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Tag:Minnesota Vikings
Posted on: January 3, 2012 9:08 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 9:11 pm
 

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 17

Posted by Will Brinson

Every week, our NFL experts will hand out the Eye on Football hardware to the best of the best from the NFL week that was.

Week 17 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman  Cruz Broncos  Akers McCarthy
Judge  Flynn  Allen  Akers Coughlin
Prisco  Flynn  Allen Carpenter Coughlin
Brinson  Flynn  Allen Carpenter  Coughlin
Katzowitz  Flynn  Allen  Akers Harbaugh
Wilson  Flynn  Suggs Carpenter  Turner
The NFL's regular season is over. It seems kind of crazy, right? Somehow the lockout was just a few months ago and now we're headed for the playoffs. Whatever, that doesn't stop us from handing out our final regular season Eye on Football Awards of the year.

Matt Flynn wasn't completely a consensus pick for the Eye on Offense Award, but with his performance there's no question he's making some coin in 2012.

Jared Allen can't love his ex-teammate Brett Favre, since he'd have the NFL single-season sack record if Favre hadn't flopped for Michael Strahan. Somehow I doubt the Week 17 Eye on Defense Award will make up for that.

Usually I give tiebreakers to the guy I picked ... and I'm doing it again this week. Dan Carpenter's 58-yarder nudges him past David Akers, despite a touchdown pass, for the Eye on Special Teams Award.

And Tom Coughlin closes out the season with the Eye on Coaching Awards similar to how he closed out his real season: by winning two straight headed into the playoffs.

