EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- As a nation, I think we've done a decent job limiting our discussion on the possibility of the Green Bay Packers finishing the season undefeated. Cornerback Charles Woodson spoke openly about it with Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports, and a post relating to that topic will appear Friday on this very blog, but for the most part no one is getting carried away with eight games still left in the season.
Regardless, the Minnesota Vikings are rallying this week around the idea of rendering moot the need for that discussion. Coaches and players spoke openly Wednesday about handing the Packers their first loss of the season Monday night at Lambeau Field.
"Our goal is to squelch the talk of an undefeated season after Monday night," coach Leslie Frazier said.
The Packers have defeated the Vikings in three consecutive games, averaging 30 points against them in the process. But the teams played a tight game decided by one score last month at the Metrodome, and defensive end Jared Allen said: "We're not anybody's pushover. I know they're thinking 16-0. Well, they have to play us first and hopefully we can get those seven points we were lacking the last time."
Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said "there's going to be no trash talking" and agreed the "Packers are a good team." But he added: "They need a loss, don't they? They need one. We're going to see what we can do about that."
Allen suggested the Vikings "have the upper hand on most teams that have played them because we've already played them once." He added: "Everybody's beatable. There's a reason only one team's been undefeated throughout the Super Bowl, because it's hard to do. We've got to go up there and give them their first loss and get after it."
Look, I wouldn't even consider this trash talking. The Vikings are 2-6 and they have a couple of choices. They can cower at the pressure of playing the NFL's top team at their stadium on national television, or they can embrace it and enjoy the challenge. They've chosen the latter. No more, no less.