Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lazy Sunday miscellaney

Vikings OK waiting on Favre's decision.

Like we have a choice.

* If Brett Favre returns and throws more than 100 passes, he will become just the fourth such quarterback to do so at the age of 41, joining Warren Moon, Vinny Testaverde, and Doug Flutie, as seen here.

* Speaking of Testaverde, I find it interesting that it may be a while before we see another QB inducted into the Hall of Fame. There were no passers among this year's finalists, and among quarterbacks who retired from 2005 to 2008, only Testaverde, Drew Bledsoe, and Steve McNair have anything resembling a chance at the HOF, and I'd say all are iffy prospects, at best. The potential inductees in 2015 will include Kurt Warner and possibly Favre.

* How good was Favre's 2009? Only four QBs in the history of the NFL have had a season of more than 30 TDs and fewer than 10 interceptions, as Favre did in 2009. All of them came in the last decade. All except Favre went to the Super Bowl that year.

* And if Favre doesn't return? Well, there's Donovan McNabb dangling out there, Sage Rosenfels, and Tarvaris Jackson are in-house options -- and let's hope this scenario doesn't play out. We already have enough running backs, we don't need to draft one in the first round.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cris Carter and the Hall of Fame

Cris Carter isn't in the Hall of Fame yet, and that doesn't sit well with some people. And by some people, I mean "most Vikings fans," as can be evidenced by the outpouring of confused indifference to seething rage by bloggers:

Daily Norseman

Purple Jesus Diaries

I'm sure there are more out there. Even last year, I expressed my own "meh" at Carter's lack of enshrinement. Then, something interesting happened. I changed my mind. Sort of.

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in Pro-Football-Reference's HOF roundtable discussion. I and the other panelists were asked a series of questions about this year's nominees, including who we thought should be enshrined. The two obvious answers were Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice, and then we had three other choices to make.

First of all, I don't believe in the "only one player per position" HOF "rule." If you're good enough to be in the HOF, you deserve to go in, regardless of who else is going in. With that in mind, my other three choices were Dermontti Dawson, arguably one of the top five centers of all time; Shannon Sharpe, who revolutionized the tight end position; and then, I decided to choose one of the wide receivers who were eligible: Carter, Tim Brown, or Andre Reed.

As much as I was a Cris Carter fan (when he wasn't being a sanctamonius whiner), I decided to approach this problem as objectively as I could, and the yardstick I tried to use to measure the three wideouts was yards per team pass play. I used YPTPP last year to determine the WR who had the best yardage totals given what he had to work with in his team's playcalling. To wit, a WR who accumulates 1,200 yards on a team that throws the ball 400 times (YPTPP = 3.0) performed much better, in my opinion, than one who got 1,200 yards on a team that threw 600 times (YPTPP = 2.0).

That's a little tougher to measure over a full season than it is over a single season, though, and there are (obviously) more ways that an already imprecise measurement like this could go wrong. Still, I thought I could at least take a shot at it and see if, as I expected, Carter and Brown measured out about the same while Reed would be left in the dust.

I looked over the careers of each man (Carter, Brown, Reed), trying to focus only on the seasons during which they were starters for most or all of their games; in this way, I could be assured that they were on the field for virtually all of their teams' passing plays. In the case of years where a player was a starter but didn't play every game, I would multiply his team's passing plays in that season by a fraction equal to that player's starts/16 in that season. For instance, I only count 12/16, or 3/4 of the Vikings' pass plays in 1992 (when Carter missed four games) against Carter's total.

The "active years" for each player:

Carter: 1988-1989, 1991-2001
Brown: 1992-2003
Reed: 1985-1989

(I skipped Carter's 1990, where he only started five of 16 games. Since he only racked up 416 yards that season, it probably isn't going to hurt his chances any.)

Over those time spans, I came up with the following yardage totals and the number of passing plays that player's team had during those spans (with adjustments for missed time, as noted above):

Carter: 13,336 yards; 6,995 team pass plays (1.91 YPTPP)
Brown: 13,182 yards; 6,237 team pass plays (2.11 YPTPP)
Reed: 13,095 yards; 6,957 team pass plays (1.88 YPTPP)

Wow. That's not what I was expecting.

