A Quick Analysis of the Minnesota Vikings’ 2018 Schedule

The schedules for all NFL teams have been unveiled. Even though we’re in the middle of the NBA playoffs, lets take a quick break from basketball and have a quick look at the 2018 schedule for the Minnesota Vikings.


So, despite the rumors, the Vikings will not open the season against the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles but instead play at home against the 49ers. The Vikings have four primetime games this season, a Thursday game at Los Angeles (Rams), two Sunday night games against the Saints and Packers, and a Monday night game at the Seahawks. Four primetime games show that expectations for this year’s Vikings are high, even from a national perspective.

The Vikings take on five playoff teams from last season (the Bills, Rams, Eagles, Saints, and Patriots), but several other teams on the schedule could prove to be a tough test. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers back from injury, so you can expect a bounceback season from them. The 49ers started last season 0-10, but after making the move for Jimmy Garoopolo and inserting him into the starting lineup they went 5-0 to end the season. The Lions narrowly missed the playoffs last season, and now they have a new coaching staff. And then there is the Seahawks, who look like they are starting to rebuild, but do not underestimate Russell Wilson.

From a home-road perspective, the Vikings definitely face harder teams on the road. In back to back weeks, they play in Los Angeles and in Philadelphia, a brutual stetch. Their non-division home schedule consists of the 49ers, Bills, Cardinals, Saints, and Dolphins. It would have been nice if one (or a couple) of the tough road games against the Rams, Eagles, or Patriots was a home matchup. On the plus side, the Vikings never have more than two straight games on the road. In other good news, the Vikings also have a week 10 bye. After nine straight weeks of games, the week 10 bye will be a nice opprotunity for banged up players to rest and get healthy.

Overall, the Vikings’ schedule is looking tough, but this is a good team we’re talking about. None of these games look like automatic losses to me, at least not as it sits now in April. My way too early prediction for the Vikings’ record is 12-4.


Tennessee Titans Unveil New Jerseys

After months of hype, the Tennessee Titans have unveiled their new uniforms. And guess what? They look pretty similar to the last ones. The home jersey is navy blue, the away is white, and the alternate is the Titan’s baby “Columbia” blue. The amount of  that light blue color, a color that in the NFL is pretty unique, has been scaled back in favor of more navy for the most part. The white helmet has been changed for the first time in 20 years to the team’s navy color. On the shoulders, there is a streak of color that contrasts with the main color of the uniforms. Those color blasts give the uniforms some much needed character. The numbers have an interesting font with sharp points


I like that the Titans have toned down the two-tone blue look. I don’t like the idea of two blue colors together, so scaling it back is a step in the right direction. The new uniforms may not be quite as unique as before, but overall they look better.

Titans needed a makeover, the old jerseys were stale and some of the worst in the league. These changes don’t put them in the upper echelon of NFL jerseys, but it’s a definite improvement over their old style.

Nick Foles Won Super Bowl MVP: What’s Next for Foles and the Rest of the NFL?

When Carson Wentz tore his ACL, most people wrote the Philadelphia Eagles off and said “maybe next year.” Now, the Eagles are Super Bowl champions, the most unlikely Super Bowl champions I can remember. In the biggest spot of his life, Nick Foles stepped up and threw for 373 yards, three touchdowns, as well as catching a touchdown. He has the highest postseason passer rating in the history of the NFL, His big performance earned him Super Bowl MVP, but where does that leave him, the Eagles, and the rest of the NFL going forward?


It seems pretty clear that Nick Foles won’t be on the Eagles next year. Carson Wentz was playing like the MVP up until his injury. The Eagles are committed to Wentz, and that makes Foles expendable. Foles’ value may never be higher than right now, the Eagles could probably get a team desperate for a QB to trade a second round pick for Foles. There are a lot of teams that need a quarterback this offseason, some possible destinations for Foles could be Buffalo, Jacksonville, and Arizona.

