With the assumed return of the ageless wonder Brett Favre, the Minnesota Vikings are being given 12-1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
That makes the Vikings the fourth most favorite team in the NFC behind Green Bay with 10-1, Dallas 9-1, and New Orleans also 9-1. But that was with Brett Favre…
If Favre does indeed retire…and stay retired, the Vikings would fall out of that top four and possibly even out of the top ten in the NFC.
But does this cause a shakeup with the three other top teams in the NFC? And which team will benefit the most from this change?
My answer? Yes. And unlike most NFL analysts who still think the Cowboys are at the top, I see this as one more factor that solidifies Green Bay as the number one threat in the NFC.
The reason for this is simple. Apart from the Vikings, the team most effected by Brett Favre’s retirement is the Green Bay Packers.
While the Cowboys and Saints are both scheduled to play the Vikings in the regular season, the Packers are the only top team that has to play them twice, which obviously means the Packers will have better chances in two games instead of just one.
The Packers lost twice to Minnesota in 2009 by a total of 19 points. They were plagued by injuries along their offensive line and secondary during those games, and were ultimately defeated by Brett Favre who threw for a combined 515 yards, seven touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Despite those two crushing defeats by both a longtime rival and hometown hero, the Packers were able to regroup, finish out with a 7-1 record, pull their season record to 11-5, and make a wild-card playoff appearance in one of the most watched football games of all time.
Now, with the 2010 season’s training camp underway, the Packers expect to fare better against the Vikings with Favre, and could very well walk over them without him, making their weeks five through eleven (Dolphins, Vikings, Jets, Cowboys, Bye, Vikings) run seem a whole lot easier.
Not only could this translate to more wins against Minnesota, but it could also allow the Packers to focus more on other opponents and possibly gain additional momentum going into the playoffs.
Looking further to Super Bowl odds for the entire NFL, the Packers are the only top five team to have another top ten contender in their own division with the Vikings being the ninth most favorite in the NFL.
The absence of another top contender in their division would ultimately aid the Packers, and could even lead to the them winning a first round bye in the playoffs. This makes the Packers the team with the best chance to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLV.
Maybe I’m biased, but I just can’t see how the Packers' expectations wouldn’t be elevated if Brett Favre doesn’t come back. And I already think they’re a step ahead of the overrated Cowboys and close to even with the overly lucky Saints.
Credit ESPN.com for stats and Belmont.com for Super Bowl odds.
Thanks for taking the time to read my article and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @danielkrem to hear my thoughts on training camp, the continuation of the Favre watch, and other topics.
Also Packer Fans, don’t forget to check out xlvordie.com to check out the shirts Packers linebacker Nick Barnett is selling. Gotta love that kind of determination.