Props to VikesFaninNC from the Purple Pride forums for tipping everyone off to the following:
Yes, believe me. . .I realize that we're 0-1 wearing these jerseys, and that the last time the Vikings wore them, some guy set some touchdown record on our home field. But there's something great about seeing these jerseys again, too.
(Doesn't look like the image pasted in there the way I had hoped, either. Ah, well, the general idea is still there.)
Yes, thanks to the Packers getting themselves kicked from one side of the Superdome to the other last night, this Sunday night's matchup is a battle for sole possession of first place in the NFC North. The winner of this one should have an inside track to the NFC North crown.
Hang on a second. . .yes, NFL.com is reporting that the Saints have, indeed, just scored again.
But, let's take a look at how Sunday night's game will affect the NFC North standings. Now, if Chicago wins, the Vikings are in BIG trouble, as not only would Chicago have a one-game lead over the Beloved Purple, but they also will have swept the season series from the Vikings as well, meaning any tie between the two teams would go to Chicago. That would be a huge advantage for Da Bears, and would put a significant dent into any hopes that the Vikings would have of winning the NFC North. And, since this division sure as heck isn't getting any wild card teams, that would mean the Vikings would be sitting at home this January.
However, assuming a Green Bay loss to Carolina. . .and I think that's a pretty safe assumption to make at the moment. . .a Vikings' win on Sunday night would leave us with the following:
|Overall W-L||Division W-L||Conference W-L||Remaining Games|
|Minnesota||7-5||3-2||5-3||@ Det, @ Ari, Atl, NYG|
|Chicago||6-6||3-2||5-5||Jac, NO, GB, @ Hou|
|Green Bay||5-7||3-1||4-6||Hou, @ Jac, @ Chi, Det|
The NFC South has actually been quite helpful to the Vikings thus far. This season, the Vikings are 2-1 against one of the best divisions in football (beating Carolina and New Orleans while falling to Tampa Bay), while the Bears, Packers, and Lions have combined to go 0-9 against that division (and, likely, 0-10 after Green Bay's loss this Sunday).
If the Vikings can pull off a victory this Sunday night against Chicago and avoid giving what should be an 0-12 Lions team their first victory of the season (a la 2001), it would put them at 8-5 (with a 4-2 division record and a 6-3 conference mark) and give them some serious momentum going into a brutal three-game stretch to end the season. A loss to the Bears would be pretty devestating. . .which means we should probably stop talking (or even thinking) about it.
It's Bears week, people. . .it's for first place in the division, and it's for the chance to take one step closer to getting the Vikings' first NFC North title (to go along with more NFC Central titles than anybody else). A victory on Sunday night needs to happen for this team. We'll be here talking about it all week. Why not start right here and right now?