Four weeks ago, few people gave the Vikings much of a chance of chugging through their final four regular-season games against Chicago, St. Louis, Houston and Green Bay and making the playoffs. As such, why not dream big?
The Vikings did win those four games. And if they win four more, they will be Super Bowl champions. We're not sure how many Super Bowls they have ever won, but we're POSITIVE some clever folks from Wisconsin could tell us, while at the same time telling us to stop living in the past when we bring up more pleasant purple memories.
Sorry, got sidetracked. Dreaming big. Let's think not just of a Super Bowl. Let's think of the dream streak of teams to run through -- the Vikings' road to redemption.
1) It starts in Green Bay. That much we already know. And it is perfect. While beating the Packers wouldn't specifically be redemption -- Minnesota is, after all, undefeated all-time in the playoffs at Lambeau Field -- it would be the ideal way to start a playoff run for obvious reasons.
2) A victory on Saturday night would earn Minnesota a game at No. 1-seeded Atlanta. This time, the Falcons would be the presumed home underdog after cruising through the regular season. Can you say payback for 1998? Can we exorcize the demons of wide left and take a knee? Yes we can.
3) The three possible teams to face in the NFC title game would be Seattle, Washington and San Francisco. The 49ers inflicted some playoff misery on the Vikings, but Minnesota did have the equal stunner in 1987. Seattle knocked off the Vikings this year, but it's hard to get worked up about the Seahawks. Washington? Ah, we have a winner. Let's never speak of Darrin Nelson's drop again. Let's work past it.
4) Super Bowl, homeboy. Unfortunately, none of the teams that may or may not have defeated the Vikings in prior Super Bowls (again, please help, Green Bay fans ... we're having trouble remembering the history) made it to the playoffs this year. So we'll have to go with the Broncos -- the team the Vikings should have played in the 1998 Super Bowl. Let's bring this thing full circle.
Why not, right?