Purple Pessimism

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Among my friends and family, I’ve let everyone who cares to know and even some who don’t, that I am not optimistic about the Vikings chances in 2010.

(Note: Before you label me just another fatalistic Vikings fan, please keep in mind I was so convinced 2009 was the Vikings year, that I drove - yes drove - down to New Orleans for the NFC Championship game and racked up a hefty VISA card bill in the process.)

Of course, the team is too talent laden to not contend for a playoff spot, but unlike last year the schedule is not laid out nicely for the squad – tough games out of the gate and an early bye – and they’ve already been bitten hard by the injury bug. For those reasons and more, I don’t see the Vikes winning more than 10 games and advancing beyond the Divisional Round of the playoffs. A 50th season without Super Bowl glory will come and go.

I hope I am wrong, but the national media appears to agree…..

Over at Sports Illustrated, Peter King says the Vikings will be the “Best Team That Won’t Make the Playoffs”:
“Things aren’t starting out well with no Sidney Rice, Brett Favre’s ankle a worry and Percy Harvin week-to-week regarding his availability.”

Damon Hack agrees:
“Brett’s ankle, Sidney Rice’s hip, and a killer month of October (at Jets, v. Cowboys, at Packers, at Patriots) will be too much for this drama troupe to overcome.”

Tim Layden and Kerry J. Byrne tabbed Brett Favre as their “Star Who Has a Subpar Season”.

“Clearly last season, the best of Favre’s career, was sent from the heavens. But that only happens once. Favre is already physically compromised and Sidney Rice is out. Vikings fans will paper the stadium with No. 4 jerseys, but they’re likely to witness an all-time great who stayed one dance too long.”

“OK, maybe I’m just playing the odds here. But is it human possibly to piece together another epic season after turning 40? I say no.”

Jerome Bettis gave the “honor” Adrian Peterson:
“Because Sidney Rice is gone, teams are going to force Brett Favre to beat them without his No. 1 target, which means Peterson is going to catch the brunt of defenses.”

Layden also selected Brad Childress as the “Coach Who Won’t be Back in 2011” (OK, the news isn’t all bad):
“The Vikings are a train wreck waiting to happen. The early schedule is tough, Favre is already getting his ankle juiced and the season hasn’t started yet. Easy to imagine a public spat between the QB and the coach by November, right in the middle of a three-game losing streak that drops the Vikings to wild-card status and then a quick exit from the playoffs.”

The news isn’t much better on ESPN. All five of their “experts” – Kevin Siefert, John Clayton, Adam Schefter, Matt Williamson and Seth Wickersham – picked the Purple to finish 2nd in the NFC North.

And here’s Bill “The Sports Guy” Simmons’ take on Favre and the Vikes:
“Did we finally reach Favre’s ‘One of these years, his body is going to finally break down and that will be it’ season? No Sidney Rice for half a season (at least). Percy Harvin saddled with those migraines. Tougher schedule. Year after the “Everything went right for 18 straight weeks” year. A bum ankle that’s already acting up and getting injected with things that end in “sone.” And beyond that, there’s some Cal Ripken potential here: Favre’s incredible consecutive-starts streak prohibits him from resting this month until his ankle feels better, so “being a warrior and a gamer” really means “I’m putting myself ahead of the best interests of the team.” I continue to have a terrible feeling about the 2010 Vikings.”

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