Don't Expect Any Blowouts
Baltimore did what I expected them to do: Test the Vikings. What was surprising was that they did it by almost coming all the way back late in the fourth quarter. It seemed as if the Vikings had the game salted away, but thanks to two late touchdown drives from the unflappable Joe Flacco, Minnesota needed Brett Favre to unleash a 58-yard bomb to Sidney Rice just to get in field goal position to get the lead back. It wasn't pretty, but the only reason the Vikings are 6-0 is because Steven Hauschka missed a 44-yard field goal at the end of regulation. This is not particularly bad news, but this is exactly the sort of challenge the Vikings are going to be facing over the next two weeks.
Make no mistake, the Vikings are in the top echelon of the NFL, but this week they travel to Pittsburgh before heading off to Green Bay for maybe the most anticipated matchup in years. Seriously, the Vikings will be lucky if they can split the next two games and if they win both, it will be a borderline miracle. Pittsburgh may have lost to Cincinnati at home in a fluke, but they are hungry to make a statement game and answer questions surrounding their ability to lock up a division they should be walking away with. Considering that the game is being played in potentially crappy weather and Ben Roethlisberger is having a Pro Bowl caliber year, Minnesota will be hard pressed to stop the Steelers offense which has been averaging 31 points a game over the last three weeks.
After that, it's the joy of traveling to Green Bay and what will be an incredibly difficult environment. Think back to how keyed up the Vikings were when Green Bay came to town a few weeks ago. Now multiply that by a factor of at least four and you might have some idea of Green Bay's thirst for blood in this game. Fans in Wisconsin are probably visiting voodoo witch doctors and sacrificing animals to bring about a blizzard to greet Favre.
My suggestion is to stock up the fridge and drink your way through the next two weeks and remember that Detroit is waiting for you on the other side. Trust me, everything is going to be okay.
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Written by Sean Neumann