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TIS THE SEASON FOR SCHADENFREUDE

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With the Vikings officially and statistically eliminated from playoff contention with their loss to the New York Giants last Monday, there is nothing left to the season but schadenfreude, the ability to take pleasure in others’ misfortune.

Namely, the misfortune this week of the Chicago Bears. The babies.

Joe Webb has officially received the nod to start Monday and he would appear to be all non-plussed about it, if Kevin Seifert‘s piece on him is any indication.

The rookie does not lack for confidence, which is a far sight better than TJax, who at one point admitted he wasn’t ready to take control of the offense. It’s a good thing, because Webb is going to need every bit of confidence in him. He’s likely going to be forced to make some plays by the Bears (remember how the Giants rather easily shut down the Vikings running game?) and therefore you can expect him to make some mistakes.

What we should be watching for is how he bounces back from those inevitable mistakes and whether or not he learns from them.

Webb may or may not be quarterback material but we’re about to find out. There’s no question he’s a talented athlete, so for the Vikings it will ultimately be finding the best way to use him.

Webb’s biggest challenge will be the Vikings own offensive line, which is quickly becoming a disaster. Steve Hutchinson is out again this week, so that’s another full game of experience for rookie guard Chris DeGeare.

Last week, the offensive line couldn’t run block for Adrian Peterson and, once the Giants were confident they had the running game shut down, they focused on the pass rush, which our line was equally incapable of stopping.

Webb had better have his turf shoes on, because he figures to do a lot of running himself.

But how awesome would it be if Webb were able to handle the Bears? If the Vikings were able to pull out a win and give the Bears a figurative poke in the eye on their way to their Central Division crown?

Oh, and by the way: Matt Flynn will be starting for the Packers at quarterback on Sunday…against the Patriots.

Heh. ‘Tis the season for schadenfreude.

A PSA
As promised yesterday, I have put together some advice and tips for the Vikings about how to keep warm during Monday night’s game at TCF Bank Stadium. [WATCH.]

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