Monday, September 17, 2012

Random Rabble: September 17

Hockey is coming. UMD's season opens 25 days from now. It's inching closer. The WCHA Preseason Media Poll is due out on Sept. 26, and I'll have a full preview before that date that includes my predictions that are sure to be incorrect.

Meanwhile, the NFC North is all 1-1 after Sunday's action. Somehow, the Vikings managed to get virtually no pressure from their defensive line against a team starting a guard who couldn't snap at center. The secondary picked up zero interceptions against a quarterback who threw three in his first start. Minnesota has two picks in its last 13 games.

It's not good enough, and it's too bad, because Christian Ponder has a chance to be good.

Even though he didn't have a completion over 20 yards Sunday, Ponder is pretty solid so far this season. He hasn't thrown deep much, but he throws a good and catchable deep ball. The return of Jerome Simpson from his suspension after this week should help the offense.

Perhaps that will open things for the running game, too, because the Vikings didn't have a rush over eight yards in Sunday's game.

The Packers beat the Bears Thursday, thanks to a relentless defensive effort. Clay Matthews had 3 1/2 of the team's seven sacks of Jay Cutler. Tramon Williams had two of the four interceptions.

Aaron Rodgers isn't sharp yet, but that's not a bad thing. The Packers will be just fine if the defense plays anything close to how it did on Thursday. They were physical, they were fast, and the front seven overpowered and outsmarted the Bears' offensive line.

Much to like there, and once Rodgers gets closer to his MVP form, there's no reason to think Green Bay can't go on a long run.

Are you paying attention to baseball? The Brewers are closing fast on that second National League wild card. It's been an impressive run, reminiscent of St. Louis charging after the wild card last year.

How did that turn out? Oh, yeah ...

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