There’s just too much on the line tonight, so I’m just going to come out and say it: losing to the Packers tonight is not an option. It’s Tarvaris’ first start, possibly Farve’s last at Lambeau (mark my words--either way he will draw out the decision because he’s a media whore), and the loser will be eliminated from the playoffs. Not to mention that the Packers are going for their first sweep of the Vikings since 2000. And that is why, despite all the frustrations so far this season, none of them will come close to the Vikings’ dropping this game.
You know what makes it even better? If the Vikings lose tonight, it will be because Brett Farve beat them, just like last time. Sadly, I can’t say I have a lot of confidence in the Vikings’ abilities to stop him after Sunday’s performance against another turnover prone QB. And while Cedric Griffin’s injury doesn’t help the Vikings’ cause, the problem isn’t in the secondary. The problem lies in the Vikings’ inability to pressure the quarterback, just as it has for most of the year. Quite simply, if the Vikings get in Brett Farve’s face and force him to rush his throws, he will make mistakes and he will turn the ball over. Sticking Antoine Winfield on Donald Driver for the entire game wouldn’t hurt either. If they aren't successful at applying pressure, Farve is going to do what he did in Week 10 and pick the Vikings apart. And no one wants to hear the media go into full Farve mode after his “last win” at Lambeau. Personally, I can think of a lot of things I’d rather experience, many of which involve inflicting pain upon myself.
Of course, it could easily go the other way. While it doesn’t look like he’ll make it this season, Farve is only seven interceptions away from tying George Blanda’s record for the most career interceptions thrown. And if the Vikings can put him in position to tie the record against da Bears, well, then I think I’m going to like this media cycle a lot better.
And I’ll especially like it if Tarvaris is able to play as well as he did against the Jets, which I think he’ll have a great chance to do. Unlike on Sunday, he shouldn’t have to come out throwing, since the Vikings won’t be in a deep hole. That means the Vikings will have the luxury of being able to establish the run, something I expect Brad Childress to do. I have high expectations for the Tarvaris Revolution, but expecting him to be successful throwing the ball forty times isn't one of them. I have faith in Childress’ ability to work with a young quarterback and so I doubt he’ll make that mistake.
That being said, I have no idea if the Vikings are going to win tonight. I have faith in their ability to run the ball and their ability to stop the run. I even expect Tarvaris to turn in a solid game. I’m just not confident in their ability to stop Brett Farve, however. And that’s going to be the difference. If they get him to throw at least two interceptions, they’ll win. If not, well, you can kiss the Vikings’ playoff hopes good bye.