It is much later in the week than we normally do these things, but below is a 'Five Questions' segment with our cohorts at the outstanding Minnesota Vikings blog, Daily Norseman. My answers to their questions have already been posted, so stop over there and have a look.
Big Blue View: What is the deal with Percy Harvin? These migraines of his just don't seem to go away. Is it at a point where there is concern for his future as a player?
Daily Norseman: It's incredibly draining as a fan to have to worry about the health of one of your team's best weapons week in and week out. They don't seem to be going away, and I think they're a huge concern regarding his long-term future in the NFL. We know that Harvin and the Vikings medical staff has tried all sorts of tactics to varying degrees of effectiveness, but nothing has kept the headaches away for any length of time. It's sounds like he'll play on Sunday, but just like every other week Harvin has been in Minnesota, you don't know for sure until he actually takes the field.
DN: Psst--I'll let you in on a little secret. The Vikings are going to try and run the ball with Adrian Peterson. A lot. Weird, huh? Rookie running back Toby Gerhart has seen more playing time lately and should get a handful of touches as well. When the Vikings do take to the air, expect a lot of targets for Sidney Rice. He's finally rounding into shape after being on the shelf for the first half of the year, and he's back making the amazing catches we grew accustomed to last year. If Harvin is close to full strength, expect to see him lined up all over the field and getting the ball in a variety of ways.
As for Favre...well he's started every game since I was in the sixth grade, so I'll assume he's starting until I see something to the contrary. I don't think I have to get too in-depth with how his year has gone. Interceptions, cringing, flashes of brilliance followed by forehead-slap-inducing plays, yada yada yada. If Favre can't go for some or all of the game, expect to see the same frustratingly inconsistent Tarvaris Jackson that showed up against Buffalo last week. He'll make a couple of great passes, deftly scramble out of trouble...and then make an indefensible throw that would get most Division III quarterbacks benched. So yeah, what I'm saying is the Vikings should run the ball as much as possible on Sunday.
DN: Everyone knows about Jared Allen and the Williams Wall. E.J. Henderson gets a lot of publicity for being an emotional leader and coming back from his horrifying leg injury last year. But the other two starting linebackers have been integral parts of the defense. Chad Greenway and Ben Leber have been the unsung heroes of the front seven. Greenway leads the team in tackles, and Leber is comfortable defending anywhere on the field. If the Vikings hope to stifle New York's offensive weapons, these two will have to keep performing at a high level.
DN: If Craig Dahl was still on the Giants, I'd take him only because he played at my alma mater, North Dakota State. Go Bison! I'm tempted to say Eli Manning just to bring a little sanity to our quarterback situation, but he's been almost as maddening as Favre with his up-and-down play this year. Maybe we could just take Sage Rosenfels back?
In all seriousness, I've admired the play of Hakeem Nicks since his days at North Carolina. He was the one guy I really wanted the Vikings to take in the 2009 draft. Of course we had a chance to draft Nicks, but Percy has been pretty darn good too. If I could poach Nicks from the New York roster and make the receiving super-corps of Rice, Nicks, and Harvin...with AP in the backfield...not even Favre could screw that up, right?
DN: I don't think the X's and O's have changed much at all, but it's amazing to see how much the culture of the team has changed. Too many players straight out didn't respect Childress, and it was blatantly obvious by the time he got the boot. I still maintain that Childress is a pretty good coach and personnel guy, but an absolutely awful leader. Frazier's no-nonsense, team-first approach was the breath of fresh air that this team needed. I think it's probably too little too late for this season, but I would love to see Frazier as the Vikings head coach next year. After all, I'm pretty sick of promising Minnesota coordinators leaving the team only to win Super Bowls with their new squad. (For more information on this subject, see: Billlick, Brian; Dungy, Tony; Tomlin, Mike.)