2009 record: 12-4 (First in NFC North)
Steve WycheBrett Favre brings back the swagger but can he deliver again? Adrian Peterson and the defense still get them to the playoffs.
3Consecutive seasons Brett Favre's final pass has ended in an interception -- and major disappointment for his teams.
The venerable veteran ended his annual flirtation with retirement to take yet another stab at winning the Super Bowl. Although Favre played magnificently last season at the age of 40, the odds are stacked against him to repeat that kind of performance. With Vikings fans pinning their Super Bowl aspirations on Favre, the pressure is on for him to get it done this year.
Visanthe ShiancoeNo one benefitted more from the presence of Favre than TE Visanthe Shiancoe. The ultra-athletic pass catcher amassed career highs in receptions (56) and touchdowns (11), and showed that he has the skills to be an impact player. Although Favre didn't tap into his strength as a vertical route runner, Shiancoe's size, athleticism and receiving skills make him a dangerous weapon in the red zone.
Shiancoe is a stealThe return of Favre is great news for the value of Visanthe Shiancoe, who thrived with the old gunslinger under center in 2009. A big red-zone target who scored 11 touchdowns last season, Shiancoe could be a steal in the late rounds for owners who wait to draft a tight end.
Three pivotal games
Sept. 9 at New OrleansThe Vikings get a chance to exact a small measure of revenge against the defending champs to open the season. Minnesota turned the ball over five times in the NFC title game as its chances of going to the Super Bowl imploded. Favre and Co. will say their goal is simple -- come away with a win to start the season -- but the ramifications could be much larger.
Oct. 11 at New York JetsThe Favre reunion tour continues with a stop at the New Meadowlands. Favre's only season with the Jets didn't end well, so don't expect a friendly greeting from the fans. The Jets' expectations are as high as the Vikings', so it could get intense, even for an inter-conference matchup. Will Darrelle Revis still be holding out? If so, Rex Ryan will have to come up with a way to slow down Favre.
Nov. 21 vs. PackersThe second matchup of the season against the Packers will likely go a long way toward determining the winner in the NFC North. A sweep over Green Bay helped Minnesota claim the division crown a year ago. Can Favre continue to frustrate his old team, or is it Aaron Rodgers' turn to beat his mentor? Either way, it will be one of the most-anticipated games of the year.