Sunday brings a showdown between the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings. Randy Moss has jumped ship from the former to the latter (which is the team he started with).
With a tough, stingy defense, one of the best running backs to ever play the game, and a receiving corps including Moss, Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian and Visanthe Shiancoe, you'd think it wouldn't take a phenomenal quarterback to win games.
Whoever takes the snaps against the Patriots, it won't be a phenomenal quarterback; so we'll see. Again.
I'm tempted to cut Favre some slack. After all, he's used to throwing to players in Green Bay uniforms. But # 4's intercept-a-thon hasn't been limited to games against the Packers. In fact, the 2010 season looks like just a continuation of the NFC Championship game in New Orleans.
Well, not exactly. On the down side, the defense has yet to score a sack this year. On the up side, Adrian Peterson has apparently decided that the football does not have cooties. But special teams still prefers to allow 60-100 yard kick returns, and Brett Favre still plays with the wisdom of a rookie but the athletic ability of a punch-drunk 40 year old has-been.
What is it with Minnesota and has-been quarterbacks, anyway? Jim McMahon, Bubby Brister, Brad Johnson, Jeff George (who actually did quite well before his age caught up with him), and now Mr. Wishy-Washy Now-I'm-Retired-Now-I'm-Not.
Nobody wants to see Tavaris Jackson start against the Patriots, including Jackson himself, so here's an idea: if Favre's ankle fractures keep him out of the game, maybe the Vikes should coax Terry Bradshaw out of retirement. Like Favre, he had a cannon for a throwing arm, but his Superbowl record was 4-0, not 1-1.
Hey, it's a season for breaking Minnesota tradition. With this many potent weapons on the team, they normally wait until the playoffs to start underachieving. ...Well, since the Bud Grant Dynasty, anyway, when they would make it to the Superbowl before stinking up the field.
As I reflect on the Purple Gang's playoff performances since their almost-amazing finish in 1987, I often consider they should change their name from the Minnesota Vikings to the Minnesota Choke-Kings. Head coaches change, but the self-destructive play-calling continues both on and off the field. Whether it be the Herschel Walker trade that built Dallas into a three Superbowl empire, or the idiotic calls during the 1998 NFC championship game (to include instructing the record-setting league's most potent offense to take a knee to end regulation on first-and-goal--but all fans remember is the shanked field goal by Gary Anderson, who had never missed a single kick all season until then).
I'm not terribly impressed with Brad Childress, but at least the most catastrophic decisions he's made thus far have to do with clock management, use of timeouts...and keeping a has-been quarterback in the game that would otherwise have been winnable. Even with the likes of Tavaris Jackson under center.