The Star Tribune’s “Bold Predictions” segment is now a competitive sport. Whether money is involved, we can't say.
Our Vikings coverage team will put their fearless forecasts on the internet, and they'll be graded for difficulty on a 1-to-10 scale.
Like … predicting the Vikings will win on a last-minute field goal is worth one point. Predicting Brett Favre will be signed on Sunday morning and throw four touchdowns passes, that's worth 10.
You only get points if the pick is (relatively) accurate. Winner of the season series gets to cover the Vikings-Packers game at Lambeau Field on Christmas Eve. So does the loser.
Vikings at Titans, Sunday noon (Ch. 9) … here we go:
MATT VENSEL, Vikings beat writer
DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry and the Titans get the running game going early, rushing for 100-plus yards in the first half and putting a San-Fran-type scare into the Vikings. Unlike last year’s opener, though, Mike Zimmer and the Vikings come up with the right adjustments and win by a TD.
Degree of difficulty: Two. Matt starts the season by building a hotel on Connecticut Ave.
JIM SOUHAN, columnist
The Titans run the ball well early and take a lead late in the fourth quarter. The Vikings get the ball back with six minutes remaining on their 20-yard line. The Titans send an all-out blitz. Shaun Hill escapes the pocket and weaves, like Steve Young in slow motion, for an 80-yard touchdown. The run eats up the final six minutes on the clock, and Hill dives over the goal line as time expires, giving the Vikings a 20-17 victory. Blair Walsh misses the extra point.
Degree of difficulty: Nine. Jim returns from Rio vowing never to criticize press box hot dogs again.
MARK CRAIG, On The NFL analyst
Adrian Peterson runs for 125 yards without a fumble and Blair Walsh kicks a game-winning 27-yard field goal in the final seconds.
Degree of difficulty: One. Mark plays the entire round without ever pulling out his driver.
CHIP SCOGGINS, columnist
Mike Zimmer starts Shaun Hill but the offense sputters like my first car in the first half. Zimmer briefly contemplates switching to single wing offense at halftime — what, you mean that was a joke? — before changing quarterbacks and going with the guy that cost the Vikings a first-round pick. And Sam Bradford does a marvelous job handing off to Adrian Peterson.
Degree of difficulty: One. Chip's first car, just a guess here, was a Yugo.
ANDREW KRAMMER, Vikings digital reporter
The Vikings defense will allow more than 150 rushing yards, which happened only three times last season, but will win as Adrian Peterson tops that mark on his own.
Degree of difficulty: Two. Faint heart never won a fair lady, my boy.
MICHAEL RAND, digital sports editor
Shaun Hill will be injured before halftime, and with the Vikings trailing by at least a touchdown. But new QB Sam Bradford will come in and save the day by leading three touchdown drives in a 24-17 victory.
Degree of difficulty: Two. For his encore, Randball will predict the sun will rise in the East.