It all comes down to Sunday and the Green Bay Packers.
The Vikings aren’t eliminated from the playoffs – not yet. But the only way they go is if they get to play the Cardinals every week from here until the end of the season – oh, and all those game have to be at the Metrodome.
That monstrosity of a stadium and the Vikings incredibly desperate position pretty much make this Sunday’s upcoming matchup with the Packers Minnesota’s Super Bowl. They may not make the playoffs, they may get their coach fired – but by God, their entire season can retain a tiny semblance of redemption if they can manage to beat the Packers in what will surely be Brett Favre’s last game against the team that made him relevant.
Make no mistake, the Vikings will be hell bent on making life miserable for Aaron Rodgers and company. Going back and watching the earlier game against the Vikings, you can see their defensive line getting a slow jump off the ball and still almost getting to Rodgers, especially Ray Edwards. His matchup with Bryan Bulaga in the dome will go a long way in determining the outcome of the game. And don’t discount Jared Allen. As ineffective as he was against Chad Clifton in Lambeau, the last time the two met in the Metrodome, Allen made Clifton’s life miserable almost the entire game.
On the other side of the ball, a lot will depend on who is catching passes from Favre. By all accounts, Sindey Rice has looked ready to go in practice and has just not made the final jump to the active roster. His presence would obviously change a lot of what the Vikings like to do on offense. And of course there’s Adrian Peterson who can truly only be stopped by Brad Childress and his incredible personnel groups that only make sense to him.
So while the week will no doubt be populated with stories about whether Brad Childress will be fired (how can Wilf ignore what an in-season head coaching change did for the Cowboys) and any-and-all-things-Favre, make no mistake – this is a dangerous opponent the Packers face on Sunday, one which will make their entire season about winning this game.