Monday Mark's Topic #1: I am now a Tarvaris Jackson believer and I don’t seem to hate Brad Childress as much as I used to. I am still skeptical about Childress going back to bland play calling next season, but I would no longer be as scared to put Jackson back there next season. He made some great passes and even almost connected on what I think was a great play-call by Childress. On a short 4th down, we went deep to Bernard Berrian. Berrian had his man beat, but just couldn’t get to the ball. If that play is made, everyone thinks it was a great play. I think it was a great play-call anyways. I don’t think you can blame Chilly for this loss. It wasn’t him fumbling the ball, it was the players. But why blame? We played a good game, and so did the Falcons. It was just a good game.

There are many fans that are complaining that the Vikings spent a lot of money this off-season and it is not paying dividends. This team is one-win (or Bear loss) away from a Division Championship and that is step one. They may not be the #1 seed, but this team has been through some ups and downs. Look at 4 examples: -Jackson was awful early on -E.J. Henderson was lost for the year, -Madieu Williams missed 8 games -Bryant McKinnie was suspended for 4 games

I’m not saying with all those pieces in place we would be 13-2 or anything, but those hurt. We could’ve/should’ve won the Colts game and we could’ve won the Bears game in Chicago (MLB tandem was a big part of that loss).

Here is one thing that I have learned as a Vikings fan. This team can beat anyone any week. At the same time, this team could lose to any team at any time. If we get into the playoffs which I am confident we will somehow at least back in to, we will be a force to be reckoned with.

Interesting Stat: The Bears can still earn a Wild-Card Birth, but the Vikings can only clinch the North. They are not able to make the playoffs as a Wild-Card Team.

Topic #2: Whom would I like the Vikings to play if they make the playoffs? Ideal situation would be a home game against the Bears. We seem to play well at home against Chicago and Kyle Orton doesn’t really scare me. I would also take another shot at the Atlanta Falcons. I think we outplayed them and will correct the mistakes. I would hate to see Dallas or Tampa Bay in the first round. Even though there is fighting between many Cowboy players and Tony Romo can’t win in the playoffs, I just think they have too many weapons and too good of a defense. Also, whomever the Cowboys would play in the first round would play Saturday Night on NBC, and I just don’t want to listen to John and Al yet.

Topic #3: I know that we are supposed to want to watch great primetime matchups late in the season, but I am more of a Noon-6 PM Football Watcher. Remembering that the Vikings were switched from Noon to 3:15 and the Giants/Panthers were switched from 3:15 to NBC, we had some lackluster noon action on FOX. Their “top” game at that time slot was Arizona/ New England. Normally when a team gets up 38-0, FOX would switch to a more competitive game. Here is what they were left to choose from: STL vs. SF or DET vs. NO. I would’ve loved a Vikings-Falcons noon game and a NYG/CAR 3:15er. At least FOX did a fantastic job outlining the field in New England.

Topic #4: It seems that most MLB free agents are dumb. Rafael Furcal had a 4-year, $40 Million offer from the A’s that he said wasn’t enough. He wound up getting 3-years, $30 Million from the Dodgers. Mark Teixeira has held out from the Red Sox, Yankees and now the Angels have pulled their offer. If he doesn’t care about winning he can take the money from the Nationals, but if he cares about winning what is the difference between $160 and $180 Million? Does anyone remember when Adam Dunn was a hot commodity… well now he can’t even seem to find an offer? Let’s not forget about Manny who forced his way out of Boston, turned down the Dodgers and now seems destined to end up in the new Yankee Stadium starting fort he Yankees.

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