Must Win?

…and no, I’m not talking politics for a change. I’m talkin’ Vikings.

The Vikings have got to beat the Texans at the Dome today to build some confidence and start some momentum during stretch of schedule that will make or break their season. After Houston, the Vikes face the Packers at home, travel to Tampa Bay and Jacksonville, two tough teams, and come home to face their second division opponent of this stretch in Chicago. These next five games will determine Brad Childress‘ fate as our head coach.

Houston is considered a team on the rise, with an offense that is fifth in passing and 11th in rushing. But their four losses have come at the hands of tough teams and their three wins at the expense of weak teams. They have yet to win on the road. And their defense is 26th against the run.

Now, the Vikings are no powerhouse but they are better than Detroit, Miami, and the Bengals, the three teams the Texans have beat.

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears

The offensive line had better show up today and Tahi will need his A game (and it’s open to debate as to whether he has one) if the Vikings want to talk away with a win today.

They’ll need to grind it out with long drives and heavy doses of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor in order to take advantage of Houston’s weak run defense and to keep their dynamic offense off the field.

Though the mythical Madieu Williams is allegedly set to start for the first time this season, we have no idea what we have in the safety. And with our troubles at linebacker (the slow Chad Greenway and the still adjusting Napolean Harris), it’s probably best to try and limit the damage Matt Schaub and receiver Andre Johnson are likely to do to the Vikings.

The last two things the Vikings need to improve are the offensive playcalling and the abysmal special teams coverage units. Sadly, I have little hope that either will be any better than what we’ve seen thus far.

Here’s hoping for the win but I’ve learned not to expect anything from this team.