NFL fans got a lot of questions and storylines after week ten, didn't they?
String Belicheck up! What was he thinking!? (Are the commentators aware that when his team was losing one time, Belicheck purposely took a safety, giving the opposition two points and the ball? That he became a "genius" by going against the grain? That we should probably all calm down about a regular season decision? No? He's worse than Hitler? Okay.)
And what is the problem with the Saints?! The Rams almost won! (The Saints defense is being held together by glue and yarn, right now. And Steven Jackson is a legitimate MVP candidate despite his team's record.)
The Bengals can't lose! The Broncos can't win! Jay Cutler can't pass! Roy Williams can't catch! Which Cardinals team is going to show up? Which Chargers team is going to show up? Dick Jauron can't coach and JaMarcus Russell just can't do anything and...oh yeah, and the Vikings are 8-1.
Yes, the Vikings are 8-1 and (somehow) an afterthought in the national media's eyes.
Through ten weeks, Brett Favre is the highest rated passer in the NFL with a 107.5 rating, and 17 touchdowns to three interceptions; wasn't the Internet supposed to short-circuit if this happened? Weren't the ESPN studios going to implode? Is Peter King having a heart attack or an orgasm or both?
Apparently none of the above, as King still thinks a 6-3 New England is the better team. Pardon the Interruption can't be bothered to discuss the Vikings. 'Nor Around the Horn. It seems the national media can only pay lip service to Minnesota's Super Bowl chances, if they can even be bothered to talk about the Vikings in the first place.
In addition to Favre having arguably the best statistical season of his career, Adrian Peterson is number two in the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns. Sidney Rice is number four in receiving yards. Jared Allen is number two in sacks. Percy Harvin does what Percy Harvin does. Pat Williams lives. Ray Edwards improves. The team is second in the NFL in scoring offense and 12th in scoring defense.
The Vikings are locked, stocked, and loaded.
And they are flying completely under the radar, all things considered.
Should it be that way? Possibly. Is it sour grapes to complain about media attention? Most definitely. But that doesn't mean the thesis isn't true.
The Vikings could go 15-1 this season, with each win taken for granted along the way by television analysts, and the questions would still remain in that first postseason game: Can Childress get out of this teams' way? Can Favre stay smart and healthy? Can the secondary keep a good passing game down?
Valid questions, to be sure, but questions that could be asked of any of the top teams; are the Saints going anywhere if Drew Brees gets hurt? Or if Darren Sharper can't return to the level he was playing at before his injury? What if that glue/yarn defense falls apart?
At times, the Vikings have answered all the questions; the Packers games, the performance against Roethlisberger and the Steelers. At other times, the questions lingered; the fourth quarter against the Ravens, the second half of the 49ers game.
One can somewhat understand the skepticism about the Vikings. Somewhat.
Over the next few weeks though, as the Saints and Colts and other teams' flaws continue to get nitpicked and the reactionary media gets all reactionary-like, the Vikings Super Bowl chances will likely be addressed ad nauseum. So they got that going for them, which is nice.
And right now, there are still two undefeated teams out there, and pretty good teams in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New England, and even New York (if the Giants can get their secondary in order). Who knows what Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, or even Houston will do. Cincinnati has sure proven themselves in the past couple weeks, haven't they?
There really are plenty of storylines in the NFL, as there always are. And of course it's sour grapes to be angry at the talking heads for not discussing the Vikings more.
But those same pundits will probably be singing a different tune in a few weeks, and at the end of the season.
...besides, the Vikings have gotten plenty of pub this year when you really think about it.
Now, how about Belicheck?! Can You Believe That!?