The Brett Favre scandal has helped damage the quarterback’s reputation. But Brett Favre scandal buzz is also hurting the Vikings as well – as if they aren’t being damaged enough. Whereas everything seemed to be going the Vikings’ way until the end of last season, almost nothing is going right this year. Minnesota feared for a terrible year if they didn’t get their leader back, which is why they went all out to entice him. But the scandal is only one example of how things might be worse now than they would be without him.
The chances of a year like 2009 were limited from the start, due to Favre’s lingering injuries. But even if he wasn’t at full strength, his experience, Adrian Peterson and their young receivers were thought to be enough for the offense. Yet it has not turned out that way for Minnesota at all.
Although Favre is the most publicized problem for the Vikings to deal with, it is far from their only one. At 1-3, and with the “Panic Bowl” against the Cowboys forthcoming, the team is riddled with uncertainty. Even if they beat the Cowboys, they might be a long shot to return to the playoffs – although they could be bailed out by a mediocre NFC.
Nevertheless, their schedule includes the likes of the Packers, Bears, Patriots, Redskins, Cardinals, Giants and Eagles from here on in. The only so-called easy games may be against the Bills in Week 13, and the Lions in the final week. By then, the direction of the Vikings will be a lot clearer.
It would be hard to rebound from this start, against this schedule, under normal circumstances. Yet the Brett Favre scandal, combined with his worsening injuries, could make it a downright longshot. At some point – either through injury, or via a suspension – they may have to play a portion of this schedule without Favre.
In the past, that would be considered a kiss of death. Yet considering the distractions and difficulties around Favre on and off the field, perhaps Tarvaris Jackson may give them a better chance to win. Such thoughts would normally be blasphemous, but if this keeps up any longer, it might not seem so far-fetched before long.
Either way, the only chance to brush aside the scandal and struggles would be to win – no matter who leads them. Adrian Peterson could stand to be their big weapon again, although he’s only shown flashes of his old dominance this year. Randy Moss is now back, but the rest of the receiving core is still depleted. But if they can’t rely on their quarterback to give them the ball, it won’t matter.
In spite of the injuries and scandal, Favre is still slated as the starter this Sunday. Yet that is no longer as reassuring as it used to be – and the Vikings are already short on reassurance that everything will be okay.
Yahoo Sports- “Cowboys, Vikings already in playoff mode”
NFL.com- “Minnesota Vikings Schedule”