Sunday, October 31, 2010

Childress Foils Vikings' Second-Quarter Drive

Fourth-and-goal from the one-yard-line. Road game. Play card, the card that Minnesota Vikings' head coach Brad Childress so often cites, says take the points, kick the field goal.

Childress has other ideas.

After a time-out, the Vikings line up against the Patriots' eleven-man front. Apparently the Patriots know Childress as well as do most Vikings' fans. That is to say that Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick understands that on fourth-and-one on the goalline, Childress will be as conservative as possible, and as dunderheaded as possible.

Belichick was right. Facing that that eleven-man front, Childress handed off to Adrian Peterson on a play designed to follow the fullback, Naufahu Tahi, to the right side of the Vikings' line. Yes, to the right. Not to the beefier, stronger, left-side of the line.

Predictably, Peterson lost two yards on the play and the Vikings entered halftime without three points that it otherwise would have had. The play further demonstrated that even Peterson cannot overcome his coach's continuing and increasing decision-making gaffes.

Up Next: Second Half.

Childress Doing His Best to Undermine Vikings' Early Efforts in New England

Two plays, two awful calls, and a handful of successful predictability have led to an early 7-0 Vikings' lead at New England, but Minnesota Vikings' head coach Brad Childress is doing his level best to undermine that effort.

On Minnesota's second drive, Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson clearly crossed the endline for a touchdown. Childress, however, declined to throw the challenge flag and the Vikings lined up for a second-down play from the one-foot line.

The second-down play led to a Peterson touchdown that should not have been. New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick threw the challenge flag and the review official blew the review. Just as clearly as Peterson had crossed the endline on first down, he did not pierce the line on second down. Justice was served, on the whole, though that did not remove the taint of Childress having failed to challenge a clear error on first down--a failure on Childress' part that, had the officials made the proper call on second down, might have thwarted yet another Vikings' touchdown that should have been.

Childress followed-up on his poor decision on drive two, with a horrendous challenge on the Patriots' subsequent drive. With Madieu Williams missing an easy pick and allowing the Patriots' receiver to haul in an otherwise awful pass from Tom Brady, Childress deliberated, then threw the challenge. The challenge was so ridiculous that even the normally focused play-by-play analyst, Troy Aikman, wondered whether he had missed something. There was, of course, but one thing that could be challenged, and that was whether there was a catch. That the catch was so apparent, made Aikman think otherwise, however.

Unfortunately, Childress' challenge was on the reception, and the officials took little time rejecting the challenge.

Childress also has opted to make his offense nearly one-dimensional on the first two drives, giving the ball almost exclusively to Adrian Peterson. Fortunately for Minnesota, Peterson remains in overdrive mode and has destroyed the Patriots' 3-4 defense through two drives.

Up Next: Patriots Answer, Will Vikings?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Vikings Lose Game In First Quarter

The Minnesota Vikings nearly pulled out a win at Lambeau Field on Sunday night, despite trailing by 11 late in the game. The game ostensibly was sealed by a face-masking penalty against Vikings' right tackle Phil Loadholt that pushed the Vikings from the Packers' 15-yard-line back to the 40. Despite quarterback Brett Favre's near Herculean efforts, the Vikings fell just short of victory, however, not because of Loadholt's penalty, but because the offense, once again this year, failed to show for the opening of the game.

There were 13 games played in the NFL on Sunday. Of those, six involved winning teams that scored 30 or more points. Half of these winning teams scored on their first drive of the game.

More telling than first drive statistics was how winning teams performed on their first two drives of the game on Sunday. Of the teams that scored 30 or more points and won on Sunday, only Tennessee, starting a quarterback who had not played in a decade, failed to score on either its first or second drive. Of all winning teams on Sunday, only three failed to score on either the team's first or second drive.

What the numbers suggest is that winning correlates positively with success on the opening two drives of the game, with success measured by scoring drives. Given that the Vikings should have at least known that they would be involved in a relatively high-scoring game, they, thus, should have placed a far higher premium on their first and second drive than they apparently did. That they did not falls squarely on the shoulders of the coaches calling the same plays on opening drives, game after game after game.

On the Vikings' first drive, the team gained four yards on three plays in 1:54. On the second drive, the offense was equally inept, moving the ball five yards on three plays in 48 seconds. That's as abysmal as an offense can get, absent sacks and turnovers.

