Whether you want to believe it or not, check back about a year ago to get a primer as to how a high-expectation season can go bad. A sketchy team from Florida (Miami) came up to Minnesota last year and left the Vikings both stunned and sporting a record of 0-2 – the latter being much worse.
If the Vikings are to avoid a similar fate this time around, they are going to have their big-name players step up in a big way. In descending order, it looks like this:
Adrian Peterson – $100 mil is now on the table and, thanks to A.D.'s skill set, going in the bank. It's time the saddle up the big playmaker and let him run like only he can.
Jared Allen – Donald Penn? Not exactly Orlando Pace. Jared Allen has to win this battle of defensive end versus offensive tackle. Allen has the talent advantage and needs to have the stats advantage by 3 p.m.
Donovan McNabb – It can't get any worse, right? 39 yards? The limbo bar is at chin level. Let's drop it.
Percy Harvin – Wanna bet he lines up more than twice on kick returns? Can he sprint the distance again?
Chad Greenway – It's time LeGarrette Blount gets punched back, but the reality is this will have to be team defensive effort.
If each of these big-timers play their role today, the Vikings are 1-1 and waving in the Lions next week for another home game the Vikings must win.
It's time for the franchise players to put the team on their backs. When there's one set of footprints, that's when A.D. is carry the team.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.