So, if the Eagles move on from Foles, where does that leave Foles? It seems likely that he will be starting next year. Maybe a team like Buffalo will view Foles as a stop-gap QB, allowing them compete now while grooming a true franchise QB. Or, maybe there’s a team that does think that Foles is a franchise QB. After all, he did just win a Super Bowl MVP.

For the rest of the NFL, what should we make of the improbable rise of Nick Foles? Is the NFL moving in a direction where a good supporting cast of position players are just as important as the quarterback position? No one was predicting an Eagles Super Bowl win after Wentz got hurt. How much credit does Doug Pederson and the rest of the Eagles’ coaching staff deserve for Foles’ success? There are a lot of questions surrounding the Foles situation, but it seems clear that he will be starting somewhere else next season. And he deserves that chance.

Five Predictions for Super Bowl 52

Super Bowl 52 is upon us, which means Sunday will be jam packed with celebrities, million dollar commercials, prop bets, and Justin Timberlake performance. Oh yeah, and the Philadelphia Eagles are taking on the defending champs, the New England Patriots. There’s a lot going on as the NFL season concludes, so here are some predictions on what will surely be a busy Super Bowl Sunday.

  1. People will finally get sick of the “Dilly Dilly” slogan: Somehow, Bud Light’s catchphrase became somewhat of a phenomenon in 2017. Heck, Ben Roethlisberger even used the phrase as an audible in a game against the Titans. Bud Light has gotten a lot of run out the phrase, and I predict that they will continue to push it during the Super Bowl with a commercial or two (or three). After seeing these very expensive advertisements during the game, the fall of dilly dilly will begin. Finally. Dilly-Dilly.jpg
  2. Nick Foles does not throw an interception: Two weeks ago, Nick Foles looked like he was Peyton Manning the way he carved apart the Minnesota Vikings’ defense that many considered best in the league. Foles has thrown two interceptions since filling in for Carson Wentz, and those were both in the regular season. Foles has been much better than expected these playoffs, and he’ll need to continue to play well and take care of the ball for the Eagles to have a chance to win. Meanwhile, the Patriots haven’t gotten an interception in the playoffs against mediocre (mediocre might be generous) QBs Marcus Mariota and Blake Bortles. Don’t be surprised when Nick Foles completes his playoff run without an interception. NFoles.jpg
  3. Justin Timberlake disappoints at halftime show: Look, I’m a pretty big fan of Justin Timberlake, but I think this is going to be a tough sell. Timberlake is undoubtedly one of the music world’s biggest stars, but there’s some issues leading up to his performance. First, Timberlake is already facing some backlash over his last Super Bowl appearance, where Janet Jackson suffered a wardrobe malfunction after Timberlake pulled on her outfit. Timberlake has never apologized for the incident, and while Janet Jackson never recovered from the malfunction, Timberlake thrived. On top of that, Timberlake just released his new album titled Man of the Woods. The album has not gotten a lot of love from critics, and his lead single peaked at number nine and is now down to 33 on the Billboard Top 100. I fear that Timberlake will preform too many new songs, which are not the reason that people want to see him preform. Unfortunately, I think many will walk away from the halftime show disappointed.Justin-Timberlake
  4. The Patriots Win Super Bowl 52: Not a shocker by any means. Vegas originally favored the Patriots by 6 points, but that line has shifted to 4.5 as the big game has gotten closer. Philly has the tools to pull the upset here, that defensive line is ferocious and if they can get to Brady, they have a real chance. But when it comes down to it, how can anyone feel good trusting Nick Foles to win the Super Bowl against Tom Brady? There’s a lot more to this game than Brady vs. Foles, but Brady’s (and Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots) experience gives them the benefit of the doubt. The Patriots win 28-20. Super-Bowl.jpg
  5. Tom Brady Wins Super Bowl MVP: This will be Brady’s sixth Super Bowl ring and his fifth Super Bowl MVP. Which is absolutely insane. Brady-MVP


Minnesota Must Move Past Minneapolis Miracle

“It’s just now sinking in for real.” That’s a tweet sent by Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon on Tuesday, referring to the insanity that was the last play of the Vikings-Saints NFC divisional game on Sunday. Stefon Digg’s miraculous game winning touchdown catch sent Vikings fans into a frenzy, and with good reason. There was a shared sentiment, “things like this don’t happen to us.” But it happened. And the Vikings are playing in the NFC championship for a chance to break their 41 year drought between Super Bowl appearances. It’s time for the Vikings to move past the Minneapolis Miracle and handle their business this weekend.


