"I did want to retire as a Viking." -- Randy Moss in Jan. '08
The happiest member of the Vikings' organization this morning might not be quarterback Brett Favre or wide receiver Percy Harvin. It could be No. 84, Logan Payne, who's stuck on the practice squad. If Randy Moss wants his old number back, Payne will make a lot of money. But what if Moss wants No. 81? Will Vistanthe Shiancoe give-in?
This trade is a fan's dream. It's also a reporter's dream. Judd Zulgad may not take off his Chicago Blackhawks hoodie until February. He won't have time.
Only the acquisition of Moss could shift my wife's Vikings' tentacles away from wondering if Kendra has officially moved to Eden Prairie to be closer to her husband, Hank Baskett.
Any move that upsets Packers and Bears fans is a good one. This is a "wow" trade. There are no guarantees attached. But this is monumentally impressive. Moss will have a chance to have a big-time impact starting Monday night against the Jets. He really only has to run a few routes.
We can now add Moss to a long list of Vikings' free agents after this season. Favre, Sidney Rice, Chad Greenway, Ben Leber, Ray Edwards, Pat Williams, Ryan Longwell, and Husain Abdullah are among the players only signed through this season.
The Vikings are all-in on this year, which is fine. The NFC appears to be the weaker of the two conferences. In other words, it's eminently winnable.
To quote Moss from years ago, "Super Bowl, homeboy!" It's a better possibility now. This much is known: the Vikings are a lot better on-the-field today.
Do the Wild really start their season on Thursday? Are we really just days before the 120th meeting between the Gophers and Badgers? Oh, by the way, the Twins are good enough to win the World Series. But does anything else matter on the local sports landscape today?
CBS college basketball analyst Bill Raftery has a saying when a player -- oftentimes a star -- comes through in a clutch situation: "ONIONS!"
Will Vikings running back Adrian Peterson prove to have "ONIONS" in Sunday's playoff game? If he doesn't, the Vikings will be one-and-done for a second consecutive season and 13th time in team history.
"I want to be the best there is and ever was," Peterson told NFL Fanhouse when asked what he wants to achieve. "I don't just want to be the best running back that has ever played football, I want to be the best player to have ever played football."
The player Peterson is most frequently compared with -- Walter Payton -- was just ordinary in nine career playoff games, so postseason success is not mandatory to make the Hall of Fame. But to be considered the "best there is and ever was" it is.
Peterson hasn't played like the best or second-best running back on the planet this year. Outside of abusing Cleveland's Eric Wright in the first game and showing flashes of greatness versus Baltimore, Peterson hasn't had a Hall of Fame-esque season. His numbers, especially his 43 catches, are good, but don't blow you away. In 2008, he went over 100-yards in a franchise-record 10 games. This year he has just three 100-yard games. 23 percent of the Vikings' runs have not gained at least one yard, which is 2nd-worst in the NFL.
Footballoutsiders.com on the Vikings' running game: The 2009 Minnesota Vikings do not have a great running game. They don't even have a good running game. What they have is a running back who is great when he's not having fumbling problems, and a seriously overrated offensive line that has steadily declined over the course of the year.
Peterson has put the ball on the ground seven times this year and since entering the league in 2007, leads all non-quarterbacks in fumbles (20).
A superstar running back can ever so slightly makeup for a subpar O-line. Before the regular season finale against an unmotivated Giants team, Peterson had gone six straight games averaging less than four yards per rush. Four of which came against bottom-half rush defenses (Chicago x2, Arizona, and Carolina).
His missed block on the first play of last year's playoff game set the tone for Philadelphia's blitz package the rest of the day. In that loss, he ran for 83 yards on 20 carries.
The best way to negate Dallas' top-notch pressure is to establish a run game. Yes, it's true that they haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season, but they also haven't seen a running back capable of doing what Peterson can.
Four of Peterson's six best games have come against the 3-4 look, which Dallas features. His top career game -- 296 yards vs. San Diego in 2007 -- was accomplished when seeing the 3-4. Current Cowboys tackle Igor Olshansky was a starter on that Chargers defense.
I get the sense after talking with well-spoken right guard Anthony Herrera in the locker room on Friday that the Vikings truly believe that they can have success in the run game.
Former Vikings head coach Jerry Burns had a saying before entering a big game: "We've got to make sure that our big knockers knock." Whether Peterson "knocks" on Sunday will go a long way in determining if he is a big-time player who delivers in big-time games or if he is just a big-time player.