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Randy Moss to Minnesota Vikings: How Does Trade Affect NFC North Race?

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IOctober 6, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots runs to the line against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

It's a done deal.  Randy Moss is returning to the Minnesota Vikings.  In exchange for sending Moss back to the team that drafted him, the New England Patriots will receive a third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

While this deal will certainly improve the Vikings, will it improve them enough to where they can repeat as division champions?

Matchup Problems

By the time Minnesota travels to Green Bay in Week 7, the Packers secondary should be back at full strength.  In addition to Pro Bowlers Charles Woodson and Nick Collins, the Packers should have Al Harris and Atari Bigby back in the lineup.

Both Harris and Bigby were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list before the start of the regular season, meaning they had to miss at least six games.

The Vikings game will be the first game Harris and Bigby can play in.  It will be important for them to be in game shape in a hurry in order to take on the Vikings passing attack.

Other teams in the division don't match up as well with Moss as the Packers do.  Neither the Chicago Bears nor the Detroit Lions have a good enough secondary to compete with a passing attack that features Moss and Percy Harvin (and eventually Sidney Rice).

Brett Favre

Back in 2007, Brett Favre was furious with Packer general manager Ted Thompson for not trading a draft pick to get Moss from the Oakland Raiders.  Instead, Moss was dealt to the Patriots, and the rest is history.

That event played a huge role in Favre leaving the Packers after the '07 season.  He had become too disenfranchised with the Packers front office.

Now, he has the chance to play with Moss, but Favre is having one of the worst seasons of his NFL career.  He looks like he's 50 years old, not 40.

If Favre continues to struggle and can't develop a bond with Moss, Moss will return to his sulking, low-effort ways, which will keep the Vikings from the playoffs.

Conclusion

This trade makes the Vikings the second-best team in the NFC North, behind the Green Bay Packers.  With what we saw from the Chicago Bears on Sunday night, I doubt they'll be able to sustain the success they had during their 3-0 start.

Randy Moss, Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and Co. will rebound from a 1-2 start and earn a wild-card spot in the 2010 NFL playoffs.

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