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Vikes to eke out a win (09/07/2011)
By John Edstrom

...thanks to fans of superior virtue

Well fans, another opening day, this one with decidedly mixed expectations unlike last year when it was assumed that Brett Favre would take us to the promised land, or at least a country nearby. Instead, he went back to Mississippi pretty much by himself, not a special place except, perhaps, for the fans of William Faulkner, no football writer.

Perennially the Purple has nothing settled at the QB position, and this year is no exception. Perhaps Donovan McNabb will reach back and produce an Indian summer year, such as Favre dazzled us with in ‘09-’10. It is possible that the offensive line could play solidly, as it certainly did not last year. Charlie Johnson protected Peyton Manning’s blind side competently in Indianapolis and replaces the well-gone Bryant McKinnie, a genius of corrupt misbehavior likely to taint all, like a dirty rinse behind the bar. Steve Hutchinson and John Sullivan have regained their health, it is said, as well as Anthony Herrera. That leaves only Phil Loadholt out on the right tackle position. Let us pray for his substantial improvement, and if we get a good answer, it would solve many of last year’s worst problems. Then, Adrian Peterson and the rushing attack sweeps all before it, and there is plenty of receiving talent to mop up any lingering defensive resistance.

Preseason games have shown much surprising promise on defense. Christian Ballard played well and with great versatility on the defensive line, and Everson Griffen did not seem too befuddled performing as a standup outside linebacker. (A phenomenal physical talent, Griffen was a steal two drafts ago, falling well down out of the first round because of “character concerns” not at all dispelled lately by word of late-night off season high jinks. Perhaps the example of McKinnie has learned him a lesson to mend his ways.) And last Thursday vs. Houston, undrafted defensive end Adrian Awason showed a dazzling variety of pass rushing moves that earned him a roster spot and promises some depth along the defensive line.

This leaves the other big question mark, a defensive backfield one injury away from disaster at cornerback, and with no answers forthcoming at the safety position where Tyrell Johnson allowed an easy interception to bounce off his horny hands last Thursday against Houston. Does anyone present remember Joey Browner? More prayers in order here, but we need beseech no miracle, as several newcomers have shown promise, CB Marcus Sherels, and Mistral Raymond and Brandon Burton who are designated only as defensive backs.

In the opener the Vikes face the San Diego Chargers, whose recent history mirrors that of the Purple, much promise and talent coming up lame early and inexplicably the last two seasons. Charger fans will be wafting pretty much the same prayers to the Deity as those of the Purple, pre-game. California, however, is a sink of depravity, and vile in its wickedness as evidenced by the number of my relatives living there who abandoned their roots here in God’s country. Expect the Vikes to eke out a win accordingly. 


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