A Closer Look at the Minnesota Vikings
Brett Favre finally got his wish. In prime time on Sunday night, Favre will take the field at Lambeau alongside teammate Randy Moss...both dressed in purple. When the trade was made, the Favre-to-Moss combo certainly had defensive coordinators sweating. However, Moss's return to the Metrodome didn't include hauling in any vintage deep balls. Rather, the Vikings got by with only 188 total yards of offense, which included a mere 55 yards of receiving by Moss. The Viking offense has not been its red-hot, 2009 self at all this season and likely won't be until perhaps Sidney Rice's return. Even then, Favre doesn't look primed to match his career numbers of last year. What teams around the league can expect of the Vikings, though, is consistently strong defensive and special teams performance.
Forget Randy Moss. The receiver that I'm more terrified by is Percy Harvin - terrified by what he can do downfield, but more so by what he can do on kickoffs. The Packers would have benefitted in their last meeting with the Vikings if Mason Crosby had simply put every kick out of bounds. Some argue that Harvin's kickoff returns made the difference in that crucial game - and I can agree with that. The Vikings' advantage on special doesn't stop there, with former-Packer Ryan Longwell only having missed two field goals in his past 21 regular season games. Additionally, Chris Kluwe holds an overwhelming advantage over Tim Masthay in the punting and field position game, which has proven to play an important role in the Packers/Vikings games of late.
Finality is in the Fall Air
It comes down to...
Sunday October 24, 2010.
On one hand, the season for the 2010 Packers rests on the upcoming game against the Vikings. Sitting at 3-3, one game behind the Bears in the division, but one game ahead of the Vikings, this injury riddled team needs a win to remain in the NFC playoff hunt. The questions that surround this team can partially be settled with a win, in particular if the offense, which has yet to break out, can do so against a depleted Vikings secondary.
On the other hand, the future of Mike McCarthy as Packers coach could depend on whether he can beat the Vikings, and more importantly, Brett Favre as he makes his second trip to Green Bay since becoming a member of the Vikings.
No one player should ever be seen as bigger than the team at hand. It is one thing to game plan for a specific threat that a player brings in order to find some sort of competitive advantage. I am not proposing that this is the case, at all. What I am proposing is this game represents the summit in the Packers/Favre divorce.
Yesterday Was Yesterday. Today, I'm Angry
Yesterday, I was disappointed that the Packers had lost another overtime game, their second in consecutive weeks.
This most recent loss placed them at 3-3, in second place in the NFC North. Granted the season is still young, the Packers somehow remain in the hunt in the shockingly weak NFC, where no team has emerged as the best team in the conference. The Eagles? Can't decide on a QB. The Giants? They were terrible before the debacle they laid on the Bears a few weeks ago. The Bears? If Cutler makes it through the season it will be a shock with the Swiss cheese offensive line in front of him.
Ten games sit in front of the Packers, and they can still overcome the injuries they have endured (Jermichael Finley's season officially coming to an end today after having been placed on IR the latest). The offense just needs some fine tuning. Aaron Rodgers just needs a big game to dust off some cobwebs. The running game is fine; the offensive line is great, plenty of depth. The defense? Heck, they were number two in the league last season. As Jersey Al taught us: Everything will be alright, even if we are 3-3 right now.
That was yesterday. Today, I'm angry.
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