The Vikings enjoyed last weekend’s game against the Saints at home. US Bank Stadium shielded fans and players alike from the bitter cold, and the hometown crowd roared when the Eagles’ offense took the field. This Sunday, the Vikings will be outdoors in Philadelphia. While many wrote off the Eagles after Carson Wentz’s season ending injury in week 14, the Eagles have won three of four games without him. The Eagles are averaging 17 points per game in the four game since Wentz went down, but in the week 17 game, many starters played limited minutes. Throwing that game out, the Eagles have been averaging 22 points per game, which would have been good for 13th best in the regular season.  Not bad.

Nick Foles and the rest of the Eagles’ offense has found success and efficiency using the run-pass option. During a run-pass option, Foles has the opportunity to hand the ball off to a running back, or keep the ball and throw a pass. The majority of the time, Foles hands the ball off, but in the second half against Atlanta he completed all five passes he threw running the run-pass option. This is a dynamic the Vikings haven’t seen much of this season, and it will be interesting to see how they handle it. That said, the Vikings are the best defense in the NFL, and coach Mike Zimmer will be scheming a way to stop Foles and the run-pass option.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles

On the other side of the ball, the Eagles have an excellent defense. The Eagles have the top defense against the run in the NFL, and they’re fourth best in terms of points allowed, fourth in yards allowed, sixth in offensive plays against, and fourth in takeaways. The defensive line is nasty, led by Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. The Eagles have yet to allow a running touchdown at home this season. That’s absolutely crazy. RBs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are going to have a tough go of it for the Vikings.

Though the Eagles’ defense against the run is fearsome, opponents can throw on them. Adam Thielen and Diggs have faced tougher matchups in the secondary this season than this group. In the Eagles’ last game against the Falcons, the Falcons, who lead the league in dropped passes, dropped some critical balls. The Vikings’ receiving duo of Thielen and Diggs finished fourth and first respectively in catching contested balls. If Case Keenum has time, the Vikings should be able to move the ball by passing

The Vikings go into Sunday’s game the favorites. This is a game that they should win. The Vikings have the best defense in the NFL, a gutsy QB in Case Keenum, two very good receiving weapons in Thielen and Diggs, and one of the best coaches in the NFL. Last week, the Vikings needed a miracle to win. Now, they have to put that play behind them, and earn a chance to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium.

The Case for the Underdog One Seed

It’s been over a month since Eagles’ QB and then MVP front runner Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL. The injury took him out for the season, and drastically changed the landscape of the NFL. At the time, the Eagles were 11-2, and favorites to win the NFC. Since Wentz went down, the Eagles have struggled to go 2-1 against the Giants, Raiders, and Cowboys. With Nick Foles under center, expectations for the Eagles plummeted. Heading into the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, the Eagles are the first one seed to ever be underdogs playing against the sixth seed. Vegas favors the Atlanta Falcons by three points, and it seems like no one believes in the Eagles.


Despite the unprecedented nature of the number one seed being underdogs against the sixth seed, the Eagles still have some things working in their favor. The Eagles went 7-1 at home this season, tied for the best home record in the NFL this season. Eagles fans are legendarily crazy, there’s no doubt that they will be wild for this game. The Eagles outscored their opponents at home by a whopping 150 points this season. The Eagles are definitely comfortable at home, and some may be writing off their home field advantage.

The weather on Saturday also seems to favor the Eagles. Around kickoff, it is projected that the temperature will be around 32 degrees. For a team that is a dome team and doesn’t play outside in the cold often, that could impact the Falcons.