"But what about the touchdowns?" you might ask. "That's all Cris Carter did, at least according to Buddy Ryan!" Carter has 130 career touchdowns, to Tim Brown's 100. Not a huge margin, but what if we add in 20 yards per TD (the accepted conversion rate, according to PFR) over the same time spans noted above? That's 124 TDs/2,480 yards for Carter, 86 TDs/1,720 yards for Brown and Reed both.

Carter: 15,816 yards; 6,995 team pass plays (2.26 YPTPP)
Brown: 14,902 yards; 6,237 team pass plays (2.39 YPTPP)
Reed: 14,185 yards; 6,957 team pass plays (2.13 YPTPP)

That gets Carter closer, but still no HOF cigar. And none of this takes into account Brown's relatively productive first four years and final year in the league (122 catches, 1,752 yards, 14 TDs) or his time spent as a punt returner (326 returns for 3,320 yards and 3 TDs). It's tough for Viking fans to admit, but Cris Carter was simply the third-best wide receiver in this potential HOF class. Granted, the inane voters didn't even vote in the second-best WR, but that's another story.

BTW, here's how Jerry Rice stacks up in YPTPP, using his numbers from 1986-1996 and 1998-2003:

Rice: 21,461 yards; 9,164 team pass plays (2.34 YPTPP) (without TDs)
Rice: 25,261 yards; 9,164 team pass plays (2.76 YPTPP) (with TDs)

Yeah, he was pretty good.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter vs. Berry: The Results!

Here's a post nearly six months in the making. And boy, have I been salivating over this one.

Back in November of 2008, I stumbled across ESPN fantasy "guru" Matthew Berry's "bold predictions" for the upcoming season, most of which were so absurd as to be laughable. I wonder if he drafted Ben Obamanu and Troy Smith for his fantasy team. Probably not. At the end of the season, I dissected his predictions and the results were, shall we say, less than stellar. Of his 41 "real" predictions, only three came true, an abysmal 7.3% rate.

But hey, who was I to talk? It's not like I made any predictions. So, when Berry posted his 2009 predictions, one for each of the 32 NFL teams, I decided not just to track them but to try and guess which ones I thought would come true and which ones wouldn't. At the end of the season, I'd see who was more right. He'd score a point for every prediction he got right, and I'd score a point for each of his predictions that I agreed with that was right and each one I disagreed with that was wrong.

And now comes the day of reckoning. Here we go! Berry's prediction is below, followed by my Yes/No vote on, on the next line, Berry's and my results -- Y for a correct prediction, N for an incorrect one. When talking about fantasy points and ranks, he's probably talking about the scoring in the ESPN fantasy leagues, but I don't play those and don't have access to them, so I'll be using the scoring and ranks as used on player pages on

Chris "Beanie" Wells stays healthy enough to get at least 1,000 total yards and eight touchdowns. YES.

N/N. 936 yards and 7 TDs. Very close, but I'm going to be strict.

Roddy White will lead the NFL in receiving yards. YES. Bold, but I like it. Jake Delhomme is due for a meltdown, and that'll hurt Steve Smith.

N/N. He was 13th.

Joe Flacco finishes the year as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. NO. Flacco is highly overrated because his defense is good.

N/Y. According to PFR, he was 17th. And slightly less overrated, but still overrated.

Terrell Owens finishes the year outside the top 25 fantasy wide receivers. You heard me. NO. I think he'll be down a bit, but even Trent Edwards can't screw him up too badly.

Y/N. According to PFR, he was 26th. But I'll play fair and count it as a "No" for me.

Jonathan Stewart finishes with more fantasy points than DeAngelo Williams. NO. Williams is overrated, thanks to his huge TD numbers, but he'll still get more carries and points than Stewart.

Y/N. 193 to 179, according to PFR. At this point, Berry leads me 2-1. Oh noes!

Devin Hester and Greg Olsen combine for 1,800 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. NO. Jay Cutler can't fix the mess that is the Bears' receiving corps.

N/Y. Not so much. 1,369 and 11.

Chris Henry has a better fantasy season than Laveranues Coles. NO. Of course, the Jets lost Brett Favre so they don't know how to pass any more.

N/Y. I debated tossing out this question entirely in the scorekeeping, considering what happened to Henry falls outside the normal bad luck of an injury. But he was out hurt when he died anyway and probably wouldn't have made up the 82-36 margin Coles "won" the matchup by.

