This week as the Bucs travel north for their first road game of the season, we took our skills there with them and met with the good folks over at The Viking Age. This week’s 5 Questions was discussed with Clint Starks, editor of The Viking Age right here on Fansided.
VA – Vikings Age
PP – The Pewter Plank
5 Questions: Week 2
VA: What is the vibe in Tampa off the loss to Detroit?
PP: The general feeling is anxiety. The Bucs had sky high hopes this season and that was not the way to start a playoff season. It’s not a feeling of fear or anger yet. A few more losses and a bad start will start to create vengeful sentiment but its not there yet.
VA: 51,274 people in the stands for the opener? What gives? Eastern Michigan School of the Blind draws a bigger crowd. Why the low attendance?
PP: It’s a situation that really enrages me but its an understandable problem. The two issues with attendance go hand in hand: low income levels and bad ownership. That coupled with a losing product for the past few years (with last years notable exception) didn’t give fans a good reason to come. Tickets aren’t cheap and the product was and the insensitive is non-existent. Hopefully the Glazers can get a grip on their ticket prices and get a proper football atmosphere alive again in Tampa. I find mysled jealous of other fan bases and that’s not right. Tampa needs that again.
VA: Is LeGarrette Blount a legit fantasy starter? Or is he going to be hit and miss throughout the year?
PP: Blount was Houdini on Sunday and although I feel its a poor representation of his performance ability, its troubling to see nonetheless. The issue last week can’t be chalked up to simply Blount failing on his own; because Tampa was behind, they were running their two minute offense all game long with doesn’t feature Blount it features Earnest Graham. The problem with that is it exposes Tampa to being predictable and therefore stoppable. If Blount isn’t established early in games he may see far less production then expected.
VA: What is the reaction to Freeman throwing 43 passes last weekend? Will that be typical as the season progresses?
PP: Like Blount, Freeman’s week 1 performance is troubling but not accurate. He was forcing throws in the two minute offense and his receivers couldn’t get seperation. He excels in the second half and that was shown week 1. His high pass count last week was the direct consequence of the two minute offense and it was a consequence because they got one touchdown. The Viking corners are hobbled and Freeman may be able to take advantage of Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin. But if the run isn’t established, Freeman will have to force passes which isn’t good.
VA: Vikings are favored by 3 at home and the o/u is 41.5. Help us make some cash this weekend. Your thoughts?
PP: I grew up in Rochester, and my whole family is Viking fans so this week is huge for me for personal reasons. The spread has been pointed out ad nauseum this week and it is accurate but may not be right. It will be a close game and I do see the added bonus of it being Minnesota’s home opener as the extra man on the field but both teams are even keel right now. They need to win this game to remain relevant in their divisions. The dome is not a quiet place either, and Tampa will need to adapt fast. AP/AD is a force but he’s the Vikes only real dangerous weapon and he is used predictably. Jared Allen will sack Freeman more than twice and it may fire up the crowd enough to get the Vikings enough swagger to close out Tampa. I’m certainly not as confident about a Bucs win as I was before week 1. It all comes down to stopping Peterson and forcing McNabb to beat you with his.gimpy corps of receivers. Percy Harvin isn’t a scary slot threat and is more of a return man threat. The Reggie Bush of receivers as I’ve dubbed him. But Bush has burned Tampa in the past and the Vikings may find a way to exploit the Bucs and pick up win No. 1. It’s too close to call at this point.