That's right, in a manner eerily reminiscent of Peter King's prediction for the 2005 season, Paul Zimmerman, Dr. Z himself, has picked the Vikings to go to the Super Bowl this year. Color me unexcited.
You may remember what happened after King's prediction set the land of Purple abuzz with dreams of the Super Bowl--the Vikings started out 2-5 and Daunte Culpepper began ruining his legacy as the second best Vikings' quarterback ever by throwing interception after interception and then got hurt and burned every bridge he could on his way out of town. Also, Mike Tice ended up getting fired at the end of the year even after the Purple finished 7-2. And there was that whole "Love Boat" thing. So yeah, sorry if I'm not excited about Dr. Z picking the Vikings to make the Super Bowl.
Of course, Peter King's choice came after what was probably the worst offseason in the Vikings' history. The Vikings traded Randy Moss for the 7th overall choice and Napolean Harris, used their first round choices on Troy Williamson and Erasmus James, along with a whole host of other players that also failed to last more than three years in Purple and signed Fred Smoot. That's a lot of mistakes. Thankfully, the Vikings did make one move that didn't hurt the team, signing Darren Sharper, who may have single handily prevented the 2005 offseason from being the worst ever.
In comparison, Dr. Z's pick comes after what looks like a good offseason for the Purple. Jared Allen is no Fred Smoot (hopefully) and was a much better player than Smoot was with his first team. Bernard Berrian is much more likely to upgrade the receiving corps than Troy Williamson was, and while Madieu Williams may not quite have the same track record as Darren Sharper, he should still be as big an upgrade over Dwight Smith as Sharper was over Brian Russell. Oh, and the Vikings didn't trade away the most talented wide receiver in the league.
That being said, the only reason King was wrong was because he evaluated the Vikings' offseason moves incorrectly. His three other reasons for choosing the Vikings-- that the Eagles (a better team) couldn't keep winning, because they had an easier route to home field than his two other favorites (the Eagles and Panthers) and because the NFC Champion had been in the middle of the pack the previous year--all applied to the eventual NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks.
So while I don't think Dr. Z is wrong about the Vikings' offseason moves, or about Tarvaris Jackson's ability to step up and be a decent quarterback, his pick still scares me, because I didn't think King's reasoning was all that flawed at the time. If Dr. Z is wrong about the Purple's offseason? Well, let's just say that this next offseason will likely be as tumultuous as the 2006 offseason was.