Leave your votes in the comments below or scream angrily at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
Victor Cruz Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
Big play after big play when the defense knows Eli Manning is going to him. He still produces. He obliterated the Cowboys as he has almost every team he's gone against within the latter part of the year. It's been incredible to watch him become the next great receiving star.
Matt FlynnMatt Flynn, QB, Packers
He's the backup for Green Bay, and he doesn't play much because ... well, because that's what happens when you sit behind Aaron Rodgers. So , when he does get his chance all he does is throw for six touchdowns and set a franchise record with 480 yards passing.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
Matt Flynn Matt Flynn, QB, Packers
Flynn makes his first start of 2011 and throws for 480 yards and six touchdowns in place of Aaron Rodgers, who the Packers were resting. Wow. He made himself a lot of money.
Matt FlynnMatt Flynn, QB, Packers
Credit the Packers for finding hidden talent (even if Flynn won a BCS title). Flynn's not hidden anymore -- 480 yards and six teeters Sunday against the Lions means Flynn's the head of the class in terms of free-agent QBs heading into the 2012.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Matt FlynnMatt Flynn, QB, Packers
It’s unfortunate for Matthew Stafford that he came up against Flynn, who set Packers club records in passing yards (480) and touchdown passes (six). Flynn was incredible, leading Green Bay to a victory and making himself a ton of money in the process. By playing him this week, GB assured themselves that they’ll lose him in the offseason.
Matt Flynn Matt Flynn, QB, Packers
If nothing else, Flynn's performance on Sunday (480 passing yards and six touchdowns in a win against the Lions) proves that Aaron Rodgers is a system quarterback. So does that mean Flynn deserves to be in the MVP conversation, too?
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Von MillerDenver Broncos, DST
This is a team award presented to one of the best and most underrated defenses in football, saddled with a terrible quarterback. The Broncos defense held the KC Chiefs to a touchdown and still lost, 7-3. Denver's defense has actually been one of the great surprises of the season.
Jared Allen Jared Allen, DE, Vikings
He produces 3.5 sacks to finish the season with a league-leading 22, just a half-sack short of Michael Strahan's single-season record. What I love about Allen is his motor. The Vikings won three games, but this guy never let up and never quit.
Prisco Brinson
Jared AllenJared Allen, DE, Vikings
Allen had 3 1/2 sacks against the Bears, but feel one short of Mike Strahan's single-season record for sacks in a season with 21.5.
Jared AllenJared Allen, DE, Vikings
Allen got his Ginsu on against Chicago's line and nearly broke Michael Strahan's record for 22.5 sacks in a season. His 3.5 on Sunday left him just short but considering Brett Favre's flop and how horrible this Vikings team is, he really deserves it more.
Katzowitz Wilson
Jared AllenJared Allen, DE, Vikings
He was a man possessed as he went for the NFL season sack record, and though he fell a half-sack and a Brett Favre dive short of Michael Strahan’s record, Allen put the exclamation point on the best year of his career, recording 3 ½ sacks against Bears.
Terrell Suggs Terrell Suggs, OLB, Ravens
He had a sack and a forced fumble in a game that a lot of people thought the Ravens would lose. Now they're perfectly positioned for a Super Bowl run and Suggs could be the defensive MVP
Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
David AkersDavid Akers, K, 49ers
Lined up for a field goal but it was a fake. Excellent throw by Akers who tossed a touchdown throw to Michael Crabtree. The most amazing thing about Crabtree's throw? He had better form than Tebow.
David Akers David Akers, K, Eagles
He sets the single-season record for field goals one week, then throws a touchdown pass the next -- a touchdown that, oh, by the way, is the difference in the 49ers' game-ending victory. The more I see of Akers the more I wonder Philadelphia gave up on him.
Prisco Brinson
Dan CarpenterDan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
Carpenter made four field goals, one from 58 yards, as the Dolphins beat the Jets to end their playoff chances. Carpenter's 58-yarder was into the wind.
Dan CarpenterDan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
If not for Carpenter, the Dolphins don't send Jason Taylor out the right way and end Rex Ryan's hopes. Carpenter converted field goals after three turnovers (4/4 on the day) including banging home a 58-yarder that was good from 73.
Katzowitz Wilson
David Akers David Akers, K, 49ers
He established the new league record for field goals byfinishing the season with 44, and he threw an awesome TD pass on a fake field goal that helped the 49ers beat the pesky Rams. For his career, Akers is now 2 for 2 passing for 25 yards and a score. With a passer rating of 158.3.
Dan Carpenter Dan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
Carpenter was 4 for 4 on Sunday against the Jets, including a 58-yarder. With his perfect performance, he helped the Dolphins seal the Rex Ryan's fate and finish the season with a 6-10 record (after an 0-7 start).
Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
Bill BelichickMike McCarthy, HC, Packers
McCarthy lost one game all season. He beat Detroit with Matt Flynn at quarterback. He might have the best offensive system going in football right now. He's the offensive Bill Belichick.
Mike Munchak Tom Coughlin, HC, Giants
For the second straight week he pulls off a huge victory -- this time winning the NFC East with a decisive defeat of Dallas. For weeks, Coughlin was subjected to questions about his job status and the Giants' second-half collapse. Then he produced the season's two most important wins, and, just like that, the questions ended.
Prisco Brinson
Tom CoughlinTom Coughlin, Giants
It was win or go home and he had Coughlin team ready to play against the Cowboys for the NFC East title. Coughlin is good in big games, which bodes well for the playoffs.
Tom CoughlinTom Coughlin, HC, Giants
At this point, I'm rooting for the Giants to run the table, win the Super Bowl (again!) and have Coughlin set his pants on fire at trophy ceremony, just to make the fans happy that his seat is finally hot enough. Great job getting his team ready down the stretch.
Katzowitz Wilson
Jim Schwartz John Harbaugh, HC, Ravens
His brother received so much credit this season, but look at what John pulled off Sunday. He beat the Bengals in Cincy and earned a playoff bye and homefield advantage in the second round. Given how mediocre Baltimore is on the road, that’s one heck of an accomplishment.
Hue Jackson Norv Turner, HC, Chargers
Did he really save his job? Turner and the Chargers beat a Raiders team with everything to play for -- in Oakland, no less. If Turner does return, imagine how good San Diego will be if they ever put together an entire season mistake-free football.

Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:59 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 3:08 pm
 

Allen breaks team sack record, eyes NFL mark

Allen is one of the few bright spots in Minnesota this time of year. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

As a team, the Vikings might not have much to play for in the regular-season finale, but there are still individual honors to be attained. Defensive end Jared Allen entered the Week 17 matchup against the Bears needing four sacks to break Michael Strahan's single-season record of 22.5, and 2.5 to tie Minnesota's team record of 21 held by Chris Doleman.

By the third quarter, Allen had taken down Bears quarterback Josh McCown … 3.5 times, which means he broke the team record and is just a half-sack away from tying Strahan's mark set in January 2002.

Sadly, there are no Brett Favre's on the field to facilitate things for Allen Sunday.

Not that it matters, but the Bears lead the Vikings, 14-13 in the third quarter.