Jamal Lewis has 1,400 yards and eight touchdowns, or the equivalent fantasy points. NO. Nice to throw in the "or the equivalent" phrase to CYA, but I still think Lewis is done.

N/Y. 588 yards, zero(!) TDs, and retired. Can't get much more done than that.

Without T.O. in town, Tony Romo has the best fantasy season of his career. NO. I think Romo will be fine, but the man had 4,211 yards and 36 TDs two years ago. That's tough to top.

N/Y. According to PFR, Romo had 334 fantasy points in 2009, compared to 371 in 2007.

Peyton Hillis will end the year with the most fantasy points of any Broncos running back. You heard me. YES. Hey someone's gotta run the ball in Denver.

N/N. Hillis had 54 whole rushing yards. Ick.

Brandon Pettigrew finishes the year as a top-15 fantasy tight end. YES. Bad/young QBs love a good tight end.

N/N. He was #25.

Ryan Grant goes for better than 1,500 total yards and 10 touchdowns. NO.

N/Y. 1,446 yards and 11 TDs. If he gets a point on me for T.O., I claim a point on him here.

Eighty-five receptions and 1,000 yards for Owen Daniels. NO. Daniels is really good and really underrated, but the Texans still have Andre Johnson.

N/Y. Daniels had 40 catches and 519 yards in eight games, so he might have managed it had he stayed healthy.

Anthony Gonzalez, whose career high in receiving yards is 664, doubles that this season. NO. A Colts WR might have 1,300 receiving yards, but it'll be Reggie Wayne.

N/Y. But T.O. wasn't my worst WR draft pick in that league! Yes, I drafted Gonzalez, too. Thank heavens I found Miles Austin a month into the season.

David Garrard will be a top-10 fantasy quarterback this year. Just like last season. YES.

N/N. PFR says Garrard was 15th in 2009 and 12th last year. At this point, Berry's on an 0-10 streak.

Matt Cassel will not be. In fact, he finishes outside the top 15. YES.

Y/Y. This wasn't exactly the toughest prediction. The Chiefs will regret this move for years to come.

Anthony Fasano, meet the end zone. You two will find each other 10 times this season. YES. Sure, why not?

N/N. Because he's Anthony Fasano, that's why not! He had 2 TDs.

Bernard Berrian gets more than 1,200 yards and nine scores. NO. Having Brett Favre means Berrian won't have to settle for those weak-armed QBs like the ones he had last year that limited him to a paltry 20.1 yards per reception, second-best in the league.

N/Y. Favre was better than expected, but all his big plays went to Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin. Berrian had 618 yards and 4 TDs.

Eight hundred yards and seven touchdowns for Joey Galloway. YES. If he's healthy Galloway can catch 800 yards' worth of passes from anyone.

N/N. Yeah, about that. Galloway had 67 yards playing for Pittsburgh and New England.

Pierre Thomas is a top-10 fantasy running back this year. And Saints fans start wearing berets to games. You heard me. YES. But I'll disregard the beret thing.

N/N. He had a nice season but was in a three-way RB committee in New Orleans. #20 according to PFR.

Brandon Jacobs scores 20 touchdowns. NO. How will the Giants get that close to the end zone with Eli Manning battling Brett Favre for the league interception lead?

N/Y. More like 6 TDs. And FWIW, Eli doubled Brett's interceptions, 14-7.

Dustin Keller gets 800 yards, eight touchdowns and is one of the top eight fantasy tight ends this season. YES.

N/N. 522 yards, 2 TDs, and #20. So much for my theory about young QBs and tight ends.

More than 1,500 total yards and eight scores (or the fantasy points equivalent) for Darren McFadden. NO. I dunno, but I think we're going to look back in 10 years and find that Felix Jones was the better Alabama RB who entered the league in 2008. Plus, being with the Raiders automatically subtracts 25% (or more) from your fantasy potential

N/Y. 602 yards and 1 TD.

Brian Westbrook plays all 16 games. NO. Hasn't happened yet, see no reason to start now.

N/Y. 8 games.

Trendy preseason favorite Rashard Mendenhall finishes with fewer fantasy points than Willie Parker, Mewelde Moore and Heath Miller. YES.

N/N. Goes to show what we know. Mendenhall had 185 points, Miller 115, Parker 51, Moore 45.

