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October 19, 2009 - Per Peterson
Sunday’s Vikings game against the Ravens was billed as Minnesota’s first true test of the season. The first part of their schedule looked like something former Gophers football coach Glen Mason dreamed up — full of ultra-winnable games against the cupcakes of the league.
The Vikings did what good teams are supposed to do in the first three weeks — beat teams they should’ve beaten. Then they got a mini-test against a rugged 49ers team and won. Then they got a little stiffer test against a solid Packers team and passed that, too.
Sunday, they faced a Ravens team with a top five offense and a top 10 defense sprinkled with Pro Bowlers. And, until cornerback Antoine Winfield went down, they handled it well. Without Winfield in the lineup, they nearly blew the game, but still held on — as good teams will do.
And to all the fans who say, well they could/should be 4-2, consider this: The reason they got Brett Favre and were so relentless in pursuit of him is because of games like the San Francisco game and, to a lesser extent, Sunday’s game against Baltimore.
Had they not had Favre, you’re right, they probably would be 4-2, but they got him to win games they probably shouldn’t have won. That’s what Favre does — he turns a loss into a win. He’s done it throughout his career. So, enough with the “they should be 4-2” stuff. How about making that “without Favre they would by 4-2.”
Maybe we can add another column to the standings: W (wins), L (losses) and FW (Favre wins). Then the Vikings would be 4-0-2, and 4 plus 2 equals 6. Add them all up and they’re 6-0, one of a few unbeaten teams left in the NFL.
Next up is the Vikings’ next “biggest test” of the year with a game at defending champion Pittsburgh. Don’t know yet what column this game will fall under, but with Favre on the field, I wouldn’t chalk it up as a loss just yet as we would in previous years.
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