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:11 pm
 

Ponder out with injury; Joe Webb takes over

Webb

By Josh Katzowitz

Joe Webb has yet another chance to impress everybody in the Vikings organization. That’s because Christian Ponder is out of the game with an injury to what appears to be his right hip.

Webb has been like a quarterback savior this season, because every time he comes in to replace Ponder, the Vikings, for whatever reason, seem to catch a spark. He’s in the game now after Ponder took a bad hit from Chicago’s Israel Idonije. Ponder had to limp off the field, and trainers immediately began examining him.

You saw Webb’s impact last week when Ponder had to leave with a concussion and Webb came in to beat the Redskins. Earlier this month, Webb replaced Ponder and nearly erased a 17-point deficit and to almost beat the Lions.

Ultimately, Minnesota fell short, but Webb’s two-touchdown performance last week led coach Leslie Frazier to say, “Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it. It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team.”

Ponder, despite taking a 10-point lead vs. the Bears, threw a pick-6 to Charles Tillman to give the Bears a 14-10 advantage.


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK




For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 12:29 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 1:12 pm
 

Casserly: Expect Peterson back by Week 1

It could've been worse: AP is expected to be ready to play by the start of the 2012 season. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Any postseason hopes for the Vikings have long since vanished, and last week, they lost their best player, Adrian Peterson, to a torn MCL and ACL in a meaningless Week 16 matchup against the Redskins. The injury was so serious that the early speculation was that Peterson could miss the start of the 2012 season.

Turns out, there's some good news courtesy of CBS Sports' NFL Insider Charley Casserly. From Sunday's appearance on The NFL Today:

"Dr. (James) Andrews said that they can expect him back for opening day this coming year," Casserly told CBS' James Brown. "In fact, there's even a chance he could come back a little sooner because of what I would call Adrian Peterson's exceptional physical traits."

That's welcome news for an organization that could use some. As it stands, the Vikings are 3-12 and head into their Week 17 matchup with the Bears holding the third-overall pick in April's NFL Draft.


Charley Casserly spoke with James Brown about Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's recovery from a knee injury.


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 11:30 pm
 

Benny Sapp cited for 5th degree assault

B. Sapp was cited for fifth-degree assault (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

After Chris Cook was arrested two months ago, Benny Sapp basically took his place in the Vikings secondary. On Friday, Sapp was cited for two misdemeanors (fifth-degree assault and careless driving) after an alleged run-in with security at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sapp and his 11-year-old son attempted at 7 a.m. to enter the hospital through a door that was inaccessible at that time of day. A security guard pointed Sapp to another entrance, but soon after, Sapp returned and told the guard that he would “enter the building through the closed entrance whether he was allowed to or not.”

Sapp then left his son with the security guard, told him the boy’s mother was inside and said he had to leave for work. According to a hospital public information office, “Sapp then returned to his car in a nearby parking deck, where a security officer attempted to detain him. A physical altercation ensued with Sapp allegedly pushing the security guard and then driving toward the exit of the ramp.

"At the parking deck exit, another confrontation broke out ... Sapp chest-bumped a security officer and later ‘used his vehicle to try to move the officer out of the way.'”

Police are unclear if Sapp’s car actually touched the security guard.

The team put out a statement Friday night, via ESPN 1500, that reads, “We’ve been made aware that Benny Sapp received a citation, was not arrested and fully cooperated with the authorities."

It’s unclear what, if any, discipline Sapp will face from the team.

He joins Cook on the police blotter. In October, Cook was arrested and charged with domestic abuse by strangulation after he allegedly choked his girlfriend. The Vikings haven’t played him since.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Draft needs

A. Luck should be a No. 1 selection in next year's draft. Who will select him, though (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

As we enter the final weekend of the season, a number of squads are just playing out the string, hoping to put a solid performance on film, ready to clean out their lockers and look ahead to next year. While only four games on this week’s schedule mean absolutely nothing in terms of the postseason, quite a few of those teams are just looking to play spoiler.

And looking to the 2012 draft, where they can begin to rebuild their team or shore up that one position that could put them over the hump for next season. That’s why we’re taking the 10-worst teams in the league this year and finding one major flaw that needs to be fixed from April 26-28 in New York City’s Radio Music Hall.

For these teams -- and their fans -- the time has come to salivate at the prospects of landing the exact right guy that could change their fortunes for years to come.

