If you listen closely you might be able to hear the church bells in Green Bay, Wisconsin tolling out the Packers' doom. Too melodramatic? Well, maybe. But it's hard to look at the return of wide receiver Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings without thinking that the Green Bay Packers' role as Super Bowl heir-presumptive has come to an end. At the very least, their road to the Super Bowl got bumpier. At best, I like to think they will spend the post-season watching the Vikings win.
Please, a moment of silence. Ted Thompson is crying.
One can only wonder what kind of a happy dance Brett Favre is doing right now. I'm kind of hoping it looks like the Funky Chicken on crack and involves a maniacal chuckle too. After missing out on having Randy Moss as a teammate in Green Bay-twice-Favre finally has his wish granted (in purple no less) and gets to lob the ball deep to Randy Moss. It was no secret that Favre actively campaigned for the Packers to sign Moss and their unwillingness/inability to do so didn't do much for the strained relations between him and the Packers' management.
Do you think Favre woke up this morning, turned in the direction of Green Bay, Ted Thompson, and Mike McCarthy and said, "How you like me now?" Oh, the thought warms the very cockles of my heart.
So far this season, no matter what the Packers do, no matter who's lost to injury (Ryan Grant), or how they play (18 penalties in a single game?!?), they have been fawned over and gushed about in ways that ought to make everyone involved feel dirty and cheap. The pro-Packers love-fest in the sports media is enough to make any Vikings fan, worth her purple wig, heave. While the Packers are clearly a talented team and have been a talented team for awhile, to think they were the runaway favorites to win the NFC North and go on to win the Super Bowl...well, it may only be 16 games, but a whole lot can happen in the course of a season. Shoot, a whole lot has happened just a quarter of the way through this season.
With things as they are now, it's likely (but still not a given) the Packers will go to the play-offs. That said, "now" is a pretty fluid situation. For example, yesterday the Vikings passing game was iffy, but "now" it's dangerous. Or, yesterday the Packers were feeling good about their season, and "now" they probably need clean undies.
Randy Moss, talented as he is, is still a loose cannon. Will he pout and take the play off if Favre hands it off to Adrian Peterson? Will he chase down traffic cops with his car? Will he cause strife and tension in the locker room? Who knows?
What we do know is that, even if he does take plays off, the addition of Randy Moss to the current Vikings roster gives Minnesota a proven deep threat. The passing game was the most glaring deficit in the Vikings' game, addressing that issue ought to automatically elevate the team. Not only that, it puts the entire division on notice.
Keep ringing those church bells in Green Bay, they go great with funerals.