Finally the long and twisting road has come to an end. After reports that a deal with Brett Favre was done had come out Monday.
After an offseason that saw more trips to Hattiesburg, MS then ever in history. The news media camped on his front lawn to see if he would play again.
First he was in and then out. Then he needed surgery then he said no surgery only to have surgery in the end.
Now on Aug. 18, 2009 the Green Bay Packers fans hearts are breaking. Over a player they have said they do not want.
At the same time they did not want him to play against them. It’s kind of interesting that Packers fans would whine and cry so much over a player they do not want anymore.
This whole offseason Packers fans have felt betrayed by a player they did not want anymore. It only severs them right if they are looking up at the Vikings in the standings all season long.
As Favre enters Minnesota a conquering hero like Caesar in to Rome a lot will be riding in two NFL cities.
What if Favre is able to take the Vikings to heights they have not been seen in Minnesota since 1976 their last Super Bowl appearance. Most notably a Super Bowl appearance this season and they do not even have to win the game.
The Packers would be forced to fire General Manager Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy. This is the duo who did not want to see Favre return last season.
The Packers did not make the playoffs last year after finishing one game from the Super Bowl the previous year. True it was not Aaron Rogers fault (the quarterback tapped to replace Favre) since Green Bay had no defense.
Now with Minnesota getting Packers legend Favre after they won the NFC North last season the Packers could find their backs against the wall. If the Vikings improve on last season and go far in the playoffs the blame would have to fall on Thompson and McCarthy.
The same can be said about the Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress if the Vikings fail to reach their new lofty expectations. This season could be seen in Minnesota as “Super Bowl or Bust” and it could be that Childress will have to be Favre’s Brutus.
One thing can agreed upon is that the NFC North is a very winnable division for Favre to join. Whereas the AFC East was not very winnable division with the likes of the Patriots, Dolphins, and Bills each getting better.
The NFC North was a division the Vikings won last season with a quarterback not nearly as good as Favre even now in his 40’s. If the Vikings could go 10-6 without a proven quarterback think what they could do if Favre is healthy.
Looking at the division Green Bay has defensive concerns from last season. The Packers could not stop anyone on defense last season. If the offense struggles in year two under Rodgers and the defense cannot fix last season’s problems it could be a long year in Packer Land.
The Chicago Bears have to find offense and brought Jay Cutler in to do the job. Whereas the defense has been solid in Chicago the offense has been found lacking. If the Bears cannot find wide receiver and Cutler does not live up to his talent level the Bears could finish third in this division.
Last, the Detroit Lions a team that failed to win a game last season. While they are going to be greatly improved this season they will not challenge for the division title this season.
That leaves the Vikings and Favre. The thing is that all the pressure will not be on Favre it will be spread out amongst Adrian Peterson, the Vikings defense, and Brett Favre.
Favre will not have to win games all by himself in Minnesota. The bulk of the load will be on Adrian Peterson. As long as he can run the Vikings will be in any ball game.
With Favre at quarterback the running game should be even better since teams will have to respect the passing game of the Vikings. Something they really have not had to do the past few seasons.
Looking ahead at the Vikings schedule they start out with three very winnable games. Games they can and should win.
They get the Packers at home for the fourth game and should win it. With a quarter of the season gone the Vikings could be 4-0.
The next four games are harder but a spilt is possible. First is a game against the St. Louis Rams at St. Louis and should be a win. Next is a home game against the Baltimore Ravens and then on the road against the Pittsburgh Stealers and they could lose both or spilt.
The last game, the eighth game is away against the Packers. Favre returns to his long standing home. It is a winnable game.
If the Vikings can head in to the Week nine bye week with a 5-3 to 6-2 record they will be in great shape. If they can do better they will win the division going away.
The final quarter of the season has some good late season test with games against the Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants. Sandwiched in between those two games are winnable games against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Bears.
The Vikings could finish with a 12-4 season or even better. They should at least equal last season’s 10-6 mark but should improve it.
That cheer you are hearing in Green Bay, Chicago, and Detroit is from Minnesota. The first chance to see Favre in the purple of the Vikings will Aug. 21, 2009.