Three Reasons For Optimism about the Minnesota Vikings

1) The two teams that have beaten them, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, are a combined 6-0.

2. Despite their dreadful start, the Vikes are a mere half-game out of first place in what may be the least talented division in NFL history. One of the division's four teams has to make the playoffs.

3. With the addition of Darren Sharper, Pat Williams, and Fred Smoot (in that order of importance), the defense is more talented and experienced than it has been in nearly a decade.

And Three Reasons For Pessimism

1. Mike Rosenthal and Brawlin' Bryant McKinnie watching Pep's back on the offensive line.

2. The "new" Culpepper will merely trade sacks for interceptions against a front seven with any quickness at all--like Atlanta, next week's opponent.

3. Coach Mike Tice

Suggestions for additions on either side of the ledger welcomed.

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