First and foremost, I hope everyone has a happy and enjoyable holiday. Currently, I am in the Upper Penninsula (the UP) in Michigan. For the geographically challenged, the UP is the part of Michigan north of Lake Superior. Yes, there's more to Michigan than just the mitt. Anyway, I'm up here visiting friends at their home on the shores of Lake Superior. It is beautiful. It is calm. It's a far cry from Indianapolis or NYC.
It is also butt-ass cold.
Most UPers (pronounced "you-pers") are Packers fans. So, last night, we all watched Green Bay beat Minnesota (much to the dislike of Gonzo). After watching GB play, I'm pretty convinced that the Packers will have a good team in the very near future. They have tremendous young talent on defense with Kampman, Jenkins, Barnett, Hawk, and Collins. And after watching Minnesota, I've come to the conclusion that the whole "you have to run the football and stop the run" mantra is complete and total BS.
Minnesota has a sub-.500 record. They have the best tackle tandem in football now (with Stroud and Henderson hurt in Jacksonville). They stop the run with violent effeciency. They also have a good running back in Chester Taylor. However, last night, that team looks so putrid it wasn't even funny. At one point in the third quarter they had more penalty yards than total yards. Their two main weaknesses (throwing the ball and defending the pass) are actually the two main strengths of a team like the Colts. The Colts are going to the playoffs (in the AFC) while the Vikings (with their great run defense and rushing attack) are at home roasting chestnuts this January. Go figure.
I guess this means that a team needs to throw and defend the throw to get to the playoffs. However, once that team is there, they need to run and defend the run. Minnesota has a nice foundation to build upon, but in my mind a team needs a strong QB and a good pass defense in order to get to the playoffs.