The Minnesota Miracle Sends the Vikings to Philly

Decades of heartbreak for the Vikings were set to continue after a Will Lutz field goal put the Saints up 24-23 in the divisional round. Bud Grant’s four Super Bowl losses, Gary Anderson’s Falcons miss, and Blair Walsh’s 27-yard whiff were ready to welcome another chapter into the Vikings’ book of misery.

Then Case Keenum and Stefon Diggs did this.

As a Vikings fan, the exhilarating win was indescribable. The players were lost for words, the fans wanted to storm the field, and Bountygate has been avenged. For the first time since 2009-10, the Vikings are heading to the NFC Championship.

Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia hosts the top-seeded Eagles against Case Keenum and Co., and early weather forecasts are predicting a moderate 53 degrees for the clash. The Eagles might lean on the ground game, to avoid letting the Vikings defense get After backup QB Nick Foles. Minnesota is one win away from the Super Bowl. SKOL Vikes!

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Predicting the 2018 NFL Playoffs

After the Whistle’s football focus continues as the playoffs are set. The main surprise story is the Buffalo Bills, who punched their ticket via the Bengals upset of the Ravens. Here are my NFL playoff predictions.

AFC wild card round

(3) Jaguars over (6) Bills

The tale will end for Buffalo. Jacksonville’s elite defense and surprisingly competent offense will carry the Jaguars through to the divisional round.

(4) Chiefs over (5) Titans

Tennessee’s defense has had trouble against multidimensional offenses, and a Chiefs attack led by Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt is a test. Marcus Mariota’s first playoff game will end in defeat.

NFC wild card round

(3) Rams over (6) Falcons

Playoff experience will keep the Falcons close, but another blown lead will end in disaster as the Rams win a high-scoring shootout.

(5) Panthers over (4) Saints

Noticing a pattern? Carolina’s elite defense will defeat the dynamic Saints offense, and the Panthers will head to the divisional round.

Divisional round

(1) Patriots over (4) Chiefs

Andy Reid’s terrible late-game management won’t come into play here, as New England is superior to Kansas City on both sides of the ball.

(3) Jaguars over (2) Steelers 

Surprised? The Jags will pull the upset, as Pittsburgh’s offensive line can’t keep out the “Sacksonville” D-line. Blake Bortles’ competent play will be enough to supplant a terrific running game.

(2) Vikings over (3) Rams

Disclaimer: I’m a die-hard Vikings fan.

We’re not far removed from the Vikings’ 24-7 blowout of the Rams, and Jared Goff is in for another’s rough outing against the league’s best defensive unit. On the other side of the ball, Case Keenum will lead the charge as Adam Thielen goes for over 100 yards.

(5) Panthers over (1) Eagles

Philly’s offense has been downright awful since Carson Wentz tore his ACL, and the Panthers have no such qualms. The Packers, Eagles, and Dolphins won’t stop complaining about their QB injury problems. Whereas the Vikings’ former third-stringer is an MVP candidate.

Conference championship games

(1) Patriots over (3) Jaguars

Tom Brady is heading back to the Super Bowl. Suspect Blake Bortles will finally get found out against the Pats’ experienced defense, and New England’s explosive offense will power them through.

(2) Vikings over (5) Panthers

Carolina won’t beat Minnesota twice, and Cam Newton has a way of folding in NFC Championship games. SKOL Vikes!

*Bashes autocorrect for autocorrecting to Sam Vokes*

SUPER BOWL!!!

Vikings over Patriots

The Vikings fan I am, of course I find reasons for Minnesota to win it all.

New England’s suspect secondary won’t be able to keep up with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, and the Patriots’ last-minute comeback will fall short. Harrison Smith picks off Tom Brady to seal a thrilling 27-24 victory.

 

So how did I do? Do you disagree? Post your picks in the comments!

Playoff Scenarios for the Minnesota Vikings

Two weeks remain in the NFL’s regular season, and the playoffs are taking shape. After the Whistle details the Vikings’ every scenario, while not pointing out the Packers’ elimination. Whoops.

#1 seed scenarios

Just one possibility remains for Minnesota to get home-field advantage through the playoffs.

  • Eagles lose out (against the Raiders and Cowboys) AND Vikings win out (Packers, Bears)

 

#2 seed scenarios

This one seems like the Vikings’ most likely spot. A head-to-head sweep of the Rams and Saints gives Minnesota every tiebreaker if the current division winners hold, and the Falcons would lose the conference record tiebreaker. Carolina is the only team holding a tiebreaker advantage, but the Panthers are unlikely to win the South.

The follwing ensures Minnesota of at least a first round bye.

