The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
I had a chance to discuss the upcoming game against the NFC North division leading Vikings with Ted Glover, a writer for the SB Nation Vikings fan site, The Daily Norseman. Ted graciously answered 5 questions to give us insight into the Vikings team & personnel, as well as some insight as to how the Redskins are perceived by rival fans.
You should be able to read my responses to Ted’s questions on the Daily Norseman site ahead of Sunday’s game.
1. I saw a headline on the Daily Norseman website asking the question, “How will the Vikings make room for Teddy Bridgewater?” That seems like a good place to start.
Well, until late yesterday that was a really good question.
They really like #3 QB Kyle Sloter, whom they had to activate when Sam Bradford got hurt. The simple play would be to release him and try to get him back on the practice squad, but I don't think he'd make it through waivers. If you believe the stories and rumors, several teams called the Vikings near the trade deadline asking about a deal for him, so that would have been a really risky move. I really think they would have kept four QB's on the roster, assuming Sam Bradford was going to be healthy at any point this season, and accept a depth issue at another position group.
But with the news of Bradford having arthroscopic surgery performed on his knee by Dr. James Andrews yesterday, it seems pretty likely that the Vikings will put Bradford on IR when they activate Bridgewater.
2. The Redskins were forced to waive RB Mack Brown to make room to sign some extra linemen to help deal with injuries. Jay Gruden said that they had planned to re-sign him the following Monday, but the Vikings picked him up off waivers. We really like Brown here in Washington. Does he have any future in Minnesota?
This year, I think any contributions from him will be limited.
The Vikings have a pretty good combination of Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray in the backfield, and unless one of them gets hurt I'm not sure Brown will see the field a lot.
Next season could get really interesting, though. Dalvin Cook will be back, and he's coming off an ACL injury. Jerick McKinnon is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year, and Latavius Murray has no guaranteed money and is only a $1.2 million cap hit. If the Vikings decide to move in another direction, I can easily see a scenario where Mack Brown can find a roster spot on this team next season.
3. While we’re talking about former Redskins on your team, how is Kai Forbath doing for you? (And thanks, by the way, for cutting Blair Walsh. He sent 3 kicks wide left on Sunday afternoon and was possibly the most valuable player on the field for the Redskins in the win against Seattle.)
It depends. Kai Forbath, field goal kicker, is money. He's been 36/37 on field goals since the Vikings signed him midway through the 2016 season, and his only miss was a 39 yarder against Detroit earlier in the season. He's made 15 in a row, including 10 in his last two games. When he comes in for a three point attempt, I get up from my couch and go grab a beer, because I know it's going to be good, and that is refreshing. Sweep the leg, Kobra Kai. Sweep the leg.
But Kai Forbath, extra point kicker....is Japanese for 'roller coaster ride at Six Flags'. He missed three last year in roughly half the season, and has missed four this year. Hey, remember when I said he's kicked 10 field goals in his last two games just a minute ago? Yeah, he's missed two of three extra points in the same time span.
It's weird. When Forbath comes in for an extra point, it's like chewing glass until the play is over, because it's a total crapshoot as to whether or not it will be good at this point.
Honestly, I'd rather the Vikings just go for two at this point for the rest of the season, and I'm not even kidding. But because he's so reliable on field goals, where Blair Walsh wasn't on either, I think his job is secure.
Also, you're welcome on Walsh, and it's always weird when a kicker just loses it. He was so good for the Vikings early in his career, and now he's a Shankapotomous.
4. What will the NFC North look like at the end of Week 17?
I like the Vikings at the top, with Detroit in second.
Let's assume the Vikings go 4-4 in the second half, that's a 10-6 record. With a two game lead over the Lions, Detroit needs to go 6-2 to match.
If the Vikings can manage to go 6-2, which I think is doable, that's 12-4. Detroit would have to run the table to match that record to win the division.
With a Thanksgiving showdown looming, I think the result of that game will go a long way in determining who wins the division, and it's arguably the biggest game left for both teams.
The Lions have the easier schedule, but I think the Vikings have the better team, and a schedule that isn't as daunting as it seemed 4-5 weeks ago. Detroit has issues in the red zone, has trouble running the ball, and their defense is just okay. Minnesota has a fantastic defense, a good running game, and Teddy Bridgewater (probably) coming back.
5. Tell me what the typical Vikings fan knows or thinks about the Washington Redskins.
Dan Snyder is literally the worst owner in professional sports this side of Stan Kroenke, and a moron who utterly botched signing Kirk Cousins long term.
Cousins is a guy that puts up stats and big numbers, but I don't know that he's a clutch guy, yet he led a heck of a game winning drive against Seattle on the road last week.
Your team, other than Cousins, has been nameless and faceless, for the most part, since Joe Gibbs retired the first time.
Also, we hate you for the 1987 NFC Championship game.
I’d like to thank Ted for taking the time to answer questions about his favorite team. I admire a guy who can hold a grudge for 30 years because his guys lost to a superior team and eventual super bowl champion.
As always, we hope for an injury free game this Sunday!
Who will be the starting quarterback for the Vikings in Week 17?
This poll is closed