Sunday marks the first day of a 2012 and unfortunately, the final game of the season for the Vikings. Thoughts of the postseason have been gone since about week 5. This week 17 game against the Bears will also be the last time Jimmy Kleinsasser puts on the purple to play a game. The 13 year veteran, who spent his entire career with Minnesota, announced that he is retiring from the NFL “without a limp”.
During the week, players past and present have been talking about what kind of guy Jim is. Words like professional, trustworthy, loyal, gutsy, and strong work ethic have been repeatedly uttered by his peers. It sounds almost like a scout motto for all of you old boy scouts out there. Ryan Longwell spoke about how Kleinsasser was that perfect NFC North guy. He is old school. He came from North Dakota, and while he has played indoors during his career with the Vikings, he would have fit right in on one of Bud Grant’s teams that played at the old Met. Yeah, Jimmy will be missed.
If the Vikings are looking the end the season on a good note, the Bears are a perfect team to be facing. Chicago has taken a nosedive since Jay Cutler and Matt Forte were lost to injury. Since starting 7-3, the team has lost five straight. If Minnesota wants to make it six, there are some things they need to focus on. Christian Ponder is listed as probable and is expected to start. He needs to take care of the ball. The Bears have plenty of stud players on defense that are healthy and if Ponder makes some bad decisions, it could mean points for Chicago. I do expect to see Joe Webb get quite a few snaps, and he might take over for the rookie if Christian isn’t making plays. The Vikings have a QB situation that is not horrible, but it isn’t totally settled either. The team’s win last week took them out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, but if RGIII is on the board when they’re on the clock, they have a decision to make. Even if they don’t draft another QB, the jury is still out on which guy, Webb or Ponder, is a better option for this team.
The other key to winning on Sunday is the running game without AP. Peterson underwent successful knee surgery today with Dr. James Andrews in Alabama. Toby Gerhardt has looked very good when filling in for Adrian this year and I expect that he will get at least twenty touches in the game. Percy Harvin should also be a major factor, both running ansd receiving. If these two guys can account for 150-180 total yards from scrimmage, the Vikings should come out on top.
A Minnesota win is always the most important thing for Leslie Frazier, but I guarantee that if the Vikings are inside the 10 yard line, he will have whoever is at QB try to get Jimmy Kleinsasser a TD. As I was looking over this guy’s career, I couldn’t believe he only had 6 TD’s in 13 years. Four of those came in 2003. Hopefully he can grab #7 against the Bears in the Metrodome. The crowd will erupt like it’s a playoff game. Thanks to #40 for 13 years.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).