Well fans, let it be on record which pundit it was who fearlessly predicted the Vikings' big victory against the Cheeseheads last Sunday.
What an amazing turnaround. In the first half, everything was as awful as what the fans of the Purple have gotten used to this season: an offensive line unable to pick up the blitz or block for the run; penalties coming in flocks; Culpepper throwing badly when he could find receivers, or bolting early from the pocket; yet more turnovers; and some really awful luck.
How often will a kick returner fumble a ball which bounces perfectly back up into the hands of a 300 pounder wearing the same color jersey, who then proceeds to flatten your kicker. (Paul Edinger should have gone over to the guy after the game and ask him if he were alright after absorbing that bone-jarring tackle.)
Then, in the second half, the spell was magically broken. It wasn't that Culpepper suddenly had all the time in the world to throw, but now he was finding receivers, or at least getting rid of the ball. Now, when he broke from the pocket, it was to escape and make a play, either running or rolling out to find a receiver. Before, it seemed as if he would panic and break away from his protection, actually enabling defenders to disengage from their blocks and run him down.
The zip and accuracy which had deserted his passing was back again, and he was actually throwing to his wideouts, in addition to the three and four yard dump offs to a stationary Jermaine Wiggins.
It is true that the Cheeseheads are so decimated, especially on offense, that next week they may have to suit up some of the dummies in the Packer Hall of Fame down in the basement of Lambeau. But I don't care; when Brett Favre is throwing the ball as well as he did Sunday he can make any team in the NFL competitive. Anyone who doesn't believe that Favre could have whipped a crowd of amputees and geriatric patients down the field for the winning three pointer in OT should never bet real money.
But that is not to say that there aren't a lot of real questions remaining about this supposedly rebuilt Purple defense. It wasn't only that Favre's passes were pinpoint -- his receivers were too often open immediately, and sometimes without a defender in the vicinity. There is little pass rush, the linebacking on this team is still suspect, especially in coverage, and our supposed shutdown corners haven't lived up to their advance billing.
Then again, they haven't played together for very long, nor had adequate coaching (or so we are told).
If nothing else, Sunday's victory over the Cheesheads will quiet down some of the yak and jabber over the love boat escapades. And if the Vikes offensive line would improve some more, along with their pass defense, we could be looking at a two game winning streak next Sunday evening. But don't bet money you can't afford to lose on it.