Apart from the excessively exagerated Brett Favre drama and subsequent locker room "Schismgate," the national sports media basically excluded the Minnesota Vikings from all championship discussions. Several warned the fan base to temper its excitement for the season and many were picking last years NFC North champs to finish as low as third in the division. That is despite having drafted a playermaker many were simultaneously admitting could easily win the Offensive ROY; and signing a 3-time League MVP and future HOFer (and arguably the best quarterback ever) to play quarterback, addressing the one universally diagnosed weakness.
Not much has changed in the opening weeks of the 2009 NFL season. Analysts, prognosticators and sportwriters alike have shown no love for our Purple Plunderers. Several Norseman have recently taken offense at the slighting by various publications' Power Rankings. The narrative has gone: The Vikings gained victories over considerably lesser opponents in less than inspiring performances. Meanwhile, our Northern bretheren's records and performances seemingly don't affect their respective rankings.
Most Viking supporters would openly admit that the bar is set much higher than a couple of wins over the leagues perennial basement dwellers. However, we don't do the scheduling and this isn't the BCS. Still, many Norsemen were excited at the opportunity of the week 3 match-up versus a worthy (2-0) San Franscisco team, hoping it would be a real test of the Vikings metal. A chance for the leagues back to back to back top run stoppers to return to form against an dangerous rushing offense.
Well...WTF? Holy Shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, having recovered from the shocking finish of Sunday's win, I am able to better assess the teams performance. Frankly, they shouldn't have been in the position they were in late. Run blocking was left wanting this week and the offense needs to convert on third down more consistently. As much as the Spc. teams unit has improved, they continue to have costly lapses (Thankfully yesterday the unit made up for a huge mistake and possible game changing play with one of their own). The defense continues to give yardage up in avoidable chunks. Despite the perfect record early, the Vikings are far from perfect.
With that said, the Vikings are 3-0 and tops in the division. We could expect some positive acknowledgemet from the national media right? Wrong! Before the various power rankings are released or the coming weeks games picked, the Vikings narrative
has begun has continued: The Vikings have beaten the Browns, the Lions and the Frank Gore-less 49ers. Oh, and Favre cannot possibly stay healthy, with all of the hits he's taken and mindless downfield blocking.
Without counting chickens, I can see it now..."the Browns, Lions, 49ers and an underachieving Packer team."