Most alarming about yesterday's Vikings' performance on the opening two drives was that this has become a trend for Minnesota. Through six games this season, Minnesota has yet to score any points on either its first or second drive of the game. That statistic is magnified by the fact that Minnesota has lost four games this year by an average of just over five points per game. A different outcome in quarter one might have been the difference between a win and a loss.

The four-point loss to Green Bay on Sunday leaves Minnesota standing at 2-4, with no road victories and one home loss on the season. After next week's game at New England, Minnesota should be favored to win at least seven of its final nine games. That means that the Vikings remain in an enviable position, even with a loss at New England. But being favored only means something if it translates into an actual victory. And if the Vikings do not come better prepared offensively for their remaining games than they have for their first six games, being favored will be little consolation to a team looking in on what should be a very beatable NFC field.

Up Next: He Said What?

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Minnesota Viking quarterback Brett Favre completed a deep pass to wide receiver Randy Moss. On the play, Moss clearly placed his hands on the back of the defending (term used loosely) cornerback and was flagged for pass interference. Moss need not have bothered with the hands as he had the defender beat. Whether he can accomplish this feat again, however, will have little to do with him and everything to do with those calling the plays on the Vikings' sidelines.

On the subsequent play, with just over thirty seconds remaining in the half, Adrian Peterson ran through the Packers' defense as though the defense was what it is, that is, porous.

Vikings' head coach Brad Childress, knowing that the Packers will receive the ball to begin the second half and presumably cognizant of the ease with which his players were dicing up the Packers' defense, opted, in Denny Green-like fashion, to sit on the ball. Rather than a near certain field-goal attempt or a better than even-odds touchdown possibility, Childress elected to go to the locker room up three but having put at least a short-term dagger into the Vikings' momentum. That's what Childress can do for an offense.

Childress' decision prompted Moss to raise his arms in incredulity and had Brett Favre shaking his head. The pure idiocy of the call had even Cris Collinsworth siding with Moss over the head coach.

Up Next: Moon Jumps Over Cow.

Vikings Open Up Offense and Defense

After two awful offensive drives, the Minnesota Vikings decided to play some offense against the Green Bay Packers and promptly executed on three well-conceived scoring drives. Relying on Percy Harvin's speed, Visanthe Shiancoe's hands, and Brett Favre's return to passing accuracy, the Vikings moved with ease down the field, scoring three touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Vikings, the officials overturned the third touchdown on a call that can best be regarded as a misunderstanding of the rules.

Also unfortunate for the Vikings is the continuing poor play of Minnesota's safeties and the lack of pressure on the quarterback by the Vikings' front four--two issues no doubt related. For the season, that front four has a mere 3.5 sacks--next to last in the NFL. They've added one sack so far tonight, but that's in two quarters of play against the league's most porous offensive line.

Another poor call by the officials, this one against Frank Walker, keeps the chains moving for the Packers. If Rodgers is able to throw the ball anywhere near his receivers, one of two results appears likely tonight--either the receiver is going to catch the ball or the officials will catch it for them, at least long enough to keep ratings up.

Vikings Open With Putrid Playcalling

The Minnesota Vikings opened their sixth game of the 2010 NFL season with eye-watering predictability that led to an even more predictable three-and-out performance. How predictable was the playcalling? On second and nine, Adrian Peterson was forced to leave the game with a helmet malfunction. His backup, the heretofore exceedingly unimpressive Toby Gerhart, replaced Peterson.

Losing a starting running back to equipment malfunction one play into the game and being forced to resort to a low-level, college-type substitute normally would result in an offensive play call to anyone other than the non-entity that is that substitute. Either the Vikings failed to apprehend that notion or they attempted to catch the Packers playing insurmountable odds. Guess who lost?

Rather than change the play call, the Vikings handed the ball to Gerhart. The result was not totally miserable--a four-yard pick-up. But it revealed the extent to which the Vikings are wedded to script, no matter the odds and no matter the alternatives. Gerhart up the middle produced third down. A poorly developed screen to Percy Harvin on the subsequent play, again, certainly the scripted play, led to fourth down and a Vikings' punt.

