or reigning MVP Ryan Howard), but Holliday I feel deserves this award because he is the only MVP candidate on his team. When you have a team like the Phillies that have that many players producing, you expect to win. Holliday took the Rockies on his back, and took them headfirst into the playoffs. Plus, he literally took them into the playoffs by scoring the winning run of their one-game playoff by diving head first into home plate, leaving a nice scrape right on his chin in the process. Holliday deserves this award this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes elsewhere.
That about does it for the 2007 season recap. Baseball fans across the nation tuned in this year to witness one of the best seasons ever, with seemingly new stories every night. It’s hard to imagine that the season could get any better, but remember this – there are still the playoffs. As Dane Cook puts it SO delicately in those postseason commercials, there is only one October! Go Rockies!