Earlier this week, I fired 5 questions about the Minnesota Vikings at FanSided’s The Viking Age blog, and contributor Jon Merkle was kind enough to answer them. Here are his answers regarding the Vikings and Sunday’s game against the Patriots:
1. Do you expect Brett Favre to play on Sunday? Why or why not?
Yes, Favre is starting. I feel as confident in this as I would on anything but death and taxes. The beans were somewhat spilled today when Vikings Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell said that he couldn’t see Favre not playing on Sunday. Bevell served as an Offensive Assistant coach for the Packers from 2000-2005. He has obviously had a good relationship with Favre for a while, however if there were any sort of controversy we believe that Bevell would be under a gag order by Childress.
Plus, Packers fan or Vikings fan or simply a fan of football, what would it take to keep Favre off the field… A severed limb? Whether or not he plays the entire game will remain to be seen. Favre says this decision is not about extending his consecutive start streak to 292, which we don’t believe. Read your “Brett Favre Prediction” on only playing a series or two. That wouldn’t surprise us either.
2. What impact do you think Randy Moss will have in the game?
Fair question. Do you miss him? We were overjoyed to get Moss back earlier this month and now can admit we were naïve to expect he’d be the 1998 version (for us) or the 2007 version (for you guys) right away. In his 3 games, he has a pedestrian 12 receptions for 162 yards & 2 TDs. In Moss’s defense, one of those games was against the Jets. You’d think at some point he’d click with Favre for a huge game, but it probably won’t happen this week. Unless of course he’s ultra-motivated to show up his former team. Something like 6 receptions for 72 yards and maybe he finds the end zone is to be expected.
3. If you were to pick one Vikings player to have a big game, who would it be and why?
Percy Harvin. Purple Haze is the best slot receiver in the NFL & by no means do we mean any disrespect towards Wes Welker. Age considered, whom would you rather have? If it weren’t for that guy we have at QB and Adrian Peterson, Harvin would receive a lot more national attention. Favre’s chemistry with Harvin improves tremendously by the week. Against Green Bay he was targeted a team-high 8 times, ran for a score and nearly caught the game winning TD until it was correctly overturned. He also had 2 TD receptions against the Jets.
Looking at the Patriots stat line you also appear to be most exposed on slot receivers. Patrick Crayton, Derrick Mason, Davone Bess and Roscoe Parrish have all lead their respected teams in receiving over your teams past four games. If that doesn’t make you think he shouldn’t be looked out for at all times, don’t forget Harvin also occasionally plays out of the backfield sharing it with Adrian Peterson.
4. What is one area in which you think the Patriots will be able to take advantage of the Vikings?
Our secondary. Tom Brady has won 23 straight home starts for a reason and he always seems to have good chemistry with whomever he’s throwing to. Branch, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Welker and Tate could spell trouble for our shaky bunch. Two youngsters Brady will look to target early and frequently are Asher Allen and Chris Cook. Losing Cedric Griffin to a torn ACL for the second straight year was a drastic blow.
5. Game prediction?
You can’t expect us Vikings fans to concede here, do you? This team is motivated to right the ship in the quickest possible manner. Adrian is due for a monster game, runs for over 100 yards and multiple TDs. Brady plays well, but his two TD tosses are not enough and your running game never gets going. Vikings 23 – Patriots 17. And no, Percy is not playing defense!