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NFL Team Previews: Minnesota Vikings

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NFL Team Previews: Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Pigskin Heaven's Sascha Bartels is breaking down every single team in the NFL prior to the season. Here is his analysis and forecast for the Minnesota Vikings. Click on a team to read its preview.

AFC East: BUF | MIA | NE | NYJ

AFC North: BAL | CIN | CLE | PIT

AFC South: IND | HOU | JAX | TEN

AFC West: DEN | KAN | OAK | SDG

NFC East: DAL | NYG | PHI | WAS

NFC North: CHI | DET | GBA | MIN

NFC South: ATL | CAR | NOL | TBA

NFC West: ARI | STL | SFO | SEA

 

What’s New?

Let’s just say I will continue to listen whenever Jay Glazer has a hunch.

His report on August 19th that Favre may be close to signing with the Vikings left me waiting one more day to write this preview, as to not make it as obsolete as last year’s Jets preview, written hours before Favre arrived.

But what, other than Favre, is new in Minnesota?

Well, they also signed what now looks like second fiddle Sage Rosenfels, and they re-signed most of their own important free agents.

The draft brought with it playmaker Percy Harvin, and 6’8” offensive tackle Philip Loadholt.  Except for on the quarterback front, this team is largely unchanged from last year.


Three Burning Questions

Will Favre really lead the Vikings to the promised land?

Two years ago at this time, most of us were saying that Brett may be overstaying his welcome.

Then came a stellar 2007 season that ended in a Lambeau blizzard loss against the Giants.  That season made it difficult for the Packers to move on with Rodgers, but Favre’s retirement smoothed the process.

Or so we thought.  Favre also played well with the Jets last year until a December swoon did him and the Jets in.

Now he’s in Minnesota, and why a lifelong Green Bay Packer had such an urge to play for the Vikings is beyond me.

What he does bring with him is leadership and respect.  No matter his age or his skills, not many teams want to face a Favre led Viking team in January.

 

Will there be more to the defense than just the front four?

In 2008, the Vikings led the league in rushing defense for the third straight season, thanks in large part to Pat and Kevin Williams.

But the Vikings only ranked 18th in pass defense, and the team mustered only 12 Interceptions last year.

With one of the game’s premier rush ends in Jared Allen providing the pressure, and the likes of Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin in the secondary, the rest of the defense should be better than it played last year.

 

Do the Vikings have a true receiving threat?

Sure, Bernard Berrian is nice, and Favre should really like him, but what else is there?

Percy Harvin could be an elite playmaker, but he is a rookie, let’s see how he does before we anoint him.  Sidney Rice has been a chronic underachiever, and Bobby Wade is, well, he’s Bobby Wade, a solid contributor, but I can’t foresee a spike in his performance.

Brett certainly likes tight ends, but is Visanthe Shiancoe enough of a weapon for other teams to start accounting for him?

Will Favre be able to whip these receivers into shape, or will the Vikings ultimately be doomed by the passing game?

 

Fantasy Forecast

Good plays: Adrian Peterson is likely the top pick in the draft, and certainly shouldn’t see any lower than number three.  Bernard Berrian's stock probably rose quite a bit since the Favre signing as well.  The Vikings defense should force more turnovers this year, and with Jared Allen are already adept at putting quarterbacks on the turf.

Avoid:
It may be trendy to pick more offensive players now that Favre is in town, but do not take Harvin or Shiancoe too high.

Sleeper:
Favre himself may be a bit of a sleeper, but another one to go for is Chester Taylor.  In his three seasons with the Vikings, he has always been good for at least six touchdowns.  He should also figure very nicely in the passing game.  If you’re lucky enough to have "AP", you may want to get Taylor for insurance in the later rounds.

 

Prognosis

For the prognosis and final record, read the originally posted article here.

This is an original article by Pigskin Heaven Staffer, Sascha Bartels. You can read it, more of Sascha's articles, and more from the Pigskin Heaven staff here.

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