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Vikings Looking To Keep Impressive Streak Going

The Minnesota Vikings currently sit with a record of 5-9, as we all know. We know that this isn't the record that any of us expected the Vikings to be sitting at with two games remaining in the 2010 season, but that's the way things are. Barring a monumental upset tomorrow night, the Vikings are going to be sitting with a record of 5-10 going into the season finale at Ford Field. . .again. . .against the Detroit Lions, who also have a 5-10 record after winning consecutive road games for the first time since the Reagan Administration or something, whenever it last was.

So going into the season finale, the Vikings are quite possibly going to be looking at the end of a streak that is pretty impressive by any stretch, and I'm not sure is currently matched by any other team in the NFL at this point in time.

The last time the Minnesota Vikings finished in sole possession of last place in any division they were a part of was the first year that yours truly was a fan of the team. . .the Les Steckel disaster year of 1984, where they finished with a 3-13 record (the only year since the advent of the 16-game schedule where the Vikings failed to win at least five games). The Vikings haven't even finished in a tie for last place in the division since 1990, when they finished 6-10 and in a four-way tie for last in the NFC Central. . .Chicago was the only team in the division that season with a winning record. (Thanks to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for those tidbits.)

Think about that for a second. . .it's been more than a quarter of a century since the last time the Minnesota Vikings finished a season in last place all by themselves. It's been two decades since they so much as finished tied for last place. There is an entire generation of Vikings' fans that have never seen this team finish in the division cellar.

Here's the list of last-place finishers in the Vikings' division since the last time the Vikings finished in last place all by themselves.

NFC Central

1985 - Tampa Bay
1986 - Tampa Bay
1987 - Tampa Bay/Detroit (tie)
1988 - Green Bay/Detroit (tie)
1989 - Tampa Bay
1990 - Tampa Bay/Green Bay/Detroit/Minnesota (tie)
1991 - Tampa Bay
1992 - Tampa Bay/Chicago/Detroit (tie)
1993 - Tampa Bay
1994 - Tampa Bay
1995 - Tampa Bay
1996 - Detroit
1997 - Chicago
1998 - Chicago
1999 - Chicago
2000 - Chicago
2001 - Detroit

NFC North

2002 - Detroit
2003 - Detroit
2004 - Chicago
2005 - Green Bay
2006 - Detroit
2007 - Chicago/Detroit (tie)
2008 - Detroit
2009 - Detroit

(Note to self. . .if you type "Detroit" a bunch of times, you immediately start wondering if it's spelled wrong, because it starts to look kind of weird after a while.)

Now, I haven't gone back to take a look at every other team in the NFL, but I'd find it kind of hard to believe that any team has put together a streak of avoiding last place like Minnesota has over the past quarter of a century. It speaks to how consistently Minnesota has been in contention over the history of the franchise without ever having gotten the big prize.

A loss tomorrow means that the Vikings and Lions will have identical records going into the season finale. . .and that, barring a tie, one team will finish in sole possession of the NFC North cellar. Even though this season isn't going anywhere, I, personally, would like to see this little streak continue.