A night of need for Minnesota Vikings

Tonight (Thursday) is a night of need for the Minnesota Vikings in their game against the New Orleans Saints.
The Vikings badly need to keep aged quarterback Brett Favre protected tonight. The Vikings badly need to prove that their defense is still among the best in the NFL. And most of all, the Vikings desperately need a win against the NFL champion New Orleans Saints tonight.
The Vikings need to come out of their first three games with, at worst, at 2-1 record. With a game next week against Miami, the Vikings will be facing another playoff caliber opponent. The Vikings’ third game is against Detroit. The Lions hope to be improved this season, we’ll know by then if that has happened.
The fast start this season is needed because the Vikings have a brutal schedule in October. The four opponents in October are the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots. All four have Super Bowl aspirations.
If the Vikings can come out of the first half of the season above .500, they should be in excellent shape to reach the playoffs. The second half of the Vikings’ schedule is one of the weakest in the NFL.
An early season implosion is the only thing that can prevent the Vikings from reaching the playoffs. If Favre goes down with an injury of any significance, the season could be over. The only person in Minnesota who appears to have patience left with backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is coach Brad Childress.
The Viking defense also has some work to do to prove it hasn’t gotten to old and feeble. The health of cornerbacks Antoine Winfield, Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin will be a season-long issue. If those three can’t stay healthy, the Vikings’ defense could fold up quickly.