The soap opera that is the Minnesota Vikings continues. Brett Favre, Brad Childress, Randy Moss, Percy Harvin and assorted others have starred in this show throughout the season. Unfortunately for the Vikes, big stars have not translated into big results. Minnesota is 2-5 entering today’s game against Arizona and the only consistent element of the team is Adrian Peterson. AP is the NFL’s leading rusher even though he has already had his bye week. Besides Mr. “All-Day”, there are some storylines to keep an eye on if the Vikings hope to record win number three.
How will Brett Favre play? This has been a question all season and if #4 doesn’t start to play better, this team can forget about making a playoff run. In reality, he has only played two decent games; last week against New England and in week two against Miami. The good news is that Favre didn’t seem to sustain any new injuries last week, in spite of being carted off the field late in the game. The bad news is that the Vikings will be missing Moss permanently, and might be missing Harvin for this game. Arizona does not have a very good defense, but if the Vikings can’t pose a threat in the passing game, it could be a long day for the Minnesota offense.
Maybe the most surprising phase of the team this year has been the defense, or more specifically the lack of defense. Some analysts have talked about Jared Allen and the lack of sacks in general. Others have pointed to injuries among the secondary, or simply age when it comes to players like Pat Williams. While there are elements of truth to all of these arguments, a lot of these so called experts seem to be ignoring some pretty basic fundamental reasons for the decline of the Viking D. If the offense continually turns the ball over and gives the opposition great field position or even free points, then you are playing from behind the entire game. For the defense, this means the opposition does not have to take risks, is not put in must-pass situations, and in general can play a more relaxed brand of football. Even a great defense can be worn down when offenses continue to get great opportunities against them. During the first three weeks Minnesota was allowing less than 13 points per game. The last four weeks the Vikings are giving up almost 27 ppg. The Vikes and their D can play, but they will need the offense to cooperate.
The biggest concern for Minnesota is very simple. Brad Childress. He should have been fired this week and now it has come out that owner Zygi Wilf actually considered kicking Chilly to the curb and keeping Moss instead. So it comes as no surprise to hear that some players might not have confidence in their head coach. While it is too late to keep #84, the Childress situation is, as he likes to say, fluid. I suspect that if the Vikings lose to Arizona, he is gone. So how will the team play? My feeling is that Minnesota will win, but I just don’t see an overwhelming victory. If a Cardinal player like Larry Fitzgerald or Beanie Wells makes a big play, or Brett gives them extra opportunities, all bets are off.
Oh, by the way Mr. Wilf, I think you have a great head coach. His name is Leslie Frazier.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).