  • Vikings win out
  • Vikings win one of two AND a 12-4 Carolina doesn’t win the NFC South
  • Rams and Saints lose one of two AND a 12-4 Carolina doesn’t win the South

 

#3 seed

A finish depriving Minnesota of a bye would be a shock, but it could happen if one of these happens.

  • Vikings win one of two AND a 12-4 Carolina wins the NFC South
  • Vikings lose out AND Panthers win out
  • Vikings lose out AND Saints win out
  • Vikings lose out AND Rams win out
  • Vikings lose out AND an 11-5 Falcons win the South AND Rams finish 11-5 to give us weird tiebreakers that aren’t clear yet.

Vikings vs. Buccaneers live score updates!

Fresh off a destruction at the hands of the Steelers, the Vikings head home to Minnesota to welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 1-0 Bucs had their first game postponed due to Hurricane Irma, and didn’t let it show last week against the Bears. Both sides need a win to stay a step ahead in their respective divisions. SKOL Vikes!

Vikings 7-0 Buccaneers

Dalvin Cook has his first NFL touchdown! The rookie caps off a drive that featured a Case Keenum bomb to Adam Thielen. Let’s go!

Vikings 7-3 Buccaneers

A Nick Folk field goal brings life for Tampa. It took a superb effort from Cameron Brate to deny us the interception on third down, and the Bucs get three.

Vikings 14-3 Bucs

Case Keenum is on fire! Dart after dart to Stefon Diggs lead to a 3 yard touchdown to Jarius Wright. Remember him? This offense is rolling.

Vikings 21-3 Bucs

What a catch. Keenum throws a dart to Diggs, and the receiver makes a terrific grab. The Bucs do get the ball to start the second half, but we’re running away with this!

Vikings 28-3 Bucs

Stefon Diggs destroys Chris Conte to extend the Vikings’ lead. Fun!

Vikings 28-10 Bucs

This game isn’t over! Jameis Winston finds Cameron Brate with a perfect touch pass to inject life to Tampa’s offense. Please, please don’t give this lead up. Come on Vikes!

Vikings 31-10 Bucs

Kai Forbath still hasn’t missed a field goal as a Viking.

Vikings 31-17 Bucs

The Bucs just barely get the snap off before the end of the third quarter. The Vikings defense was caught out and DeSean Jackson puts on the afterburners. We have a ball game!

Vikings 34-17 Bucs

That sound you heard is a collective sigh of relief from my end. The lead is back to three scores. Kai Forbath still hasn’t missed a field goal as a Viking.

 

The game is over! Our Vikings improve to 2-1 on the year. Next week we travel to Chicago to play on Monday night. The Bears just beat the Steelers in overtime 🤐.

Vikings vs. Steelers: All the scores, as they happen!

Football’s back!

Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season is going to be a blast. Our Vikings come in having put a beatdown on the hapless New Orleans Saints defense, where just about everybody looked solid. The opponent this week is the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team loaded with hoisehold names. From Le’Veon Bell, to Antonio Brown, to Ben RoethlisIcan’tspell, the offense is loaded. Ryan Shazier leads a solid line backing corps. It is going to be a hard game. SKOL VIKES!

 

Steelers 7, Vikings 0: It’s a secondary collapse, plain and simple. Some genius put 38 year old Terrance Newman on noted speedster Martavis Bryant. Bryant ran a slant and torched everybody. Argh.

Steelers 14, Vikings 0

Our defense can not defend the pass. A suspect (49 yard) pass interference penalty got Pittsburgh to the red zone, where dynamic rookie Juju Smith-Schuster scored on a shovel pass from the 3.

Steelers 14, Vikings 3

The offense has life! Case Keenum and Co. put together a pretty impressive drive that would’ve culminated in a Stefon Diggs touchdown if the O-line had held their ground. Instead, it’s a 42 yard Kia Forbath field goal.

Steelers 17, Vikings 3

Chris Boswell missed a 51 yard field goal. But the Vikings were flagged for having seven players on one side of the ball. This is a rule that came up a couple years ago, and only inattentive players get called for it. Boswell then made the ensuing 46 yarder. We need a touchdown! Now!

Steelers 17, Vikings 9

If we lose by a point, I’m done. Dalvin Cook appeared to have his first NFL touchdown, but the referees screwed up what looked like a simple call. The play should have stood, but C.J. Ham, “the Little Bus” gets his first NFL touchdown instead. Good stuff.

Then Kai Forbath missed the extra point.

He’s missed six extra points as a Viking, but he’s perfect on field goals.

Wait, what?

Steelers 20, Vikings 9

23

26

Chris Boswell doesn’t miss field goals either.

 

Updates from around the league!

  • The Browns’ Joe Thomas is the first player ever to play 10,000 consecutive snaps.
  • Marcus Sherels now has the most punt return yards in Vikings franchise history.