Furious Attack! - Vikings II Preview

You folks may be aware of a terrible creature that lives in the wood-lands of the north near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The Hodag haunts the woods and it preys on the weak. I remember encountering this wretched beast as a boy whence on a fishing trip with my Great Grandfather. We had taken a steam-train north and then struck to the trail with our canoe and camping gear in tow. Somewhere along the trail we heard a strange whistle-ing and a good bit of commotion up ahead. As Great Grandpa and I cleared the ridge-top and entered a grassy opening in the birchy forest we saw the horrible monster perched on a downed tree-trunk with a young fawn clutched betwixt it's razor-sharp teeth, blood dripping every-which-where. I feared the animal but Great Grandpa stayed calm and led us carefully away from the beast. "Them Hodags aren't to be harrassed!" he said. And so I've always stuck to that philosophy, although you rarely see a Hodag in Wisconsin these days. More likely to spy a wolf or a sasquatch! Around the fire in camp Great Grandpa told me about the furious attack of the Hodag, which was more common back in his day on the frontier. "They can sense the weak-nesses, and they keep the forest strong," said Great Grandpa, eyes scanning the tree-tops.
Well, folks, the Vikings and the Packers might both be 4 and 4 at the season half-way point, but here's the difference: The Vikings have gotten lucky on a few and we've let a few slip away. If the Hodag were to meet these two teams in the forests of the north, I am confident it would pounce on the boys wearing purple in a furious attack.
Now the NFL doesn't allow Hodags in their stadiums any-more. Thank good-ness. But I think in a lot of ways the the best teams bring a little 'Hodag Attitude' to the field of play. This idea gives me the hee-bee jee-bees, to some degree, but it's better to be the Hodag than the Hodag's supper, that's what Great Grandpa said.
Through week nine there hasn't been a lot of evidence that the Packers are any-thing special this season, but there have been glimpses where they've shown me the look of ferocious behavior. And that gives me strange comfort.
The loss in Nashville left me feeling a bit agitated, and I suspect the team is feeling that way to a greater degree as well. The Vikings aren't near the team the Titanics are, as we saw in week one, and I am frankly not going to feel sorry for them after we go bonkers in Minneapolis. Ronnie Rodgers had a rough match last week, but you and I both know he's going to tear up the Viking secondary like a Hodag feasting on a wild turkey.
My main concern is the run defense, which has been one of our greatest weak-nesses this year. So long as we can keep the speedy Peterson in check, I really like our chances on the road and in the NFC North. Linebacker Coach Winston Moss - who is also our Assistant Head Coach - called out Nick Barnett the other day, saying his play this season has been merely "adequate." Sorry to say it, but I agree with him One-Hundred Percent. Barnett had a Pro-Bowl caliber season in 2007, but so far this year he hasn't been making the big plays we need. And so when the defense is struggling you've got to look right at him in the center, the unit leader. I know Barnett is one of the best line-backers in the NFL, but it is clear to me now. Barnett needs to have himself a little spiritual journey to visit with the Hodag. The Hodag, dear readers, will show Barnett the path to the furious attack.
These next few weeks are going to be very important. Let's hope the young leaders on this team can play their best ball in the second half.
Mark it, folks, Packers 27, Vikings 13.
Until next time, then.