The Packers began the game the way the Vikings should always begin their game--by mixing plays and employing the screen play on second down, rather than on the more predictable third down. Here, too, the Vikings' far too predictable tendencies were on display. While the Vikings attempted a screen to Harvin on third down--the most predictable Viking to be the focal point of a screen play on the most likely down for a team to run a screen--the Packers used the screen on second down and ran the play to their tight end--their tight end!

The Vikings subsequently intercepted Aaron Rodgers, but, predictably, turned the ball over on three downs and a punt.

There's certainly more to come in this game, but if this is any indication of how the rest of the game and season are going to play out--much like all but the tail end of last season has played out during the entirety of the Childress regime in Minnesota--the Vikings' front office is going to have to work even harder to find support for a new stadium.

Up Next: Chunks of Yardage Versus Nothing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Childress Matures, Vikings Win

The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Dallas Cowboys yesterday in a throwback game of sorts for Brad Childress that also marked a possible turning point for the fifth-year head coach. In the past, fixated on attempting to prove he is wiser than than wisdom, itself, Childress has eschewed makable field goals for improbable fourth-down conversion attempts, punted from an opponent's thirty-yard-line, rather than go for a short first down, run when the context screamed pass, and passed when the context screamed run. On Sunday, Childress seemed to correct these maladies and the Vikings won a game they needed to win.

The game started with good omens from the perspective of judging the head coach's acuity of mind, with Childress placing fullbacks Naufahu Tahi and Toby Gerhart and wide-receiver Hank Baskett on the inactive list while keeping John Sullivan active as a replacement for Jon Cooper, should Cooper have gotten hurt. The moves reflected a quicker than normal learning curve for Childress, who almost certainly weighed Tahi's blocking gaffes last week, Gerhart's and Baskett's irrelevance, and the Vikings' seemingly incessant need for two centers each game in assessing his inactives. Though two years late on Tahi, Childress is showing his new-found willingness and ability to play catch-up with these moves.

The decisions paid dividends for the Vikings if only in that they meant zero carries for either Gerhart or Tahi. The thought process of making wiser decisions appeared to carry over into the game.

Late in the fourth quarter, with the score tied at 21, the Vikings picked Romo at the Cowboy's thirty-yard-line. Late last year, or even earlier this year, the script would have read pass, pass, pass, with at least a fifty percent prospect of an interception. On this drive, with the game clearly on the line and the Vikings unlikely to get another meaningful opportunity to score in regulation should they fail on the drive, Childress used a combination of short passes and runs off tackle to get the offense well within Ryan Longwell's field-goal range. More impressive, however, was that the Vikings ran to the left and even outside the tackle, rather than to the weaker right side of the line, where Childress heretofore has preferred to run in crunch time in an apparent attempt at counterintuitive genius.

Also impressive is that the Vikings kept giving Adrian Peterson the ball when it became evident that the Cowboys could not keep Peterson from driving back the defensive line. Though Peterson's yardage was meager, it was sufficient to ensure that the Vikings would be in a position to put points on the board.

The drive was also impressive because the Vikings at least took a shot in the end zone. That shot came on a third-down pass to Randy Moss. The pass was precisely where it ought to have been--high enough to elude the defender and in Moss' outstretched hands. Moss failed on this attempt, but the play nevertheless bodes well not only for the Vikings' offense, but also as an indicia of where Childress' vision currently rests.

The Vikings' victory over Dallas on Sunday was no thing of beauty on the stat sheets, with the Vikings managing a meager 188 yards of offense to the Cowboys' 314. But the Vikings were proficient with their few opportunities, and that's as impressive when a team is attempting to re-align itself as would be a strong offensive showing. And, in the sewage that is the NFC, that should buy the Vikings time to see if they can move to another gear in time for the playoffs.

Up Next: Making Better Use of Talent

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tortured Vikings' Fans Suffer Again

Throughout the team's fifty-year history, the Minnesota Vikings have won their division 18 times, qualified for the playoffs 26 times, reached the NFC Championship game nine times, and played in four Super Bowls. For fans of most professional sports teams, that would represent an astoundingly successful fifty-year run. For the star-crossed Vikings, however, it's been a history of laments.