But aside from the weather and home field advantage, the Eagles have one more huge advantage over the Falcons: their defense. The Eagles defense has been good all season, they’re fourth best in terms of points allowed, fourth in yards allowed, sixth in offensive plays against, and fourth in takeaways. This defense should not be underestimated. The defensive line is especially good, led by the mighty Fletcher Cox.


The Falcons have a lot of offensive weapons, but they finished 15th in the NFL in points per game. Julio Jones is one of the best receivers in the league, but he only has one touchdown catch on the road all year. Matt Ryan is the reigning MVP, but he hasn’t lived up to that award this season.

Saturday is going to be a tough game for the Eagles to win. Nick Foles and the rest of the offense is going to have to move the ball some, and Foles hasn’t exactly inspired confidence with his play so far. That said, the Eagles still have a fierce defense, and the home field advantage could make a big difference. The Eagles are the first one seed to ever be underdogs against the sixth seed, but don’t write them off yet.

Four Games to Watch In Week 14

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers – 12 CT

The Vikings are one win away from sweeping the NFC South, the best division in football. Getting the victory won’t be easy, but based on previous matchups, the Vikings should have the upper hand. The Vikings and Panthers have faced off twice in the past three seasons, and the Vikings won fairly easily both times. Last season, the Vikings sacked Cam Newton eight times and came away with three interceptions. Getting pressure on Newton will be the key to a Vikings victory. The Panthers have a record of 8-4 and still have a shot at the NFC South division crown. The Panthers could be a division winner, or fail to make the playoffs due to how competitive the NFC is this season. This is an important game for both teams. Vegas has the Vikings as 2.5 point favorites, and while I think that’s a lot on the road against a good team, I’ll still take them to cover.

Seattle Seahawks @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 3:25 CT

Lets take a moment to give the Jaguars some props. No one believed in them heading into the season, yet here they are at 8-4, just a half a game back from leading the AFC South. The Jaguars might have the best defense in the entire NFL, and that defense should give trouble to every single team. The question is if they can get enough offense being lead by Blake Bortles. On the other sideline, the Seahawks are coming off of a huge win against the Eagles. The Seahawks still have a shot at the NFC West, and last week they played their best game of the year. Russell Wilson is a legitimate MVP candidate, and looking like one of the five best QBs in the league. The Jaguars are favored by 2.5, and I really think this game is a toss up. Just because I don’t think either team deserves to be favored in this one, I’ll take the Seahawks.


Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams – 3:25 CT

After suffering their first loss since week 2, the Eagles are facing another test this week as they square off against the Rams. In an unusual move, the Eagles stayed on the West Coast for the week and practiced in Anaheim. Meanwhile, the Rams are preparing for this game like it is an away game. Coach Sean McVay said that the Rams are working on the silent count because they anticipate that the Eagles fans will outnumber Rams fans. This is the most exciting game of the week, but one I’m very unsure about. How will the Eagles respond after their loss to the Seahawks? Will Jared Goff make the necessary plays to beat a good Eagles defense? Will the Rams feel like their playing a road game while at home? The Rams are favored by 2, but my gut tells me the Eagles win this one.

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 7:30 CT

One of the best rivalries in the NFL on Sunday night? Between two potential playoff teams? Sign me up. The Ravens have won three straight and are in position to get a wildcard spot in the playoffs. They just dismantled a solid Lions team 44-20, and the team as a whole seems to be trending in the right direction. For the Steelers, first thing that needs to be mentioned is Ryan Shazier, who suffered a spinal injury on Monday Night Football. There hasn’t been much in the way of updates on Shazier’s condition, but hopefully the injury he suffered is not too devastating. Back to the game, The Steelers are one of the best teams in the league, and they have won seven straight. Those wins haven’t always been pretty (they beat each of the Colts, Packers, and Bengals by just three points), but the Steelers are tied for best record in the league. The Steelers are 4.5 point favorites in Vegas, and I’ll take them to cover.