Mark Craig's Sunday Insider: Any given Sunday rings true

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 24, 2012 - 11:24 PM

Surprising results happen every weekend in the NFL. The Vikings see no reason they can't spring the surprise.

hide

"Who concerns me in the NFC?" Adrian Peterson says. "No one."

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

It's important to keep one thing in mind when assessing playoff chances for the Vikings or any other NFL team with obvious flaws:

Greatness is not a prerequisite.

If the league's worst team -- Jacksonville -- can score 37 points and take the league's best team -- Houston -- into overtime, the Vikings can turn their bagful of blemishes into a playoff ticket.

If a 7-3 Bears team can lose two straight, get absolutely humiliated on "Monday Night Football" and be forced to bench not one but two offensive linemen, the Vikings can win a key NFC North game at Soldier Field on Sunday.

If the 6-4 Giants can lose two straight and get beat by 18 at Cincinnati; or the 7-3 Packers can keep struggling with a thinning roster; or the 9-1 Falcons can throw five picks in a game, then the 6-4 and shockingly healthy Vikings shouldn't feel outclassed in the NFC.

"You do look around the league and say, 'Why not us?' " Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield said. "Every week is totally different. Every opponent and every game is totally different. The NFC is pretty wide open."

The Vikings have spent the past two weeks spouting one of the oldest clichés in sports.

"We control our own destiny," said running back Adrian Peterson, echoing what every other player has said in every other interview conducted this week.

By its very definition, destiny can't be controlled. But you get the idea. With four of their final six games against NFC North opponents, including the next three, the Vikings don't need any help determining their playoff worthiness.

"Chicago, Green Bay, Chicago," said Peterson, referring to the Vikings' next three opponents. "It's going to be cool to get those knocked out of the way and get some W's on that side of the win-loss column."

Considering the first two are on the road, the Vikings might want to be content with going 1-2. That would at least keep them relevant heading into the final three games.

Then again, if 3-6-1 St. Louis can tie 7-2-1 San Francisco; or 6-4 Seattle can be 1-4 on the road; or 6-4 Tampa Bay can be only a month removed from being 2-4 Tampa Bay, then maybe the Vikings can say, "Hey, why not us?"

"It's cliché to say things like any one of us can beat anyone else," Vikings running back Toby Gerhart said. "But it's still true."

Peterson was asked which NFC team concerns him the most heading down the stretch. He responded like a guy who really doesn't care about his team's 30th-ranked passing attack or its shaky run defense.

"Who concerns me in the NFC? No one," Peterson said. "I'm not worried about anyone. No matter who we play, we have the same opportunity to beat them, and vice versa. I'm just concerned about what we can do to get to the dance."

Don't scoff. With 12 teams invited to "the dance," some of the guests will come armed with two left feet.

A year ago, the Giants staggered into the postseason with seven losses. Were they great? Hardly.

But this is the NFL. Even flawed teams win Super Bowls if they pick the right three weeks to get hotter than everyone else.

  • related content

  • Mark Craig's Northern Intelligence

    Saturday November 24, 2012

    At least Bears second-year right tackle Gabe Carimi took this week's benching better than left guard Chilo Rachal did. While Rachal left the team and was placed on the reserve/left...

  • Mark Craig's Fourth-and-five

    Saturday November 24, 2012

    • It will be interesting to see if Colin Kaepernick stays that loose and confident now that he's being given a chance to take Alex Smith's job long term.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Golden State 6:00 PM
Orlando
Brooklyn 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Portland 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Washington 6:00 PM
Cleveland
LA Clippers 6:30 PM
Detroit
New York 6:30 PM
Dallas
Toronto 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Sacramento 7:00 PM
Houston
Utah 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Indiana 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Denver 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Memphis 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
NY Rangers 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 6:30 PM
Florida
Toronto 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Calgary 9:30 PM
San Jose
Robert Morris 27 2nd Half 15:36
Chattanooga 35
Rochester College 25 2nd Half 13:55
Eastern Mich 56
Marist 50 2nd Half 11:29
Fresno State 31
Butler 43 2nd Half 14:05
North Carolina 39
Liberty 12:30 PM
Morgan State
Denver 1:00 PM
Belmont
American Univ 1:00 PM
Hampton
Sacred Heart 1:00 PM
James Madison
Northeastern 1:00 PM
Massachusetts
Samford 1:00 PM
Kennesaw St
ULM 1:30 PM
Coastal Carolina
Hawaii 1:30 PM
East Carolina
UCLA 1:30 PM
Oklahoma
Missouri 1:30 PM
Chaminade
North Florida 3:00 PM
Elon
Oral Roberts 3:00 PM
Milwaukee
Chicago State 3:30 PM
Western Carolina
Purdue 4:00 PM
BYU
Furman 4:00 PM
Duke
San Francisco 5:00 PM
Evansville
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
UAB
Davidson 6:00 PM
UCF
Albany 6:00 PM
Colgate
Canisius 6:00 PM
Cornell
Longwood 6:00 PM
George Washington
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Iona
Trinity Baptist 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Louisville
St Johns 6:00 PM
Minnesota
PSU-Harrisburg 6:00 PM
Navy
Richmond 6:00 PM
NC State
Grambling St 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
Georgia State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Campbell 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Goucher 6:00 PM
Towson
Bryant 6:00 PM
Vermont
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Yale
UMKC 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Kansas State 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Va Military 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Lehigh 7:00 PM
DePaul
UC Riverside 7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Marshall
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
North Texas
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
South Carolina
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Texas Southern 7:00 PM
SMU
Radford 7:00 PM
TCU
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
Utah
Wayne St-NE 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northern Ill 7:30 PM
Iowa
Fla Gulf Coast 7:30 PM
Green Bay
Carroll (MT) 8:00 PM
Montana
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Auburn 8:00 PM
Oregon State
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Stetson 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Northern Ky 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Utah Valley U 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Florida 8:30 PM
Georgetown
Georgia 8:30 PM
Gonzaga
Northwestern 8:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
California
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Utah State 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Alabama State 9:30 PM
North Dakota
Portland State 10:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Tulsa 10:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Pacific 10:30 PM
Alaska-Anchorage
Missouri State 11/27/14 1:00 AM
Colorado State
Ohio U 24 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 21
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Kennesaw St 38 2nd Half 14:23
Seton Hall 52
Northern Ill 8 1st Half 10:26
Eastern Illinois 12
Illinois-Chicago 5 1st Half 15:12
Northwestern 5
UT Martin 12:30 PM
Samford
Niagara 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Radford 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
East Tenn St 1:00 PM
Indiana
North Dakota 2:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
LSU 2:30 PM
Texas-El Paso
Marshall 4:00 PM
Cornell
Kansas State 5:00 PM
Santa Clara
Oral Roberts 5:00 PM
Ark-Little Rock
Boise State 5:30 PM
Yale
Evansville 6:00 PM
(22) West Virginia
(4) Tennessee 6:00 PM
Chattanooga
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Bradley 6:00 PM
Columbia
Providence 6:00 PM
Dayton
Presbyterian 6:00 PM
Xavier
Albany 6:00 PM
Canisius
VA Commonwealth 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Alabama
Colgate 6:00 PM
(22) Georgia
Memphis 6:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oakland 6:30 PM
(16) Michigan State
Utah Valley U 6:45 PM
UC Davis
Butler 7:00 PM
BYU
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
(6) Texas
McNeese State 7:00 PM
(7) Texas A&M
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Marquette
Northern Ariz 7:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Jackson State 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Indiana State 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Long Beach St 8:00 PM
Alaska-Anchorage
Iona 8:00 PM
Kansas
Fresno Pacific 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close