10. Bills: Defensive line -- I didn’t like the Ryan Fitzpatrick $59 million extension earlier this year, and I hate it now. But I think Buffalo has other concerns for the moment, and they come on defense. For one, Buffalo has a tough time stopping the run. First-round pick Marcell Dareus has been a bit inconsistent at the nose tackle, but he also has the ability to play like a monster. The 3-4  ends, though, need to be better. Injured tackle Kyle Williams obviously will help when he returns next season, but the ability to rush the passer once in a while also would help (Buffalo’s 25 sacks ranks 30th in the league).

9. Dolphins: Quarterback -- Look, the Dolphins have some talent. They proved that when Tony Sparano’s job was on the line, and they started winning games. They proved it by nearly beating Tom Brady, and they proved it by nearly beating Tim Tebow (that last point was a joke). While Matt Moore has been much better than expected after taking over for Chad Henne, he’s a Band-Aid. I think most of us would agree that Henne isn’t the answer as the starter, and perhaps, he and Moore could have a battle to see who could back-up a legit starting quarterback. Reggie Bush established himself as a 1,000-yard rusher, and with a talented quarterback like Robert Griffin III (if he lasts that long in the draft), the Dolphins could begin pushing for AFC East crowns.

8. Browns: Pass rushers -- Cleveland got two defensive linemen early last year (tackle Phil Taylor in the first round and end Jabaal Sheard in the second), and they’ve done a nice job on the left side of the defensive line. But the defense ranks 25th in the league in sacks, and defensive end Jayme Mitchell hasn’t had a great season. Marcus Benard, coming off a solid rookie season last year, is on IR, and if the Browns could get one more high-end rusher in the draft, they’d have talent and depth.

7. Redskins: Quarterback -- It’s probably time for Mike Shanahan to come to the realization that his quarterback picks the past two years have been disastrous (Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck). He said the other day that the rebuild of this franchise has taken more time than he thought, but a standout quarterback obviously would help that process along. Shanahan also said that there was no question in his mind that he’d be back next season, but unless he finds a way to invigorate his offense, that might be a different story this time next year.

6. Chiefs: Right tackle -- Looking across Kansas City’s depth chart, there’s not one position group that so obviously needs to be overhauled. The Chiefs have talent, even if some of those positions don’t have much depth. But right tackle Barry Richardson has badly struggled this season. According Pro Football Focus, Richardson is the worst-rated offensive tackle in the league (the decision to cut Jared Gaither near the end of the season was a bad one). Left tackle Branden Albert is solid, but the right side of the line needs to be reworked.

Minnesota's secondary has been a big concern this year (US Presswire).5. Buccaneers: Run defenders -- The Buccaneers tried to shore up their defensive end spots last draft, taking Adrian Clayborn in the first round and Da’Quan Bowers in the second round. Considering Tampa Bay ranks dead last in sacks, the experiment hasn’t paid off immediate dividends. But the Buccaneers are also terrible against the run, and even though tackle Albert Haynesworth has played better than most of us had a right to expect, there are still huge holes to fill in the lineup.

4. Vikings: Secondary -- The Vikings rank as the 31st-worst defense in the NFL, but in reality, their front seven has talent (for instance, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway). Minnesota lost Antoine Winfield (its best corner) early in the year, Chris Cook has legal troubles, safety Jamarca  Sanford has struggled badly and the rest of the safeties have been ravaged by injuries. It’s no  wonder opposing quarterbacks dominate the Vikings defensive backs. On the season, Minnesota has recorded seven interceptions, worst in the NFL. The Vikings need to find somebody who can force turnovers in order to improve this unit.

3. Jaguars: Receivers – Oh, how they need receivers. Yes, Blaine Gabbert has been, by far, the worst rookie quarterback to play this year, but Jacksonville, even with new ownership and a new coach, probably needs to give him more than a season to see if he’s a quarterback of the future. He also needs somebody who can catch his passes. Here are Jacksonville’s top-three receivers: Mike Thomas, Jarret Dillard, and yeah, nobody else. In fact, there’s a good chance running back Maurice Jones-Drew will end up as the team’s leading pass-catcher this season. Hard to blame Gabbert completely when his receiving corps is so bad.