Philip Rivers ends up with 225 fantasy points or fewer, which last year would have put him ninth among quarterbacks. (To put that numerically, I think he throws for fewer than 3,400 yards and 25 touchdowns). YES.

N/N. I don't know why I was so down on Rivers. He had 4,254 yards, 28 TDs, and 331 fantasy points.

Shaun Hill wins the starting quarterback job, throws for 3,000-plus yards and has at least 26 total touchdowns. NO. He'll be the starter, but he won't get those kind of TD numbers.

N/Y. Well, he was the starter for 6 games, notching 943 yards and 5 TDs.

T.J. Duckett scores double-digit touchdowns. Julius Jones has more than 1,200 total yards. Both have solid fantasy value this year. You heard me. NO. I could believe Jones, but absolutely not Duckett.

N/Y. Jones had 885 yards (and yes, I drafted him in that league) and Duckett didn't play.

Donnie Avery has more than 1,000 yards receiving. And yes, I know he's injured and most likely will miss the start of the season. That's how much I like him and the Rams' revamped offensive line. NO. But I don't like Marc Bulger.

N/Y. 589 yards for Avery.

Antonio Bryant finishes outside the top 30 of fantasy wide receivers. YES.

Y/Y. 50th. Not exactly a stretch, prediction-wise.

Nate Washington, on the other hand, finishes inside the top 30. YES.

N/N. 41st.

More than 1,000 yards and six touchdowns for Chris Cooley. NO. Put simply, expecting 1,000 yards from any TE is asking for trouble.

N/Y. 332 yards and 2 TDs. If he only would have tripled his numbers...

Berry nails 4 of his 32 predictions, an awesome 12.5% correct. A few, notably the Wells and Grant predictions, are close enough to essentially be correct, and a few (like Daniels) were ruined by injuries, but, at best, he'd only have about 25% correct. Combined with last year's 3-for-41, that gives him a cumulative 7-for-73, or 9.6% success rate, thus proving that the fantasy prediction business is something pretty much anyone can do. How can I get a job doing this?

Meanwhile, I score on 18 of 32, largely on the strength of my calling "BS" on 16 of Berry's 28 incorrect predictions. But even at the start of this exercise, I felt a little funny just going off someone else's work. Ideally, I would have made predictions of my own and, at the end of the season, we would have compared our predictions and seen who got the most right.

The problem with that is that it would have been tough to judge the "riskiness" of my predictions. Is it more of a reach to say that Bernard Berrian will have 1,200 yards and 9 scores or that, say, Visanthe Shiancoe will be a top 5 tight end? (He was #6, according to PFR.) I'd hate for my predictions to be too timid (or too risky) and for the comparison to be less equal than it could be. But hey, if Matthew's reading this, I'd love a "prediction competition" for next year. Especially since it looks like I won't have to do much better than a 10% success rate.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2009 NFL Predictions Revisited

Earlier this week, I looked back at my Vikings predictions for 2009, and now it's time to revisit my overall predictions for the 2009 NFL season.

AFC East Predictions
1. New England - y
2. Buffalo - x
3. Miami
4. NY Jets

AFC East Actual
1. New England - y
2. NY Jets - x
3. Miami
4. Buffalo

Someone will have to explain to me why I was high on Buffalo. At least I got it right when I said New England will rebound and Miami will regress.

AFC North Predictions
1. Pittsburgh - y
2. Cleveland
3. Baltimore
4. Cincinnati

AFC North Actual
1. Cincinnati - y
2. Baltimore - x
3. Pittsburgh
4. Cleveland

Another stinker of a division, and another "What was I thinking?" regarding Cleveland. I thought at least one of their QBs would be good.

AFC South Predictions
1. Tennessee - y
2. Indianapolis - x
3. Jacksonville
4. Houston

AFC South Actual
1. Indianapolis - y
2. Houston
3. Tennessee
4. Jacksonville

My faith in the Titans was sorely misguided, though they still might have the best O-line in football. Titans' QBs were only sacked 3.1% of the time, and their primary running back had a pretty good year, I heard. They can even make Vince Young and Kerry Collins look passable.

