Vikings vs. Giants…in Detroit

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more crazy and melodramatic for the Vikings in 2010…the roof of their stadium collapses in a snowstorm and they are forced to play a home game in Detroit.  But, it could actually be worse – they could be out of the playoff hunt.  Okay, so, they are virtually out of the playoff hunt…but the key word there is “virtually.”  Mathematically, they are still alive.  Of course it’s a long-shot for them to leap over three teams and claim a wild card, but crazier things have happened.  Like, for instance, the roof of the Metrodome caving in.  See what I mean?  In a football universe ruled by chaos, almost anything can happen.

Speaking of chaos…there’s another Brett Favre drama.  This week the drama includes a shoulder sprain and, reportedly, some text messages indicating that Favre will not play.  These text messages, sent to a USA Today reporter, may very well be a plant by Favre, who as we know likes building up doubt about his status so he may then make a heroic recovery come game time and add one more log to the great soaring cabin of his legend.  Or maybe this time Brett isn’t pulling his usual shenanigans and is actually too hurt to play.  We won’t know until the actual start of the game.

If Brett plays, he will have a fully healthy Adrian Peterson to hand off to, but will probably not have Percy Harvin who is dealing with migraine issues for the second straight week.  He will probably have Steve Hutchinson back blocking for him.  The defense will once again be without Chris Cook who could be shut down for the season.  It does appear Ray Edwards will be back, though it’s fair to wonder if the Vikes wouldn’t be better off with his replacement Brian Robison starting, given the way Robison played last week against Buffalo.  With the Giants’ running game being what it is, stout play from the interior linemen and good tackling from everyone will be of paramount importance.  The Vikings are once again back among the statistical leaders in rush defense, but in all honesty, haven’t really been challenged the last few weeks.  Tonight they will face a team that, unlike the Packers, Redskins or Bills, likes stuffing the ball down their opponents’ throats.  That the game is being played indoors on turf would seem to give the Vikings a slight edge, given the quickness of their linemen and the speed of their linebackers.

It is of course impossible to predict what effect if any the weird circumstances of the past few days will have on the two teams.  The Giants would seem to have had it harder, as they were forced to lay over in Kansas City while the Vikings players were snug in their own beds.  Whatever happens, I’m sure neither team will use the unforeseen calamity and the resulting disruption of their normal routines as an excuse.

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Topics: Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, Brian Robison, Chris Cook, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Percy Harvin, Ray Edwards, Steve Hutchinson

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