The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

Window is closing


After 26 years covering the NFL, I've decided that I believe in windows. As in windows of opportunity for any given team.

As of late, they're getting shorter, meaning that in any given season, a team that's not supposed to win often does -- the Giants after the 2007 season, the Steelers the next year and last season the Saints, coming off an 8-8 year in which the defense let it down.

So even with Brett Favre back at age 40 (41 on Oct. 10) I think the window for the Minnesota Vikings is closing. Not only do I think they'll fail to make the NFC title game -- where they lost in overtime to New Orleans last season -- but I don't think they'll even win the NFC North. That title, in my very flawed opinion, goes to the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers, who schooled for three seasons under Favre.

The reason?

The Vikings' window was last year.

Please don't hold me to this. I'm wrong more often than I'm right and the Vikings certainly have the tools to win. Favre had one of his best seasons -- maybe his best -- last year. He has Adrian Peterson as his running back (hold the ball tightly, please, Adrian) and he turned two teammates, wide reciever Sidney Rice and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, into standouts last season. The defense, especially the front, is still good -- end Jared Allen is probably the best in the league and with kicker Ryan Longwell and guard Steve Hutchinson might have saved the Vikings' bacon by flying down to Mississippi to drag Brett back.

But ....

As players age -- even players who seem indestructible -- it takes longer to heal. Last year Brett's shoulder hurt. This year it's his ankle, hurt in the championship game in New Orleans and still healing. That's what happens when you age -- injuries heal more slowly.

So I'm looking elsewhere. Probably not to New Orleans because teams don't win two in a row these days. Maybe to Dallas, although I dislike the hype. So why not right there in the NFC North with Green Bay.

And that's just the NFC.

The AFC? Let Brett worry about that if he gets out of the conference.

Make that the division.

Windows, you know.

By Dave Goldberg  |  August 18, 2010; 6:54 AM ET  | Category:  Brett Favre , Dave Goldberg , Minnesota Vikings , NFL , Super Bowl Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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