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Opinion

Vikings to knock Packers’ fans down a peg

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November 7, 2007

The Green Bay Packer fans are in euphoria right now. “How could the John Deere Cult be 7-1 after 8 games? How did Brett Favre find the fountain of youth? Why is their defense so good? Who is Javon Walker? We have Greg Jennings! Ahman Green? Pffft. Ryan Grant, please! Aaron Kampman eats people alive.”

Congratulations Packer fans, you didn’t hire Brad Childress to coach your football team! However, there is one thing that is definitely being overlooked and it’s not your football team. (NOTE: You can’t be overlooked when your quarterback is mentioned 8,000 times excluding plays and his wife writes a book because she’s his wife and survived breast cancer and is invited on Monday Night Football.) It’s the fact you should be 6-2. Packer fans who are drinking the kool-aid, which I believe, for them, is Pabst Blue Ribbon or Leinenkugels, can’t believe that I just said that. Nobody can beat the mighty Packers! Not with Brett Favre and his laser rocket arm! Who could I possibly say should have beaten the Green Bay Packers? The Minnesota Vikings.

Now you’re really laughing aren’t you? “The Minnesota Vikings??? Oh my goodness! [Going over to friend Billy Bob] Look at this homer! Hahaha!” Well, I have no doubt that you won’t believe me, but Monday morning revisit this column and tell me what you think. There is one reason why the Vikings lost Sept. 30 and will win this Sunday against the Packers, and his name is Adrian Peterson.

Peterson definitely is the wild card for the Vikings. When Peterson goes off, the Vikings obviously win. When Peterson doesn’t, they don’t. Also, when Peterson isn’t used, the Vikings lose. Brad Childress finally figured this out a couple weeks ago and named Peterson the starter over Chester Taylor. Their record since then is 1-1 but the ways that Peterson opens up the offense are staggering.

Last Sunday, during Peterson’s record-breaking performance of 296 rushing yards, Brooks Bollinger came in for an injured Tarvaris Jackson. It looked like the Vikings were going to lose this game until Childress decided to ride Peterson all day (No pun intended). Peterson punished the San Diego Chargers D, running around and over them right and left and up the middle. Midway through the third quarter the Vikings were tied 14-14. The entire Charger defense stuffed the box, so Vikings Offensive Coordinator Darrel Bevell decided to go deep to Sidney Rice. The result was a touchdown, and the Vikings took a lead they wouldn’t give up.

This leads me to this Sunday. Bollinger, Jackson or Kelly Holcomb won’t beat the Packers, but Adrian Peterson will. In the first half of the Viking-Packer game on Sept. 30, Peterson had 10 carries for 110 yards, including a run where he dragged Packer safety Nick Collins 15 yards (I think Collins is still smeared across the Metrodome turf). Peterson only got 2 carries the rest of the game and the Packers took advantage of the Vikings hapless offense and walked out of the dome with a win.

Peterson is the starting running back now and he’s not sharing carries with anybody. Think of it this way. If Peterson got 110 on 10 carries, what happens when he gets 25-plus carries? The Packer defense gets absolutely mauled, that’s what happens. A John Deere Cult member said it was impossible for Peterson to duplicate that because the game isn’t in a dome and the Packers have a good run defense. Ok, he obviously doesn’t remember the Vikings/Bears game where Peterson ran for 224 and 3 TD at Chicago in the rain. Also, tough run defenses? San Diego’s run defense was ranked seventh in the NFL going into Sunday’s game. Peterson only ran for 296 yards, but I’m sure you knew that.

Bottom line is this: your Packers are on borrowed time. This Sunday will begin a free fall, which would even make the Vikings proud. After Peterson drops 300 at Lambeau, the Packers have to play Detroit and Dallas the next two weeks, the beginning of a three game losing streak. So in parting, I have just one question for you cult members. What is Peterson’s number? I ask because that’s all you’re going to see ALL DAY (Pun intended)!

Chris Schad is a student at UW-River Falls.