After a bye week, we feel well rested and ready.
Our bodies have had time to recover, our mental focus is at an all-time high, and our families are happy we spent some time with them, rather than in the film room breaking down Christian Ponder tape.
The good news? We might never have to break down Ponder tape again, with Matt Cassel as your starter this week and the Josh Freeman experiment right around the corner.
Surely you've forgotten what picks looked like last time around, so here they are. We had to look back at standings and picks, we had put them out of our minds, some of us for good reason.
Enter Joe Nelson, who has had one of the worst four week stretches in predictions history. If he could put up as low of a score in golf as he has in predictions, he'd be on the tour. Alas, he isn't good at golf, nor predicting things.
He did, however, hit the nail on the head two weeks ago, as did Sports Director GR Anderson, correctly predicting the Vikings to be victorious, and coming close on the spread.
Unfortunately for Anderson, he also predicted that Big Ben to complete less than 30 passes, saying that if completed more than 30, the Vikings would lose.
Good thought bro, but in this hard hitting world of non-expert predictions, we don't settle for that kind of garbage! For that, a 2 point deduction, erasing the two points he would've had from the winner prediction.
Ziemer and Gallagher were both incorrect in their take on the Vikings losing, they will be docked. Morning sports voice Eric Perkins had a nice week as well, coming up just one point from hitting the spread, he is making a charge.
Here are your updated standings (last week's score in parentheses):
Anderson: 4 (4)
Gallagher: 2 (3)
Perkins: 2 (0)
Hockert: -1 (-1)
Ziemer: -2 (-1)
Nelson: -4 (-8)
The field is getting tighter and tighter, here's what we have for Panthers-Purple:
Editor-in-chief Amy Hockert: Still refuses to predict
An interesting strategy by Hockert, who despite getting a week off is still not satisfied with the Vikings play enough to turn in a prediction. Since she technically isn't wrong by not predicting, so she loses no points on a weekly basis. It could pay off in the end, although we would hope the winning score is above -1 by the end of the year, but that's no safe assumption.
Sports Director GR Anderson: (insert prediction here)
Anderson has been spot on in his predictions so far this year, going 4-4 in the first quarter of the season, and we have not heard the end of it. How does he follow up the early success? Forgetting that there are four quarters to a football game and season, and forgetting to turn in a prediction. That's one way to end a streak.
Morning drive voice Eric Perkins: Vikings 42, Panthers 16
"The Cassel era puts a pinch on the Josh Freeman era in a lights out offensive performance at the Dome."
Newcomer Aaron Ziemer: Panthers 23, Vikings 14
"The Vikings and Twins have something in common. A bunch of arms to throw the ball, but there's not an ace in the bunch. Benching Christian Ponder, appointing Matt Cassel and signing Josh Freeman, and you have yourself a Vikings version of desperate times calling for desperate measures. Carolina's defense is a lot better than Pittsburgh's, and Matt Cassel returns to earth this week. The Vikings lose, Josh Freeman starts next Monday at New York. In a related note, the Wilfs order a batch of pink slips from the office supply company, because they are going to need more at Winter Park after the season."
Night sports guy Joe Nelson: Vikings 38, Panthers 17
"I firmly believe Adrian Peterson has superhuman powers. The man is a modern marvel. Peterson will be playing with a heavy heart, but his natural God-given talent will allow him to soar above the pain and lead the Vikings to an emphatic win over the Panthers. Carolina has a strong defense, but nothing will be powerful enough to slow down the MVP in this one."
Sports yes-man Mike Gallagher: Vikings 34, Panthers 24
"The Panthers are absolutely horrendous, but they might've had a shot had Friday gone a little differently. Unfortunately for Adrian Peterson and the Peterson family, it did not, with AP's son passing away. Peterson reacts to tragedy in the only was he knows how, punishing the task in front of him. The last time he lost a loved one, it was the night before the NFL Combine. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and had one of the best workouts in the 2007 draft class. Too bad for the Panthers, because this week, they're just a victim of circumstance."
A tad more serious than we're used to in these predictions, but the week has been a tad more serious than just a football game. Enjoy the action, we'll check in next week.