Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vikings in tight situation

Pat and Kevin Williams are still suiting up for the Vikings against the Jaguars on Sunday -- for now.

Actually, since suspensions are usually handed out early in the week, it's pretty much guaranteed that the Vikings will have the Williams' services this week for certain. And Jared Allen only received a $25k fine (not a suspension) for his hits on Aaron Rodgers. And the Jaguars, at 4-6, represent one of the "easier" games on the Vikings remaining schedule, so the team should have a pretty good chance of winning and they need to win, to provide a little bit of a boost in the standings before the inevitable suspensions are handed down. To do so, the team will have to contain the Jaguars' #1 offensive weapon.

No, not Fred Taylor, or Maurice Jones-Drew, or David Garrard. I'm talking about tight end Marcedes Lewis, all 22 catches and 306 yards of him.

Why is Lewis so important? Because, since E.J. Henderson was lost for the season, opposing tight ends have torched the Vikings. Here are the stats for teams' primary tight end since Henderson's week four injury:

Billy Miller (NO): 4 catches, 61 yards
Michael Gaines (Det): 2-24
Greg Olsen (Chi): 6-74 (and 3-59 to Desmond Clark)
Owen Daniels (Hou): 11*-133*
Donald Lee (GB): 1-6
Jerramy Stevens (TB): 6*-84*

* Career high

That's a total of 30 catches for 382 yards over six games to opposing teams' primary tight ends. Prorate that out over 16 games and you get 80 catches for 1,019 yards, so, in effect, the Vikings defense is turning opposing tight ends into the equivalent of Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates. Ugly. At this rate, maybe David Herron should get more playing time over Napoleon Harris in the middle.

Any chance we can convince Jack Del Rio to suit up for us this weekend? No? Damn.

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