Looking Back, Then Looking Ahead

A little football, then a little baseball today:

First, the football. That was a very interesting game last night. I wasn’t particularly excited about it – fatigue over the Favre hype. In the end, though, it ended up being interesting for a number of reasons. First, and most troubling for Green Bay, that is one terrible offensive line they have there. Jared Allen is a nice player, but not nearly that nice. He absolutely decimated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, and gave them little chance of success. The Packers were a team I was very keen on coming into the season, but they stand little chance of doing anything meaningful until they find a way to offer even a little bit of protection. That was pathetic. On the other side, Minnesota’s offensive line performance was very mixed. On one hand, Favre had all of the time in the world to do whatever he wanted, and he made the most of it. On the other hand, though, Adrian Peterson was contained in a very surprising and uncharacteristic way. The final piece of interest out of this game is the question of just how good they Vikings are. They are 4-0 and will be hyped up significantly after this high profile win, but I still don’t feel like we have seen them really be tested. The first two wins against the Browns and the Lions prove nothing. The San Francisco game probably should have been a loss if it wasn’t for the fluky last second pass. The Packers weren’t a particularly real test either given that offensive line. Next up is the Rams, too, so this team will be 5-0 without a true test. This team is good, but we won’t know how good until we see them play the Ravens in week six. In my eyes this is a very tough team to assess right now.

Now, the baseball. The one-game playoff isn’t a particularly common occurrence – just seven since divisional time started in 1969. It is, though, a brilliant event – great theater. The one later this afternoon in Minnesota almost doesn’t seem like a fair fight, though. On paper Minnesota has pretty much every advantage. They get to play at home – a building in which Detroit won just twice in nine tries. They have a lineup that is hitting the lights out, while the Tigers are struggling badly. They have all of the momentum after closing from seven games back in a month, and the team with momentum tends to win these games. They have a veteran pitcher on the mound in Scott Baker compared to a 20 year old rookie for the Tigers. The Twins are used to the pressure of this situation having played in one just last year, while the Tigers haven’t. Anything can happen in just one game, but it sure would be surprising to see Detroit put up a huge performance in this one. There is only one reason I can think of to like the Tigers – Minesota pitcher Scott Baker just pitched against Detroit in his last outing, so they should be familiar with him.

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