The Bacon Files – A Purple And Golden Chance, Wasted
It is the resident idiot, Mr. Bacon!
Freshly back from the offseason, I am once again in the mood for some gridiron football. So to start off this years edition of Packer’s articles I am throwing a knuckleball instead today, and we are going to have a quick overview today on the reigning NFC North Champions, the Minnesota Vikings.
Yes, yes I said the Minnesota Vikings.
The team led by the first ever female head coach.
It should come as no surprise that the Vikings were champions of the NFC North last year. They had an excellent squad. Favre was at a all-time best, and if he had tucked the ball in and ran the 5 yards, you might have seen Longwell nail a three pointer for the win. We cannot change time itself, and when we make a mistake, we must accept our blame and learn to fight another day.
In football, things are completely different.
Football, like the human body itself, is ruled by a window of time.
With the start of free agency and the rapid turnover of the head coaching more prevalent than ever, aging has become faster than ever in the NFL. All the coaches, except for Sean Payton, are on the hot seat albeit some warmer than others. Childress and McCarthy are going to be back next season in my opinion because their squads should do quite well. Hopefully the Packers will be good enough to win the division.
The Packers however, have time on their hands, as GM Ted Thompson’s approach was a huge risk from the beginning. The NFL is on a win-or-die basis every year. GM’s too are replaceable like coaches. Unlike coaches however, GM’s generally can go through two bad coaches before they are fired. Thompson’s approach, not very friendly in today’s NFL, was to do a youth movement based plan. Drafting young players, and picking out quality free agents to fill out the team.
This approach has its up and downs, but the main drawback is that you are betting your career that you will be able to draft the next superstar player.. Thompson has shown to draft quality players, and had the balls to trade away Favre when it came time for Rodgers to play ball. Thompson’s career was in the hands of Rodgers when he stepped onto the field, and so far it looks like Thompson’s bet was right on the nose. Because of the age and progression of Rodgers, the Packers have a huge window to win a Superbowl.
For the Vikings, Brad Childress was on the hot seat the year Favre came to Minnesota. Tavaris Jackson, a QB of the Future, had done little to boost the team towards any Superbowl contention. Childress, fearing for his job security, decided to take the plunge and get Favre. The Vikings, for the most part, have been the 2nd best team behind Green Bay for the last 15 years. Every now and then, the Vikings would win the division crown but never really had any shot to win the title. The only real chance came in 1999 when Anderson missed the game winning FG against the Falcons.
This current season, Childress job is not on the line because he was one step away from getting the Vikings into the Superbowl. There is some doubt though about this squad already, even though its preseason. Which can be very good, if you’re a fan of Packers like I am or a very bad if you’re a fan of the Vikings. Here is some things I am dwelling on before the Vikings crash and burn
First off, why did the Vikings submit to Favre’s hostage demands and plead for him to come back. The Vikings knew they had a chance at Donovan McNabb, a proven quarterback and enough mileage to last seasons ahead, more than Favre at least. Why go back to Favre, when you know he cannot run like McNabb. McNabb also rarely turns the ball over, yet they still stick with Favre. McNabb was practically a object in a garage sale being given away by the Eagles and the Vikings wanted to stick with Favre.
Percy Harvin. It is apparent that he is going to miss some games this season as he continues to suffer from migraines. Maybe one or two games, but in a division with Aaron Rodgers, that’s all it could be from a trip to Dallas playing for the Lombardi trophy or for a nice round of golf.
Sidney Rice. As of this writing, he has now been placed on the PUP and inactive for the first half of the year. That means Favre has the potential too not have his best two receivers in the first half of the year.
Adrian Peterson. We all now know that Peterson has butterfingers, but his game against New Orleans was downright insane for a player of his suppose caliber. Is this a problem that will haunt him for the rest of career just like Barry Sanders and his O-Line?
Favre was protected well by his offensive line until the New Orleans game. Favre was then banged up so severely in that game, that his ankle look like Grimace of the McDonalds crew. Then against the 49′ers the line seemed to get bossed a bit by the defense. Could this be a sign of the line breaking down?
Time. This is in my opinion, the final year the Vikings have a real shot at winning the title. A primary reason the Vikings have been far from bad was the Williams wall, along with Allen and Edwards was the anchor for the outstanding defense they’ve had. I believe this is the final year for that. Favre will still have the skill play at 42, when 2012 comes and the lockout ends if it ever came around. But there is a few points to get off…
- Almost every playoff caliber team will have a decent quarterback, and would only need Favre as a backup.
- He would not have the same entitlements to pre-season like he has right now with Minnesota.
After this season is over, the team will be dismantled and Favre will not want to play on a rebuilding squad. He wants to play on a winner, but Favre’s options were Minnesota and Minnesota. This is going to be his last year as a player.
It is in my professional opinion, as a Packers fan, that this is the endgame for the Vikings franchise in Minnesota to grab one Lombardi before it leaves the state. All signs are pointing to the Vikings relocating to a different city leaving behind a laundry list of broken hearts from missed opportunities. Even if there is not a lockout, there is still so much the Vikings would have against them trying to win in 2011. Rodger’s ascension to king of the NFC North for the next 10 years will be complete after this year, and the task to overtake a youthful Packers squad next year looks so daunting.
The Vikings last year blew a major, major chance for a title and probably their best one. This year we will find out how much the Vikings have left in their tank because time is not on their side anymore. Green Bay is going to win the division I do not doubt, but Minnesota is 100% a playoff team with Favre. If the receivers were healthy, I would have even said Minnesota would still win the division and Green Bay nabs a wild card.
This is it… this is Minnesota’s last chance for a title.
As for the Packers, this season is going to be one of the best seasons we’ve had in quite a while. I know everybody is banged up on the sidelines right now but just remember one thing, we have a quarterback who is making wiser decision than Favre was at his peak. Combined with Finley, Jennings and Driver and rusting of the Vikings, this might be the time to set up the tents and begin a dynasty.