The 2010 Minnesota Vikings season has not started off how the organization or the fans would have hoped, with 1-2 record. Do to injuries in the receiving core which has lead to a lack of synchronization many NFL fans believe their playoff chances are slim.
It hasn't helped that Brett Favre has already thrown six interception in three games compared to the seven he threw all of last season.
Fellow Bleacher Report writer, Tim Arcand, put together a great article comparing the first three games in the 2009 season to the 2010 season. I agree with the position in this article and look to further calm any panic that might be setting in to Viking Nation following the bye week.
To duplicate the record from '09 and win the NFC Central again would take an incredible 11-2 finish. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but its highly unlikely. Especially with the upcoming four games being at New York (Jets), Dallas, at Green Bay, and at New England.
My thought on this four game stretch against four potential playoff teams is to find a way to go .500. I know that doesn't sound like a good thing, but it would keep them in the hunt with the softer part of their schedule in the second half.
Anyone who thinks they could or should win them all has unrealistic expectations for a team that isn't 100% healthy and playing three of four on the road against potential playoff teams.
If they were to win more, that is obviously a tremendous boost to the remaining outlook of the season. I believe that winning only two of these games would constitute a successful stretch leaving them with a 3-4 record for their final nine games.
Sidney Rice is projected to be back somewhere in the middle of the season - hopefully for the trip to Lambeau Field on Oct 24th. This would give Favre and Rice a chance to gel before heading to Foxboro and the final nine game playoff push as I see it.
After the New England game they get five-of-seven at home starting with the Arizona Cardinals and a three game stretch against the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and Chicago Bears.
They have some tough road games against the Bears, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles.
However, as they get healthy and offensively on the same page this Vikings team will roll. I believe they can finish the final nine games with a 7-2 record and that would put them at 10-6 based on my predictions and a likely wildcard team.
This is achievable if Brad Childress calls the right plays, they keeping feeding Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin stays healthy, and they limit turnovers.
A 2-2 record during weeks 5-8 won't have the critics saying nice things about them. It will give them the chance to get healthy and play their best football at the most important time of the year for a playoff run.
The next four games are about surviving the storm and coming out of it a better, healthier, stronger team in the end.
Locker Talk question of the Week: Who's more important to their defense, Polamalu or Urlacher?
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