And now for some final thoughts looking at the 2009 season, starting in less then a week...
Who will be the sleeper of 2009?
Kip- Sidney Rice. He's got a big chance to make his shot and prove he's a legitimate NFL receiver.
Smit- I think the Vikings sleeper this year for 2009 is going to be Sidney Rice. I really like Sidney, he always a redzone threat. Had injury problems all last year in the 2008 season. So you didn't get to see much of him. Regardless, He has had an outstanding Training Camp, he's a great WR at running routes and getting open down field. and I think with Brett Favre's experience he will be that red zone guy again and with be productive all season long!
Who wil be the bust of 2009?
Kip- I honestly hope he doesn't bust, but Bernard Berrian has the most cards stacked against him heading into the regular season. Without a single preseason play under his belt, he's heading into the season as target number one for Brett Favre and he has yet to take a pass from the hall of famer. Call it being cautious, but I hope that I'm wrong.
Smit- I think this years Minnesota Vikings bust has got to be Bobby Wade. Granted he's not a huge name at WR, but he will see a lot of playing time and catches taken away from him with Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice. I just don't think he will get the ball like he did last year.
How many games will Brett Favre play and start in 2009?
Kip- 14. I'm thinking he'll fall at some point. Whether intentional or not.
Smit- I think Brett Favre will start ALL 16 regular season games! I know the Vikings have a new look at offensive line after loosing veteran Center Matt Birk. However they still have three main pieces in Steve Hucthinson, Bryant Mckinnie, and Anthony Herrera. The Vikings will have two new guys on the line in 2nd year Center John Sullivan and rookie Right Tackle Phil Loadholt who is a giant! If this offensive line can stay healthy and do what there supposed to do, which is protcet Brett, he should be able to play all season long. It all depends on if his arm can hold up 16 games and if the two young guys on the line can ajust to the fats speed on the NFL and it's grueling opposing defenses.
How many sacks will Antoine Winfield get in 2009? How many touchdowns?
Kip- 5 sacks. Too many offenses didn't account for him last year and that's how became a threat. He'll get to pay dirt at least once, maybe twice.
Smit- Antione Winfield, I think, will prove he was worth the contract extension with the way he plays into 2009. Now let's face the facts, Winfield is 32 and he isn't getting younger! But this guy play with an incredible amount of talent! He does NOT play his age! He looks like a 26 year old Corner-Back out on the field. Not to mention he is also a leader in the secondary and to the defense as a whole. I expect at least four to five INT's this year and three touchdowns.
Is Brett Favre worth the risk with the amount of talent around him?
Kip- It all seems too good to be true that the likes of Brett in Minnesota at this moment in time... and ironic.
All the same, with the talent that's here in Minnesota, the coach that is now on the hot seat and the veteran presence that is now coming to its best years, now is the time if any for the Vikings fabled Super Bowl run.
Will be worth it, regardless... yes... The Vikings organization at this point at worst will at least have sold out all its games and a lot of merch to support the franchise. In any case you wanna look at it. It's an exciting time for Viking fans and should answer the question if the Vikings are really THE contender of the NFC.
Smit- The Minnesota Vikings season will be remembered for Brett Favre. What will his legacy be remembered here in Minnesota? Brett Favre is the final piece to the Vikings puzzle. They have been missing consistency and leadership at QB since the departure of Daunte Culpepper. The Vikings have Adrian Peterson, the best RB in the NFL who will see less defenders in the box and is set to have a EXPLOSIVE year! There is no doubt this may be the year we see AP hit the 2,000 yards mark, a achievement only a few select, gifted RB's have ever reached. The addition of Favre instantly make the Vikings players better and the entire team better. The WR's now have solid play at QB to get the ball in their hands. Favre will make those WR's better then they are expected of on any other given day. If this team plays well and can avoid injuries, they very well could see their first Super Bowl in franchise history!