The Vikings have been favored in all four Super Bowls in which they have appeared, but have failed to win even one, falling in all but one by insurmountable margins by the scoring standards of the day. In five losing Conference Championship games, the Vikings have lost three times as the favorite and twice as the underdog. Against Washington in 1987, Minnesota fell to defeat when Darren Nelson was unable to corral a tough, but catchable pass in the endzone at the end of the game. Against the Atlanta Falcons in 1998, the Vikings depressed fans with perhaps the most improbable loss in team history, with the offense failing where it had not failed during the season, the defense, absent its most important player, falling apart more than most Denny Green-led defenses, and placekicker Gary Andersen, who had not missed a field-goal attempt all season, failing when it mattered most.

The Vikings' championship futility, in front of an ever-loyal fan base, appeared to reach its depths in that home game against Atlanta. Then the Vikings lost in Twins'-like fashion at New York in the infamous 41-0 game.

History has provided many other lamentable and tortuous events for Vikings' fans, but, when the final script is written, it may well be that none prove as cruel as the present. This season might already be the the most disheartening season for Vikings' fans, not because the team has started the season 1-3--given the difficult schedule, Brett Favre's absence for the first two pre-season games, Sidney Rice's injury, the problems with the offensive line, and the absence of Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin, a rough start always seemed plausible, nor because the Vikings have missed several opportunities to be better than they are this year--either by failing to their backup running back issue, failing to fix the offensive line problems, or failing, in game, to move the ball.

What is potentially most disheartening for Vikings' fans this season, and what could stand the test of time as one of the more disheartening eras in team history, are the signs of what might have been. What might have been this year. What might have been before this year.

History is a difficult prism through which to asses the present, because the falling of one different domino generally leads to the falling of another different domino. While one can wonder what the Vikings might have done if Red McCombs had not dumped Randy Moss to avoid what assuredly was a pauper's price given Moss' post-trade production and how the team might look had the Vikings retained Matt Birk and drafted Logan Mankins or Aaron Rodgers in 2005, rather than Troy Williamson or Erasmus James, or how this year's squad would look had the Vikings been able to lure LaDanian Tomlinson to Minnesota, there is not certainly that, with those moves, all other pieces that currently are in place would have been available. With all or even any of these moves, the Vikings probably would be better than they currently are. Probably, but not certainly.

Such considerations are sobering, but not crippling. As evidenced by last season's late push, the Vikings are nothing if not resilient over time. That's been particularly true under the ownership of Zygi Wilf. When the Vikings needed a defensive end, the team made the deal that landed Jared Allen. When the team needed a quarterback (and finally admitted as much), the Vikings signed Brett Favre. And when the team was bereft of top-end talent at wide-receiver, the team traded for Randy Moss. Problems remained along the offensive line and in the third-down backfield, to be certain, but the team's overall condition appeared sound and far superior to that of any of its NFC competition.

Then word broke of Favre's sexual endeavors. Favre neither denied the allegations nor sought an injunction against the publisher of the rumors--two ominous signs in the face of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's history of suspending players for off-field transgressions, illegal or not. Favre's reported tearful apology to his teammates prior to the game against the New York Jets on Monday night seemed to carry over onto the field, where Favre had a Todd Collins-like experience through nearly three full quarters. That was neither discouraging nor disheartening. What followed ought to be crushing to Vikings' fans, and what that is has nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

In attempt to get back into a game in which, by all rights, they should already have been out of, Favre began slinging the ball as he has done so often in the past. On one touchdown pass, he spotted Percy Harvin cutting across the middle of the feed between defenders. The pass had to lead perfectly. It did. Touchdown, Vikings.

That play was nice. Vintage Favre. The prior touchdown was even better, however, and potentially cause for tears from the eyes of all Vikings' fans.

Covered well for most of the night by Jets' cornerback Antonio Cromartie, Randy Moss was even with Cromartie at the goal line when both players vied for leverage. Moss won the battle. Favre provided the payoff, floating a teardrop into Moss' awaiting hands. It was as nice of a play as one can ask of a quarterback and receiver--perfect positioning, perfect delivery in a minuscule opening.

Then, the already preoccupied Favre began clutching his tendonitis-swollen elbow. Instantly, it became clear that what might have been--a Favre to Moss season, bolstered by Adrian Peterson runs, Percy Harvin quick hits, and Visanthe Shiancoe catches up the middle--quickly could become a season of none of that, a season that reverts to the offenses of 2007 and 2008. In one game, the Vikings thus offered both the promise of what might or could have been and the prospect of what might never be. At some point, it has to be too much for Vikings' fans.

