Folks were surprised to watch the 2010 Vikings suddenly realize their potential in the last few minutes of the Cardinals game. It had taken a long time for the team to gel, but the team came together at last, and they played great when it counted the most. It shouldn't have been surprising. The only surprising thing was that it happened when it did..
Now the Vikings are 0-0 again this week and they will head to Chicago to play the Bears. Here are the keys to a Vikings victory at Soldier Field.
1. Team Football. Throw everything else out the window. When the Vikings play team football this season, they will beat any team in the NFL, including the Chicago Bears.
2.Special teams. Football games always begin and usually end with a foot striking the ball. When special teams do their job, that helps the offense and defense.
3. Brett's right arm. It's back.
4. Adrian Peterson's vision. Seeing the holes to run through. Seeing the blitzers to pick up.
5. The hands of the defense. If it can't be caught by the Vikings, it gets knocked down.
6. The endurance of the defense. The Bears have gone pass-happy. They want to wear the Vikings' pass rush and secondary down. With rotation, and pressure on the quarterback, the Vikings can stop the Bears cold.
7. Tough mentality. It's tough to win on the road. The Vikings must be ready for the weather, the hostility of the crowd, the indifference of officials, and general craziness from the Chicago Bears. No matter what happens, when the Vikings keep playing team football, they will win.
8. Douse the raging fire of the Bear beast. A bear cornered in its den is angry and unpredictable. The Bears, the players, the coaches, and everybody with the Bears know that an epic collapse is coming to their team this year. They don't want it to happen, and nobody knows what insanity they will try. Get ready for anything.
9. Childress and Favre mutual respect. I didn't say they have to be best buddies. But as long as Favre runs the offense as it is designed, and as the plays are called, making adjustments within the parameters that the coach gives him, the offense will run great. As long as Childress listens to Favre, heeds his advice, and lets him operate the offense as he sees fit, perhaps granting him discretion in the two-minute offense, the offense will run great. Mutual respect.
10. Team Football. It begins and ends with Team Football. Forget everything else. When the Vikings play team football, they are at their best, and they are also the best in the NFL.
Go Vikings! Hang tough on the road, and beat the Bears!