With the trade for Randy Moss, it is obvious to any observer that the Minnesota Vikings are going all in for the 2010 season.
After making the NFC Championship Game last season, the Vikings have stumbled out of the gate in the 2010 season. This trade is meant to ameliorate the woes of the first few weeks of the Vikings' season.
Brett Favre has struggled in the first three games, throwing six interceptions after throwing just seven all of last season. The problem has been the lack of options Favre has had in the passing game. Sidney Rice is out with an injury, and Percy Harvin has been operating at less than 100 percent.
The trade for Moss provides Favre with a target that he's yearned for since his days in Green Bay and undoubtedly bolsters the Vikings' pass attack.
But it doesn't make the Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl champs just yet.
As good as Randy Moss is, and as much as he will help out Brett Favre, it is too early to name the Vikings favorites.
Three roadblocks stand in the way of the Minnesota Vikings reaching the Super Bowl.
The first is the need for Percy Harvin to get healthy and Sidney Rice to return close to his 2009 form. If Harvin's migraines persist and Rice is not the same receiver as he was in 2009, the Moss trade is tantamount to throwing a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.
For all the struggles Minnesota has had throwing the ball, they have one of the top rushing attacks in all of the NFL, averaging 143.3 yards per game on the ground. It's not as if the addition of Moss is going to open up the rushing attack for Adrian Peterson any more than it's already been opened up.
If Harvin and Rice don't get healthy, the passing attack may get a little better with the addition of Moss, but it will not improve enough to turn the Vikings into Super Bowl favorites.
Secondly, the Green Bay Packers still stand in the way of the Vikings in the NFC North. Short of the thrashing of the Buffalo Bills, this 3-1 Packers team hasn't even been playing its best football.
If the Packers can find a running game, they will be a worthy opponent of a Vikings team that has a full cadre of wide receivers.
The final roadblock, and perhaps the largest, is the play of Brett Favre.
The Vikings could line up Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, and Brandon Marshall out wide, but if Favre cannot physically get the job done, then it is all for naught.
Last season Favre had, arguably, the best year of his 20-season NFL career, throwing a career-low seven interceptions while completing a career-high 68.4 percent of his passes. Even if Favre was physically capable of leading this Vikings team, with Randy Moss, to a Super Bowl, it is highly unlikely that he'd do so while having a season as good as he had last year. Too often fans do not account for the variability of success in pro sports.
But what if he's done? With Adrian Peterson running for 392 yards on 5.6 yards a carry, shouldn't Favre have been able to do at least a little better than two touchdowns and six interceptions with a completion percentage of 61.9 percent?
If Favre is done, then this situation has the potential to become toxic. Moss complained when Tom Brady was his quarterback. If Favre struggles to get him the ball while he has to share catches with Rice, Harvin, and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, Moss might just blow up. Remember, Minnesota, your team just traded for a player that gave up on the organization once already.
Despite all of this, if the Vikings round into form, they will be a tough team. Their defense has been good against both the run and the pass, and of course, they still have Adrian Peterson. A Super Bowl is not out of the question for Minnesota.
However, the sneaking suspicion that this Moss trade is just an attempt to mask the fact that Favre can't get it done anymore is the haunting specter of this move.
Only time will tell. The only certain thing is that, Moss or no Moss, the Vikings' Super Bowl aspirations still rest on the shoulders of a 41-year-old quarterback.