Fans with Minnesota Vikings tickets have been waiting for this moment for years. Now, it seems, all the pieces are in place for the final push to a Super Bowl. The NFC North is ripe for the picking. Even better, it looks like the Minnesota Vikings might ride to the promised land on the arm of a quarterback from the Green Bay Packers. How sweet it is.
The Vikings problems certainly aren’t on defense. Tops against the run and #6 overall, Minnesota can put the stop on just about anyone. The defensive line is the foundation, though that strength may be hampered by the suspensions of Pat and Kevin Williams early in 2009. That aside, Minnesota should finish in the top 10 again in 2009, barring a major slew of injury.
Minnesota runs a version of the West coast offense. Brad Childress has some potent weapons to call out, the biggest being running back Adrian Peterson, who is quite simply as perfect a running back as you could ask for. In 2008 Peterson produced 1,760 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s big, fast, and doesn’t shy away from contact. Combined with Chester Taylor, a veteran who excels in catching passes out of the backfield, Childress can keep defenses on their heels.
Enter Brett Favre. There’s no argument that the Vikings offense has been crippled by lack of consistent quarterback play. Tarvaris Jackson is a roller coaster. Sage Rosenfels has been steady but not quite Super Bowl caliber to say the least. Is Favre the answer? He’s still got a good arm, knows the offense, and his presence should lift those around him. But you have to wonder if his tendency to gamble and throw interceptions will eventually get stale in an offense geared towards a conservative short gain approach. Once again, the inescapable conclusion is that the Vikings quarterback situation is far from settled. Brett Favre is just another Wild Card.
The Vikings will have some tough competition in the NFC North. Obviously, there will be massive amounts of media attention for the Vikings home stand against the Green Bay Packers in Week 4, especially if Favre wins the starting job. It may settle down by the time they get to Lambeau but don’t bank on it. Home and away games against the Chicago Bears will also be huge, with Chicago riding high on the signing of Jay Cutler. The Vikings have no room for a letdown in the NFC North.