If one lists the Vikings' weaknesses, slow starts would be fighting it out with special teams for the top spot. In each of the last two seasons, the Vikings have come out of the gate with a record of 1-3. In 2007, the Vikings were able to fight back to the point that, had they beaten Washington at home in late December, they would have locked down a wild card spot. That didn't happen. Washington went to the playoffs and the Vikings finished 8-8 and out of the money. Last year, the Vikings rallied to win nine of their final 12 games to make up for the 1-3 start and won the division with a record of 10-6.
On the flip side of things, Favre has been able to lift his teams to early success in that same period. In his last season in Green Bay, Favre got the Packers off to a 4-0 start – propelling them to a big early lead in the NFC North that the team never let go. They road that early momentum into a 13-3 season and eventually had the home field advantage when they lost the NFC Championship Game to the Giants.
Much the same happened last year. Favre moved to the Jets, but the early-season results were much the same. He got the Jets out of the gate strong with a 4-1 start, which looked as though it would be enough to get them in the playoffs before a late-season collapse dropped them out of the playoff hunt.
It would seem the Vikings and Favre would be an ideal match, given Favre's success in the early part of the season and the Vikings' recent struggles. What may be the wild card in all of this is the early schedule for the Vikings. The first five opponents for the Vikings had a combined record of 19-61 in 2008 – and average record of 4-12. With the Browns, Lions, 49ers, Packers and Rams to open the season, there is a legitimate chance that the Vikings won't find themselves as an underdog until they play the Steelers Oct. 25 in Week 7.
So many times the teams that get off to the strong start often ride that momentum throughout the regular season, as that early confidence tends to feed itself and continue. The Vikings have dug themselves a deep hole early in the season each of the last two years and it is hoped that the combination of a cushy early schedule and Favre's recent track record of fast starts will help propel the Vikings to the next level. If Favre continues his streak, it could lead to the Vikings playing at home in January well beyond the regular-season finale Jan. 3 vs. the Giants.