AFC West Predictions
1. San Diego - y
2. Oakland
3. Denver
4. Kansas City

AFC North Actual
1. San Diego - y
2. Denver
3. Kansas City
4. Oakland

Hey, there's one division champ I got right! I also said, "Oakland, Denver, and Kansas City could all finish under .500," and Denver just barely avoided that sentence, with an 8-8 record (after a 6-0 start, a collapse of Vikings-esque proportions).

NFC East Predictions
1. Philadelphia - y
2. Dallas - x
3. NY Giants
4. Washington

NFC East Actual
1. Dallas - y
2. Philadelphia - x
3. NY Giants
4. Washington

Not too bad, and very nearly perfect, if not for Philly's collapse in the final game of the season against Dallas (which I'm not complaining about, mind you). "And I think that the loss of T.O. won't hurt the Cowboys as much as people think." Granted, unearthing Miles Austin helped a bit.

NFC North Predictions
1. Minnesota - y
2. Green Bay
3. Chicago
4. Detroit

NFC North Actual
1. Minnesota - y
2. Green Bay - x
3. Chicago
4. Detroit

Spot on! Except for Green Bay making the playoffs, though I did say that "I admit that I'm very close to picking Green Bay as my wild card, but I think the defense will let them down just a little too often this year." The defense gelled, and the Packers were (sadly) very good.

NFC South Predictions
1. Atlanta - y
2. New Orleans - x
3. Carolina
4. Tampa Bay

NFC South Actual
1. New Orleans - y
2. Atlanta
3. Carolina
4. Tampa Bay

"New Orleans has no defense and no running game." Yeah, they mostly fixed that, and it took them all the way to the championship. And how on earth did Carolina win eight games? Oh yeah, by benching Jake Delhomme...

NFC West Predictions
1. Seattle - y
2. Arizona
3. San Francisco
4. St. Louis

AFC North Actual
1. Arizona - y
2. San Francisco
3. Seattle
4. St. Louis

So maybe Arizona is for real, after all. Well, at least until Kurt Warner retires -- oh, hang on... "St. Louis might fight with Tampa Bay for the #1 draft pick." Silly me, I forgot about Detroit sneaking in with the #2 pick.

My mantra, as always, was that I must pick four new division winners each year. There were, in fact, five new division winners in 2009. If I was to take a very early look at next year, I'd say that Arizona, Cincinnati, and Minnesota (depending on the Vikings' QB situation, though with Green Bay's solid play, it may not matter) will have the toughest time repeating, with New England and Dallas (challenged by the Jets and Eagles, respectively) could also have issues. Those predictions are probably about as useful as 2011 Super Bowl odds, but hey, it's all in fun, right? Nobody's really being held accountable for any of this, are they?

Wait until this weekend.

Monday, February 8, 2010

2009 Vikings predictions revisited

So, how'd I do?

Quarterback Prediction:
Brett Favre: 3,300 passing yards, 21 TDs, 19 Int.

Quarterback Actual:
Brett Favre: 4,202 passing yards, 33 TDs, 7 Int.

So I was a little off, but be honest -- you never saw this coming, did you?

There's little more that can be said about Favre's remarkable season, mostly coming after he crossed the age-40 threshold. I did somewhat predict his unpredictability, saying "he could be great, chucking 25-30 TDs, and he could be awful, chucking 25-30 interceptions." Technically, I was wrong, as he exceeded 30 TDs, but I wasn't exactly complaining. In fact, it was the most TDs Favre has chucked since 1997, and he set a personal mark in completion percentage and lowest interception percentage. Makes you wonder what he'll be like in 10 years.

Running Back Prediction:
Adrian Peterson: 1,450 rushing yards, 200 receiving yards, 14 TDs
Chester Taylor: 500 rushing yards, 300 receiving yards, 6 TDs

Running Back Actual:
Adrian Peterson: 1,383 rushing yards, 436 receiving yards, 18 TDs
Chester Taylor: 338 rushing yards, 389 receiving yards, 2 TDs

Here's one where I wasn't too far off, though Adrian Peterson's newly found skill as a receiver was a pleasant surprise. Believing that Favre wouldn't pass particularly well, I predicted higher rushing numbers for the Peterson/Taylor duo, which received 92.6% of all carries by Vikings running backs (if one counts Jeff Dugan and Percy Harvin as running backs). Overall, I predicted 2,450 total yards from scrimmage and 20 TDs for the duo, and they managed 2,546 and 20, so I'll call this one a win. If I was keeping score, that is.

