Well, I believe one thing we can all mostly agree on is that this has been a very exciting season. From the excessive media coverage of Favres will he or wont he come out of reitrement to the 10-1 season as of now. We have had luck go in our favor with a last play touchdown pass against the 49ers & a missed field goal with the Ravens. But we have had luck go against us, as Favre was making an offensive down the field to try to score to win the game (or at least tie it with a fieldgoal) only to have his pass to C. Taylor tipped to a Steeler and returned for a TD. Definately a heart-breaking loss, but for some of us, possibly a blessing in disguise.
I think we started off slow.. Favre had needed much time to adjust to his new home and was focusing on letting AP be the threat of the game. Favre wasnt going to be a guy who just handed the ball off all the time, he knew he was going to have to throw & that is what he loves to do. When Favre was a Packer, I never hated him. I dispised the guy, because even if we had a lead, I would fear that Favre would rip it back from us with his 2 minute offense. But now, he plays for us & I get to cheer him on. Our schedule has been filled with what most would consider weaker teams. We finished the 2008 season with a record of 10-6 (An improvement from the previous year of going 8-8). A lot of things have changed this year, with Rice being healthy, a drafting of a potential rookie of the year (Harvin), and the signing of a free agent that may be getting his 4th MVP (Favre). Rice was able to play this season with better health, and now with these last few games even Bernard Berrian is getting some catches. I see this team similar to the 1998 Vikings. They compare very similar, but, I think the 2009 Vikings have the edge. We have a great running game in my opinion in comparisson to the 1998 season. We have a better QB compared to the 1998 season. And we may not realize it, but we have a better well-rounded receiver core than the 1998 season. Our defensive line is similar and just like in 1998, our secondary was the most likely weakness. We have put the losing record teams in their place this year, and scoring high and keeping players healthy. I believe we could easily score 40+ points a game if needed, but, at such a point it is not necessary if the game is already in our favor for an easy win. Its great that we are getting chances to let 2nd stringers & 3rd stringers a chance to have some play time in case they are needed for any reason down the road.
We have some tough games ahead of us. The Cardinals have a some-what threatening pass game, but they seem like they are just a much weaker version of the Vikings. Their secondary isnt that great, and they are switching back and forth between QBs with Warners concussion. Makes me think of the 2008 year of the Vikings with switching back and forth QBs due to poor performances. I believe we will edge this win out with a 31-17 score prediction. Or something that would be similar. The Bengals were able to beat the Steelers twice, and have shown that they are ready to be playoff bound. I am thankful for this game to be at home, since I think we will need that extra edge to win the game. I think that game will probably be one of our lowest scoring games of the season, but if our Defense holds up, we will take the win. But one thing to keep in mind, is that the Bengals have shown their weakness as well with losing to such teams like the Raiders. The Bears game will be a cold-weather game. For all the criticizers, this will be a game where we can see how well Favre holds up in the colder weather. Its an evening game, so it will be colder obviously as compared to the day. Favre is used to playing in the cold at Lambeau, but some people compare his 2nd half of the season meltdowns due to colder weather. I would not expect a poor performance of Favre, but I most definately would not expect him to play his greatest. And depending on our record, the NY Giants may be just a game we have to show up for. If getting the #1 seed can not happen with a win or loss. We may just end up resting our starters and letting the 2nd & 3rd stringers get a chance to play. With two weeks of rest, that can easily prepare us for the first game of the playoffs.
So far from how the playoffs are looking, it looks like the Packers will get a wildcard. The other teams that could be getting a wildcard are the Eagles, Giants, and Atlanta Falcons. I believe our first playoff game will be either 1 of those 3 (if we are #2 seed and they beat the Cardinals). Which is 1 thing to consider when playing the Cardinals. If we show too much, they may be better prepared for us playoff time. It is very likely we will run into the NO Saints for the playoffs. What bothers me about this is that it seem for most teams, that any top tier team that shows up in the Superdome does not play at their fullest ability. Patriots laid an egg, and the NY Giants did not do so hot against them. The Giants went into a 4 game losing streak after getting beat by the Saints. I think the Vikings are the better team between them & the NO Saints, but, the Saints seem to play very well against good teams when the game is hyped up.
I believe if we do end up in the Superbowl, that the Vikings will win. Our biggest game of this season I believe will fall on the NFC championship.
I bet most would agree.
And I would love for it to be the Vikings beating an undefeated NO Saints team to go on and beat an undefeated Indy Colts team. Back-to-back wins vs. an undefeated team.
Finally - the respect that the Vikings would deserve!