Now Things Get Interesting
To say the Vikings just finished the easy part of their season seems a little off-base, but the only real tests they have had came against the Niners and the Packers and against the latter it seemed almost pre-ordained that the Vikes would win. However, things get pretty crazy over the next few weeks as Favre and company have to face Baltimore at home and Pittsburgh on the road before having to travel to Green Bay for what will be an insane environment filled with Packer fans hanging Favre in effigy, burning his jerseys in the parking lot and renaming all the male children named after him Gaylord.
First things first, though. Baltimore will not be an easy win. Joe Flacco is quickly developing into the good, young quarterback the Ravens have lacked for over a decade. Even when they won 13 games a couple years ago with Steve McNair it was still far more about their defense than it was their aptitude on offense. Now, they are a much more balanced club and present all sorts of problems for the Vikings running game and will force Favre to win the game, which as we have seen, he is still capable of doing. However, sooner or later he is going to have one of his “just playing a little pitch and catch” three-interception meltdowns and this could be the week it happens.
What's more the Vikings don't know the playing status of Phil Loadhoate or Percy Harvin, so Peterson loses one of his linemen and the Vikings lose a guy who has already scored touchdowns in the air and on kick returns, so things are all of a sudden a little dicey. Regardless, expect to see a lot of Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson so Favre can go to play action in the second half. If the Vikings can dampen Baltimore's penchant for the big play, they will win. If they let Flacco get on track and Willis McGahee can find some open space, it will be a long afternoon. However, since Jared Allen is essentially unstoppable and Favre thinks it's 1997, I figure they'll pull this one out though I wouldn't be calling my bookie to bet on them.
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Written by Sean Neumann