2. Colts: Running backs -- Assuming Peyton Manning returns healthy next season -- admittedly, a huge assumption -- his receivers should continue to be fine (this, of course, depends on what happens with free agents Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon). But we’ve seen this year that without a running game, a Manning-less Colts squad has very little chance of doing anything (mostly because Manning makes up for SO many team deficiencies). Joseph Addai, who’s averaging 3.8 yards per carry and probably won’t get to 500 rushing yards on the season for the second year in a row, might be released into free agency, and Donald Brown, while improved, isn’t a legit No. 1 running back. The Colts obviously have a big decision to make regarding Manning and Andrew Luck, but taking a running back probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

1.Rams: Offensive linemen -- There’s been talk that maybe the Rams should grab Luck if they end up with the No. 1 pick. Which, with Sam Bradford on the team, would be ludicrous. Instead, St. Louis should be focused on how to put together an offensive line that doesn’t lead the league in sacks allowed. The biggest problem, not including injuries to Jason Smith and Jacob Bell that have hurt the unit, has been the line’s interior. Linemen aren’t the sexiest position, but damn, St. Louis needs to find some that can stay healthy and keep Bradford and Steven Jackson out of danger.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 29, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Adrian Peterson to have knee surgery on Friday

AP will go under the knife on Friday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Vikings aren't wasting any time when it comes to getting Adrian Peterson under the knife -- the star running back, who tore his ACL and MCL on Christmas Eve and is expected to miss eight to nine months, will undergo surgery on Friday.

That's according to our Vikings Rapid Reporter Joe Oberle who reports that Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery.

"[We’re] praying that everything goes well," coach Leslie Frazier said on Thursday. "We'll get an update after the surgery."

That Peterson is undergoing surgery less than a week after suffering the injury tells you exactly what kind of timeline the Vikings are up against -- waiting any longer to get Peterson working on rehab could seriously effect how quickly he can return. As it is now, Peterson will be pushing it to make a Week 1 return even if everything goes smoothly.

After the surgery, Peterson will return to Minnesota for rehab.

"He’ll do a portion of it here and we’re going to talk more about what’s the best way to do it," Frazier said per Oberle. "He wants to do the best thing for him, and I think the best thing would be to do a great deal of it here."

The best thing for Peterson -- and for the Vikings -- is to be prudent with his health at this point. Frazier and the team erred, clearly, in putting Peterson on the field in a meaningless game while he was dealing with an injury.

They'd be wise to remember that before trying to rush him back for Week 1 in 2012.


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Posted on: December 28, 2011 7:22 pm
 

Ponder back at practice, should start Sunday

C. Ponder plans not to miss any games after suffering a concussion (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Though Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has gone on record saying he was thinking about whether he should look at Joe Webb as the quarterback of the future, that future apparently won’t begin this week.

That’s because rookie Christian Ponder, the old quarterback of the future who suffered a concussion last Sunday, returned to Minnesota practice today and likely will make the team’s season-ending start.

"I feel good today," Ponder said Wednesday, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I had a slight headache Saturday night. But by Sunday and Monday I was feeling fine. I saw the neurologist yesterday and he cleared everything. And I passed all my baseline tests. I guess I actually scored higher on my baseline tests. So maybe I got some sense knocked into me."

Ponder probably is itching to return as soon as possible, because after he was knocked out of the game last Sunday, Webb threw two touchdown passes and gained 118 total yards while nearly coming back to beat the Lions after falling behind by 17 points. Webb also performed well earlier this season when he replaced an ineffective Ponder and breathed life into a bad Vikings squad.

Which led Vikings receiver Percy Harvin to say this: "Magic. He's gifted, man. He's one of the gifted players that you can't describe. You can't practice it. Not too many teams got quarterbacks that can do what he does."

And it led Frazier to say this: "Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it. It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team.”

Ponder, meanwhile, has completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 1,825 yards, 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and his 72.4 passer rating ranks 29th among starting quarterbacks. He’s no Blaine Gabbert, but he’s also no Cam Newton or Andy Dalton.

Ponder hopes to improve on those numbers this week and end the season on a positive season, especially if he has to battle with Webb next year for the right to be team’s starting quarterback for the year quarterback of the future.

“Especially for me personally, I want to finish strong and have some momentum going into the offseason," he said. "Obviously looking back on the games I've played in, we've got a lot of film to show me that I have a lot of things to work on and get better at. But it'd be great to finish on a positive note. And especially for this team, to finish with two wins going into the offseason, I don't think people realize how big of a springboard that is."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com