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Stayin' Alive. . .Stayin' Alive. . .

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So, for the first time in over a month, we're actually celebrating a Viking win rather than mourning a Viking loss.  35 days, to be exact.  Amazingly, the world did NOT come to an end during this period of time.  No reports of Viking fans throwing themselves off of buildings or anything of that nature, so we've all managed to survive to this point.  Always a positive.

If you look at the NFC playoff chase, the Vikings are actually sitting in the #7 spot at the moment.  It's better than one would expect after watching the Vikings for the last month. . .however, still not good enough, because only the top 6 teams are going to make the NFC playoffs.  The 4 division leaders are all at least 7-4 (or, at least, they will be after Seattle wipes the floor with Green Bay tonight). . .and after that, you get a mess of teams that are sitting at either 6-5 or 5-6.  The heirarchy, in order, is

#1 Chicago - 9-2, NFC North Leader
#2 New Orleans - 7-4, NFC South Leader
#3 Dallas - 7-4, NFC East Leader
#4 Seattle - 7-4, NFC West Leader
#5 New York Giants - 6-5
#6 Carolina - 6-5
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#7 Minnesota - 5-6
#8 Philadelphia - 5-6
#9 San Francisco - 5-6
#10 St. Louis - 5-6
#11 Atlanta - 5-6

I won't get into all the tiebreakers here, but if you'd like to see a more thorough breakdown, feel free to check out ESPN's "Playoff Picture" Page.  It's amazing that the Vikings are still in contention with the way they've played over the past month.  I think it pretty well speaks to the thorough mediocrity of the entire NFC.  But if you look at that list of 6-5 and 5-6 teams. . .who is in a definitively better situation than Minnesota?

The Giants?  Not with that meltdown yesterday.
Atlanta?  Not with that walking meltdown at QB.
Philly?  Not without that McNabb fella.
St. Louis?  I don't think so.
San Francisco?  Yeah, they beat us. . .I still think Minnesota's the better team.
Carolina?  Too Jekyll and Hyde for me, thanks.

Two teams are going to come out of this big ol' pile of "average" when the smoke clears this season.  I sincerely hope that, after everything that's happened to this point, one of them is the Minnesota Vikings.

Post-game recap tomorrow sometime.  Have a good rest of your Monday, folks. . .whether you spend it watching the Packers get annhiliated or watching Monday Night Raw (like I plan on doing. . .once you've seen one Packer ass-kicking, you've seen them all).