Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.
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Leslie Frazier got fired today because he won five games this season. Fair enough.
If given a decent quarterback and decent cornerbacks, I say he would have won about nine games this season and won the NFC North.
Let's take it game by game:
Game 1: At Detroit
Remeber how the Lions played like idiots in the first half? If Christian Ponder doesn't play like an honorary Lion, the Vikings have a chance to win that game. Let's not call it a win with good quarterback play, let's put it in the ``Possible'' category.
Game 2: At Chicago.
The focus wound up on defensive coordinator Alan Wiliams after the Vikings' veterans felt they were out of position on the Bears' game-winning drive, but if Ponder and Cook play better, even that doesn't matter. Should have been a victory.
Game 3: Home against Cleveland
Ponder's lousy play put the Vikings into a position where Cleveland could take advantage of the Vikings' weak secondary in the final minutes. With better quarterback and cornerback play, the Vikings win this and are, under these circumstances, 2-1.
Game 4: Pittsburgh in London
With Matt Cassel starting, the Vikings win. Would be 3-1.
Game 5: Home against Carolina
The Panthers turned into one of the better teams in the NFL. The Vikings might have lost this no matter who played quarterback. Make them 3-2.
Game 6: At Giants
If Ponder hadn't struggled and then gotten hurt, the Vikings probably wouldn't have signed Josh Freeman. If they had been 3-2 instead of 1-4, they certainly wouldn't have started him in this game. With decent quarterback play, the Vikings would have whipped a bad Giants team and moved to 4-2.
Game 7 :Home against Green Bay.
Because of Aaron Rodgers' success against the Vikings defense his whole career, let's call this a Packers victory regardless and move the Vikings to 4-3.
Game 8: At Dallas
The Vikings' defense collapsed down the stretch against a highly beatable team. With better QB and CBS, Vikes win to move to 5-3.
Game 9: Home vs. Washington
Vikings won. Under my fantasy scenario, they'd be 6-3.
Game 10: At Seattle
A loss under any circumstances. 6-4.
Game 11: at Green Bay
They tied. With a couple of more plays from the quarterback and cornerback position, they win easily to move to 7-4.
Game 12: Home vs .Chicago
A win puts them at 8-4.
Game 13: At Baltimore
A close loss that would have been a victory with a couple of more plays from QB and CB. 9-4.
Game 14: Home vs. Philadelphia
A win makes them 10-4.
Game 15: At Cincinnati
Few win at Paul Brown Stadium. Make the Vikings 10-5.
Game 16: Home vs. Detroit.
Win makes the Vikings 11-5.
Now, the reality is that every NFL team loses one or two games it should win, so let's say that with slightly better quarterback and cornerback play, the Vikings finish 9-7. That would have won the division.
If Rick Spielman had given Frazier a good quarterback and competent cornerbacks, Frazier would be receiving an extension, not getting fired.
I'll be on 1500ESPN (1500AM) at noon.
|Baltimore - W. Chen||10:05 AM|
|Boston - C. Buchholz|
|Cincinnati - M. Leake||6:05 PM|
|Pittsburgh - F. Liriano|
|LA Angels - G. Richards||6:05 PM|
|Washington - T. Roark|
|Kansas City - J. Guthrie||6:05 PM|
|Cleveland - Z. McAllister|
|Chicago WSox - J. Danks||6:08 PM|
|Detroit - A. Sanchez|
|St. Louis - T. Lyons||6:10 PM|
|NY Mets - J. Mejia|
|Miami - T. Koehler||6:10 PM|
|Atlanta - J. Teheran|
|Arizona - B. Arroyo||7:05 PM|
|Chicago Cubs - T. Wood|
|San Diego - A. Cashner||7:10 PM|
|Milwaukee - W. Peralta|
|San Francisco - R. Vogelsong||7:40 PM|
|Colorado - J. De La Rosa|
|Texas - Y. Darvish||9:05 PM|
|Oakland - D. Straily|
|Houston - D. Keuchel||9:10 PM|
|Seattle - F. Hernandez|
|Philadelphia - C. Lee||9:10 PM|
|Los Angeles - P. Maholm|
|Golden State||9:30 PM|
|St. Louis||7:30 PM|