Nearly a week since the shock loss was delivered by the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome, the Minnesota Vikings are now looking ahead to an offseason full of worry and woes as they await the decision by their team changing quarterback Brett Favre.
For the rest of the NFL though, the main thought process is "Who cares?". We've seen it all before, and we know that Favre still has it in him. Amongst the 31 other teams in the league, there is one team that has an interest in Favre's decision, the Green Bay Packers.
Two years ago, when you thought of Green Bay you thought of the old time gunslinger quarterback that had a recognizable five o'clock shadow that could drive even the youngest of women wild.
Nowadays, you think Aaron Rodgers. Still strongly supporting the facial hair, Aaron is resembling somewhat of a hobo type character, as his lush brown beard is often visible under the yellow and white helmet.
Funny jokes and statements aside, the Packers are surging. Capping off an impressive year that started off on a low, and ended in a high, Green Bay nearly stole the NFC North from the Vikings in 2009, if only it wasn't for that pesky Brad Childress.
No, Mike McCarthy may seem fragile at the best of times, but his Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn't worried. With Ryan Grant playing like the back that we saw in his early days at Notre Dame, and veteran wide receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver both posting over 1000 yard seasons, why should Green Bay be worried about the future?
Well they shouldn't really, but there is one factor that could play on Ted Thompson's mind while he drinks his hot cocoa and contemplates the 2010 season. Iin fact it is one number that Ted is more than familiar with, the number four, and that belongs to Brett Favre.
Seeing Minnesota's decent but dismal display against the New Orleans Saints last week, Viking fans were hit smack bang in the face with reality. And the reality was that Favre more than likely gifted them with the season they had. Sure, young rookie Percy Harvin and now experienced head coach Brad Childress contributed, but lets be realistic, Brett was the backbone of a team that was missing a spine in 2008.
With Adrian Peterson having an under performing year plagued with fumbles and turnovers, and the Vikings defense going from top to bottom in a ten game span, the Vikings are now left with bigger headaches than Percy Harvin suffers on a regular given Sunday.
As for Green Bay, well the tides have turned for the once predicted one and done Packers. For a team that was left with more holes than a famous Wisconsin piece of cheese (pun intended) Green Bay has surprisingly turned their team around since Favre's departure.
Now though, things look more promising than ever. With the golden boy possibly knocked off the perch, and the Vikings seeking a new quarterback in the draft, Green Bay's chances have skyrocketed in terms of taking the North next season.
Okay, so Favre still could come back, and the Vikings may still be a great team with a new quarterback, but you've got to consider the obvious. Rodgers is a franchise quarterback, Grant is an up and coming running back, Jermichael Finley is a given promise and the Packers change to the 3-4 has been complimented by Dom Capers success.
With the Lions not offering any real competition just yet, as they are still in rebuilding mode, it may be a few seasons early before we see a possible resurgence of the once promising Detroit Lions.
As for the Bears, well the squabbling over head coach Lovie Smith and Jay Cutler still remains, and the inconsistent wide receiver play has put Chicago on the shelf for a couple of years, at least until they clean up in the Draft.
From what was one of the toughest divisions in football, has turned into one of the easiest to win. Green Bay's chances are 50-50, but if Favre pulls the plug, they boost up to 60-40.
It's a long and cold offseason, but you have to like the Packers chances. With the quarterback position proving the most vital up North, the Packers will have the edge if Favre retires.
But what if Favre doesn't retire? Well, if you ask me Aaron Rodgers matches up just as nicely. This time, he has the offensive line that he didn't during mid season. And this time, he has been to his first Pro Bowl.
Twists and turns can happen in the offseason, and it's a certainty that Favre will play head games with the media. Sit back and enjoy it Packer fans, you may soon be able to bet some money on the Packers winning the North for the second time in four years.