Just a thought:
Mike Tice has to be the luckiest man alive. How he can literally crap away the end of two seasons, going 3-7 both years, and get his contract renewed is beyond me.
So, that in mind, and having a pretty good read on the pulse of the fan reaction, how big is this game?
Mike Tice is literally on the cusp of losing a lot of credibility, both in his own locker room and in the eyes of the fans. A loss in the first round of the playoffs to the most hated foe in Vikingdom will, in my humble opinion, possibly lead to a lot of heated criticism in the off-season, if not his job.
On the other hand, you can imagine what a win can do. Think about it: the Vikings, who have suffered so many disappointments amongst so much promise the last 8years or so, goes into the Packer stadium, and boots Brett Favre from his last chance at the playoffs (possibly). Tice goes from Fred Flintstone (with less intelligence) to fabled legendary coach. It's quite a swing, but with so much disappointment lately for the Viking faithful, this is huge for you guys.
On the Packer side, the Packers finished 8-2, and yet Sherman is still under the microscope. The Sherman-bashers are perhaps not quieted, but biding their time until their next opportunity to demand his head.
A win against the Vikings will go a long ways to equalling last season...a first round win against a hated opponant. Sherman will likely hold on to both Head Coach and General Manager positions, regardless of what happens next.
A loss, though? The Sherman-bashers will revel in their opportunity to come out with the criticism. A call will be made for one of Sherman's positions, and Bob Harlan may just follow through with it.
The loser of this game will have their psyche affected...dramatically. A Viking loss may be more pronounced among their fans, but the Packers damage will be visible as well.
All in all, this is more than a playoff game...the losing coach may be in a position to be packing his bags.
I still say, this one is going to be knock-down, drag-out, and anyone's game. It will be a three point game, or a blowout. Nothing in between.