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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan's prediction: Anthony Barr has a big day

The dumbest thing that sportswriters do is make predictions.

We don't know. We're just guessing. And if we do break down a game perfectly beforehand, telling you that the X receivers won't be able to get open against cloud coverage, then some third-string back will fumble away a touchdown and mess up your prediction anyway. to today's stupid prediction.

I thought the Giants game would be an ideal time for Jerick McKinnon to break out, and he did. I thought the Texans game would provide an opportunity for Cordarrelle Patterson to break out, and he did.

Today's pick: Anthony Barr.

He's been solid but unspectacular, which is weird, because at his best he's usually spectacular.

Facing a quarterback who has done well against the blitz but hasn't faced a defense like the Vikings', I think Barr makes a big play or two to swing the game in the Vikings' favor. My pick: Vikings 29-13.

The problem with picking Vikings games at this point is they may be favored in every remaining game, as long as Sam Bradford stays healthy. But they're not going to go undefeated.

So when and where do they lose?

It shouldn't be surprising if they lose in Philly. This is a tough place to play and sometimes teams coming off the bye week look sluggish.

But I can't see it. I can't see a rookie quarterback beating this defense.


Stefon Diggs is active for the game, as you probably know by now.


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Readers respond: Why are football ratings on the decline?

Wrote about the NFL's ratings decline in the Monday paper and received a lot of responses.

A few people said the protests during the National Anthem are the reason. I disagree.

A lot of people have said that the decline in quarterback play or the starpower of the position isn't the reason for the decline - that it's the quality of the programming.

Too many officiating mistakes. Too many replay reviews. Too many commercials. Too many ugly hits that we now know lead directly to concussions that can ruin lives. Too many unappealing games in prime time.

It's probably a combination of all of the above. Of course, with an undefeated and generally likeable team in town, this is probably not the best market to test theories about fan viewership, but I do think the NFL is facing serious issues with its brand.

Now, the league ratings could decline by 30 percent and it would still be the most successful league, financially, in North American history. But the arrow is suddenly pointing the wrong way.


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