Vikings and Chiefs: Battle for the Toilet Bowl

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Fans in Kansas City and Minneapolis will have to start attending the games with paper bags over their heads. Both clubs have been examples of extreme futility so far this fall. The two clubs are headed nowhere fast because throughout the history of the NFL, only three percent of teams that have started in this manner (0-3) have reached the playoffs.

Rushing: The loss of Jamal Charles has been crippling for the Chiefs. He was counted on for around fifteen hundred yards this season. His injury in the Lions game made the coaches’ jobs much harder on Sundays for the offense in Missouri. Charlie Weis is now in Florida, so the creative juices are not flowing at the same rate that they did last year. The Vikings haven’t given the ball enough to Adrian Peterson this season. If they did, then it would be easier for them to hold the leads that they have built up in the second half.

Passing: Matt Cassel and Donovan McNabb have struggled in gaining substantial yardage this campaign and with putting the ball in the end zone. Neither would be high on any fantasy player’s list for quarterback options. They are two of the bottom three rated passers through the first three weeks. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars have a less successful player taking snaps behind center. This is no surprise though considering the team’s cost cutting move of releasing David Garrard just prior to the opening game.

Receiving: It is not surprising that the receiving corps of the two teams haven’t been successful after the analysis of the quarterbacks. It is like a mathematics unit where one lesson builds upon the previous one. The Vikings don’t have a traditional consistent big play threat. Percy Harvin is explosive in spurts, but unreliable. Jonathan Baldwin, former Pittsburgh product, was supposed to be a remedy for this situation in Kansas City. He is out with a thumb injury, so his size and speed is unavailable to the team in dire straits.

Defense: In keeping with the theme of major injuries, Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers is questionable for the game Sunday against Minnesota. Both clubs are ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in total team defense. It is certainly possible to overcome this obstacle if a club has the ability to put up enough points. It doesn’t seem to be a major concern in New England because Tom Brady has the ability to throw for four hundred yards on a weekly basis. Matt Cassel, conversely, will likely accumulate less than a third of that. The Vikings have a strong line, but they have major question marks in the secondary. Pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run are necessities for success throughout the schedule.

It is pathetic to label a game as meaningless less than a month into the season. Apathy will inevitably set in both markets shortly. It’s imperative for both coaches to garner a win to keep the “hot seat” rumors on the back burner.

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