Despite the fact that we're still nearly five months away from Kickoff Weekend in the National Football League, it's a pretty slow time for Vikings news. . .so, let's take a look at Minnesota's 2008 schedule.
Opening Night at Green Bay - I guess the Vikings are supposed to be scared of a quarterback that's never done anything at the NFL level and a flash in the pan running back. Maybe I'm just being a homer, but I don't see it. Watching Aaron Rodgers get destroyed in his first ever NFL start. . .provided he actually makes it through the pre-season healthy. . .should be a fine way to kick off the 2008 season.
Projected Record: 1-0
Indianapolis at Minnesota - Man, tough draw for the home opener. I guess it would be better to get the Colts early in the season than later on. . .but I don't know if I can project a win here. It's not going to be the blowout that a lot of people probably think it's going to be, but I think the Vikes lose this one.
Projected Record: 1-1
Carolina at Minnesota - The Panthers' QB situation is pretty unsettled with Jake Delhomme coming off of an injury and. . .well, I'm not sure who's behind him right now. (Bad Gonzo. . .bad fan!) The last time these two teams got together, it was a defensive slugfest. I wouldn't expect anything different this time around. . .I wouldn't expect a different result, either.
Projected Record: 2-1
Minnesota at Tennessee - Tennessee is an interesting team, in my opinion. Their defense is outstanding, and they manage to get it done offensively with less than outstanding personnel. . .yes, Vince Young, I'm looking at you. They're truly a testament to Jeff Fisher's coaching ability, I think. This should be a pretty good ball game. In fact, I might have to flip a coin here.
Heads. . .outstanding.
Projected Record: 3-1
Minnesota at New Orleans - The Vikings' second prime time game of 2008, and it pits them against a team that could be classed as one of 2007's bigger disappointments. The Saints have as much offensive talent as any team in the league, but their defense is quite questionable. Unfortunately, they have the kind of offense that promises to give the Vikings fits. It'll be a close one, but I have to chalk up the second loss for the Beloved Purple here.
Projected Record: 3-2
Detroit at Minnesota - You know, the last time the Lions came into the Metrodome and beat the Vikings was the year before the Vikings drafted Randy Moss. I can't project that to change until the Lions give me reason to. In a related story, Kenoy Kennedy is still trying to figure out where Adrian Peterson went to.
Projected Record: 4-2
Minnesota at Chicago - A quick overview of the Chicago offense. . .
-Their quarterbacks are terrible
-Their running backs are terrible
-Their wide receivers are terrible
-Their offensive line is terrible
Other than that, the Bears are pretty well set offensively.
Look for Adrian Peterson to return to the scene of his breakout game and put together AP 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Projected Record: 5-2
Houston at Minnesota - The Texans' first ever trip to the Metrodome should be interesting. Houston is a team on the cusp, much like Minnesota is. Both teams have a lot of good, if raw, young talent. Being at home for this one could be enough to give the Vikings the edge.
Projected Record: 6-2
Green Bay at Minnesota - looks above
Nope. . .still not scared, still not impressed. I wonder if some guy will announce his unretirement soon enough to play in this one. Oh, well. . .even if he does, it won't matter.
Projected Record: 7-2
Minnesota at Tampa Bay - No word yet on which of the 27 quarterbacks Jon Gruden will have in camp this year will start for the Bucs this year. . .but with the defense that Tampa has, it might not matter. Also, there's something about the state of Florida that doesn't agree with the Beloved Purple. . .the last time the Vikings won a game in the state of Florida was 1997 at. . .Tampa Bay. Again, no reason to change a trend without a good reason to change it.
Projected Record: 7-3
Minnesota at Jacksonville - Two consecutive games in Florida. . .another thing that might not work out well for Minnesota. Throw in the fact that Jacksonville is one of the best teams in football, and it looks like we might have the makings of an actual losing streak here.
Projected Record: 7-4
Chicago at Minnesota - Fortunately, after our back-to-back games in Florida, we get what former Chicago Cubs' first baseman Mark Grace used to refer to as a "slumpbuster."
(What? What do mean that that's not what Grace meant?)
Projected Record: 8-4
Minnesota at Detroit - Say what you will about Minnesota's coaching staff or front office or whatever. . .at least we don't have Matt Millen.
Projected Record: 9-4
Minnesota at Arizona - No Nathan Poole this time. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are slightly better than Poole. . .but, you know, screw him anyway.
Projected Record: 10-4
Atlanta at Minnesota - I know we're pretty far away from the start of the season, but does a Detroit/Arizona/Atlanta trifecta going down the stretch make anybody else feel at least a little bit fuzzy inside?
(Yes, this is one of those sort of comments that invariably comes back to bite me in the ass.)
Projected Record: 11-4
New York Giants at Minnesota - Having wrapped up the division and a playoff spot looooooooooooong before this, the Vikings will be resting starters. There's a very good chance the Giants will be, too. So, since I gave the Vikings' the last "coin flip," I'll show some respect to the World Champs by giving them this one.
Projected Record: 11-5
So, there you have it. . .an obscenely early look at Minnesota's 2008 season. I don't see a reason that this team should be worse than 10-6, but your mileage may vary.
Thoughts? Agreements? Disagreements? Air them out here!