It's different for fans of teams like the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Lions. Those fans embrace the loser label. That's what their teams are and what those team nearly always have been. And, most important, they are and have been losers because they have made no effort to be anything but that.

The Vikings, meanwhile, have nearly always tried to be winners. The fans expect such an effort and even the translation to winning. As a consequence, unlike Cubs', Lions' fans, and similarly situated fans, Vikings' fans tend to be all in. They root for the team knowing that their level of support will lead to disappointment if expectations are unfulfilled. Usually, Vikings' fans are betrayed only at the point that signs are favorable. On Monday, with signs having only recently turned more favorable for the team, Vikings' fans suffered yet again. If Favre cannot revive the elbow or if Goodell is compelled to suspend Favre, Vikings' fans might be left to suffer yet another loss in the face of high promise.

Up Next: How I Met My Mother.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Are Vikings Preparing to Turn to Tarvaris Jackson?

At the beginning of last week, the Vikings' primary concern was whether they would find a wide receiver somewhere within the organization or on another team's roster sufficient to pull the team's offense from the clear downfield malaise into which it had fallen. With the identification of and trade for New England Patriots' disgruntled receiver Randy Moss, the Vikings appeared to have cleared their most substantial hurdle toward returning to the top of a weak NFC.

With the New York Jets' game on the horizon, however, yet another crisis threatens to derail the Vikings' season. This problem, no doubt facilitated by entities beholden to and engaged with the New York Jets football team, centers on the Vikings' most critical 2010 component, their starting quarterback.

Though the now persistent and loud rumors began circulating at least two years ago when Brett Favre was a member of the New York Jets, new evidence, regarding Favre's sexual exploits, are now available just about anywhere on the internet, on television, and, where still available, in print media--and, no doubt, a book already is near completion. Last Spring, the rumors were mere rumors. Now, the rumors come replete with voice messages from Favre to a former Jets' sideline reporter. And, of course, they come with pictures.

If true, the rumors of Favre's peccadilloes, or at least his attempted peccadilloes, could be shrugged off as yet one more human acting like a human and doing so in a sophomoric manner. Unfortunately, the NFL and possibly the law have different views of this type of behavior. Assuming the sexting photos are appropriately linked to Favre and that the applicable New York and Federal laws do not frown upon unwanted cell phone sexting, Favre almost certainly will still have to dodge the NFL.

Already, there are some alarming signs that Favre is preparing the Vikings' fan base for what could be a collision with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Standing at the press conference podium on Thursday, Favre made every effort to emphasis the treatment that he was receiving for his elbow, noting, specifically, how it was "no big thing" as he rubbed it and grimaced for effect.

The concern is not that Favre's elbow is causing him any greater discomfort than it had at any point last season. Rather, the concern is that Favre is relying on the current discomfort as pretext should Goodell decide to punish him for his reported transgression. The question then becomes what is worse, a Vikings' team led by Tarvaris Jackson or a Vikings' team led by a quarterback clearly distracted by what could become a substantial civil suit and by marital discord? Neither is appealing for a Vikings' team that has been battling to exorcise the traditional demons associated with teams attempting to return to the top of their Conference a year removed from such a showing.

The NFL clearly has a vested interest in permitting this situation to play out long enough for any penalty to arise only after the season, when, now, it seems almost certain, Favre retires. But that does not necessarily alleviate the issue for Favre, who's plight finds unfortunate parallels with that of Tiger Woods, at least to the point of begging the question.

Like a golfer, an NFL quarterback relies on focus and concentration to perform at the highest level. The question for Favre, possible NFL suspension aside, is whether he can set aside the marital discord almost certainly following from his overtures to what amounts to a twenty-year-old version of his seemingly doting wife. So far this season, the answer appears to be no.

At the end of last week, Vikings' head coach Brad Childress looked and sounded every bit the head coach emerging from the denial associated with an unexpected change of fortunes. Giddy earlier in the week over having secured Moss' services, Childress appeared morose when speaking about Favre's situation, stating that "it's only a distraction if you let it be one." That's coach speak for "it's a major distraction." Childress' further expression of "mild concern" regarding Favre's elbow suggests that he, like Favre, is already scrambling to set the table for everyone's worst nightmare--turning over the reigns of a championship contending team to Jackson. Even Childress must now be second-guessing that trade with the Giants.

