Whatever magic the Minnesota Vikings had in 2009, it's gone. And any reference (by player, coach or fan) to last season's impressive 12-4, NFC North Division winning campaign should be buried along with the expectations of that same team reappearing.
These are the 2010 Minnesota Vikings. And the sooner they start to play like last season never happened, the better off they'll be.
When the Vikings obtained Brett Favre from a second retirement last season, the understanding was that this was Adrian Peterson's team—Favre would simply "manage" most of the games, protect the football and occasionally be called upon to orchestrate some game winning drives to win a few with his arm.
As it turned out, Favre had one of the best seasons (maybe the best) of his NFL career and suddenly it was his team riding his arm into the postseason. To say things just fell into place for Favre to ride off into the sunset with a Super Bowl win was an understatement—that is, until "the throw" (and a bunch of other turnovers) cost the Vikes the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints.
This afternoon, in a miserable 14-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Favre turned the ball over four times—three interceptions and one fumble in his own endzone—as the Vikings fell to 0-2.
Needless to say, it served as a recipe for disaster and the exact opposite reason the team brought Favre to Minnesota.
Granted, one of those picks was not Favre's fault (Percy Harvin), but the case for him to be more careful with the football needs to be strongly re-emphasized if the Vikings are to win some football games this year.
In an effort to capture the same mojo he had in 2009, Favre seems to be putting all the pressure on himself, forcing throws and returning to his reckless ways of seasons past. The problem is, that 2009 magic isn't there right now for any number of different reasons. And the gunslinger mentality isn't working.
Sure, Favre could use bigger receivers with great ball skills like Sidney Rice or Vincent Jackson. What NFL quarterback couldn't? But he needs to be a better manager of the game he is given.
I'm certainly not trying to pin today's loss entirely on Favre. But if he plays like the wily veteran he is rather than carelessly heaving passes all over the field—and not paying more attention to where he is on the field—Adrian Peterson's 28 carries for 145 yards and a defense that allows a mere seven points is more than enough to earn a win.