Receivers Prediction:
Bernard Berrian: 55 catches, 900 yards, 7 TDs
Sidney Rice: 25 catches, 350 yards, 1 TD
Bobby Wade: 40 catches, 550 yards, 3 TDs
Percy Harvin: 20 catches, 300 yards, 2 TDs
Visanthe Shiancoe: 35 catches, 550 yards, 6 TDs

Receivers Actual:
Sidney Rice: 83 catches, 1,312 yards, 8 TD
Percy Harvin: 60 catches, 790 yards, 6 TDs
Bernard Berrian: 55 catches, 618 yards, 4 TDs
Visanthe Shiancoe: 53 catches, 556 yards, 11 TDs

I wrote, "Someone from the Vikings' second tier of receivers will have to step up this year... Sidney Rice shows occasional flashes but isn't reliable." Well, he's reliable now, and his Pro Bowl season definitely counts as "stepping up." If Favre retires, it'll be interesting to see how Rice's numbers respond, but he definitely proved me wrong this season.

If the previous category counted as a "win," this one definitely goes down as a "loss." I did somehow nail Bernard Berrian's 55 receptions and came within six yards of Shiancoe's yardage total, but Rice and Harvin exceeded all expectations and Berrian managed just a puzzling 11.2 yards per reception, after averaging nearly double that (20.1) in 1998. Other than the running backs, no other Viking receiver had more than 10 catches, and Bobby Wade had 36 catches for 367 yards and three TDs -- for Kansas City.

I don't have the energy right now to do a piecemeal dissection of the offensive line, special teams, and defense, so here's a Cliff's Notes looks at some of my best -- and worst -- predictions about those units for 2009.

"If Loadholt and Sullivan can get it done, the O-line could be one of the best in the league."

I've already discussed my opinion of the offensive line, which failed to open pretty much any holes for the second half of the season, even while it improved in pass protection. For the record, the Vikings were a mere 22nd in the league in yards per carry, and Vikings QBs were sacked on 5.8% of their dropbacks, 13th in the league. The line was average, at best.

"this has the makings to be a dominant defensive line, playing equally well against the run and the pass."

It had its moments, good and bad, but the defense began and ended, for much of the season, with the play of the defensive line. The starting foursome of Allen, Williams, Williams, and Edwards racked up 31 sacks, more than eight other entire teams.

"He'll probably never be considered an elite linebacker, but as long as he flies around the field like he does, I'll be OK with his lack of recognition."

That was in reference to Chad Greenway, who did indeed continue to fly around the field, leading the team in tackles.

"Unfortunately, as shown last year when Henderson went down (Napoleon Harris!), the team's depth at linebacker is almost non-existant."

For a rookie, Jaspar Brinkley did an adequate job filling in when EJ Henderson went down in December, and, depending on how Henderson's recovery from a broken leg goes, he might have more of a chance to build on his rookie season going forward.

"That could be a questionable decision in the future, with Winfield having just turned 32 and Griffin not being able to keep up with elite receivers at times last year, but both should provide at least decent play for a couple more years, provided the defensive line can keep quarterbacks on their toes."

By the end of the season, Antoine Winfield was a nickel corner and Cedric Griffin, while decent, again struggled in coverage when the defensive line couldn't produce pressure (though the weak safety play of Tyrell Johnson and Madeiu Williams contributed to these difficulties). With three of their four defensive backs (all but Johnson) locked into big-money, long-term deals (though Winfield's has a semi-"out" if he becomes a fifth DB), improvement in this area might prove difficult.

"Suffice to say, Longwell's earned his keep as a Viking."

Amen to that. In his four years in purple, Longwell has converted on 86.5% of field goal opportunities, including 26 of 28 this year. Tack on a league-high 54 extra-point attempts, and you have a 132-point season, the highest of the 13-year veteran's career. "Four more years!"

"the Vikings are turning to rookies Percy Harvin as their primary kick returner and Percy Harvin as the punt returner."

I'm not quite sure what I meant there, but Percy Harvin as a kick returner worked out fairly well, I'd say.

Projected Finish:
11-5, 1st in NFC North

Only off by one game, and that was with Brett Favre being mediocre. I think I expected more out of the defense and the running game to compensate, but however we got there, I'll take it.