Up Next: New Yorkers Show Minnesotans How to Conduct Business.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Unextended Moss Portends Disaster in Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings reportedly have pulled the lever on a deal for New England Patriots' wide-receiver Randy Moss that would send Moss back to Minnesota for a third-round draft pick. The arrangement reportedly does not include an extension on Moss' current deal, set to expire after this season.

The trade makes all kinds of sense for a Vikings' team bereft of wide-receiver talent. It makes almost no sense, however, if the Vikings are unwilling to extend Moss.

Despite the on-going labor issues in the NFL and the possibility of a lock-out next season, the Vikings must do what fiscal acumen suggests they ought not do. They must extend Moss. If they cannot swallow this pill and the possibility of paying considerable money for a player that might well never play in for the team again after this season, there is no point to making this deal.

While Moss' 2009 accomplishments, alone, put to shame the career numbers of current Vikings' wide-receivers Bernard Berrian, Greg Lewis, and Greg Camarillo, his numbers when in pouting mode are best reflected by his stat line against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night--zero receptions for zero yards. In short, when Moss is in the middle of a contract, he performs at a high level. When he is at the short end of a deal, he hibernates.

Minnesota needs performance, not hibernation from Moss. And the only sure way to get Moss to perform is to put him in a good contract situation. That's an unfortunate commentary on any player, and a difficult situation for an organization to be in, but it is reality. At his happiest, Moss can be a distraction. At his unhappiest--where he was in New England prior to today--he can be a disruptive, divisive, unwanted distraction.

If the Vikings have indeed made the deal for Moss, as it appears that they have, they will be wasting a third-round pick, and possibly their 2010 season, if they do not go one substantial step further and pay Moss. And that just might make dealing with other players on the last year of their contracts all that more difficult.

Up Next: Players.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Bloggers Rightfully Salivate at Prospect of Moss' Return to Minnesota

Coaching aside, the Minnesota Vikings' greatest weakness in 2010 most assuredly is the lack of presence of an even remotely palpable downfield receiving threat. When not suffering from the effects of migraines, Percy Harvin can do some things in the slot and Visanthe Shiancoe has become one of the better receiving tight ends in the league--as have most Brett Favre paired tight ends. After that, however, the conversation essentially ends.

On Monday, the Vikings traded back-up defensive end Jayme Mitchell to the Cleveland Browns for what essentially amounts to an open roster spot. There were hints that that spot would go to an offensive lineman, but from where the Vikings would conjure such a player is anyone's best guess.

The better guess is that the Vikings cleared a roster spot on Monday to accommodate what many inside the NFL believe to be a better than odds on bet of a Randy Moss return to Minnesota. The rumored deal, sealed but for Minnesota's ability to yet work out a long-term deal with the disgruntled New England Patriots' wide receiver, could be prong one of a three-pronged revamping of Minnesota's purported wide-receiving corps.

With Moss in the fold, the Vikings suddenly would have a deep threat that neither Greg Lewis, Greg Camarillo, nor Bernard Berrian can provide, a slot receiver in Harvin that could focus on running slants and coming out of the backfield rather than speeding down the field on every other down, and a mid-field receiving threat in Shiancoe against whom opposing teams no longer could play double-coverage.

Moss' addition to the Vikings would immediately put the Vikings back in one of the league's more enviable positions. Adding a healthy Sidney Rice later in the season would only improve that position. And adding Vincent Jackson, at what should now be no more than a third- or fourth-round pick in next year's draft, would be the crowning addition.

Surely, despite head coach Brad Childress' seeming protestations to the contrary when the team traded their only legitimate punt- and kick-returner, Darius Reynaud, to the New York Giants as part of a horribly conceived "package" deal with Sage Rosenfels, the Vikings have roster space to clear to permit the team to add one, two, three, or even four receivers. For every receiver that joins the team, one receiver need only leave.

Even more delicious than the prospect of the Vikings' adding Moss to the roster this season, is the prospect of Moss joining the roster of a team lorded over by Childress. Already at odds with his starting quarterback, it would be a matter not of weeks, but of hours, before Moss and Childress butted heads. Like his run-ins with Favre, Childress would be forced to grin and bear it. And if that's not delicious enough food for fodder, imagine a Childress-led 2011 team with Moss at receiver, catching passes from nobody. Nummy.

Up Next: Making Use of Players.