Vikings position themselves with other playoff hopefuls

  • Article by: KEVIN SEIFERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 26, 2007 - 8:55 PM

The Vikings' modest two-game winning streak has rekindled playoff hopes, but a mass of other at- or near-.500 teams have similar dreams.

Vikings

CARLOS GONZALEZ ¥Êcgonzalez@startribune.comNovember 25, 2007 Ð East Rutherford, NJ Ð Giants Stadium Ð NFL Ð Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants - Vikings Ben Leber (51) was congratulated by teammates HeathÊFarwell (59) and Chad Greenway (52) after a sack in the fourth quarter. Minnesota beat New York by a final score of 41-17.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, The Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

A glance at the playoff-caliber checklist suggests the Vikings are doing most of the right things as the NFL's final month approaches.

Ascending as the season goes on? Check. The Vikings have won two in a row and three of their past four.

Winning on the road? Yep. They blew out one of the NFC's top teams Sunday in a 41-17 victory over the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J.

Limiting mistakes? Sure. They have a modest eight turnovers in their past four games, five of which came Nov. 18 in a 29-22 victory over Oakland. In their past three games, the Vikings have committed a total of 13 penalties.

All hands on deck? Pretty much.

Rookie tailback Adrian Peterson is expected back from a knee injury this Sunday against Detroit, and it's possible that cornerback Antoine Winfield (hamstring) will return to the lineup as well.

Solid quarterback play? Well, he won't make the Pro Bowl, but Tarvaris Jackson has completed 27 of 34 passes for 300 yards in his past two games.

"We don't want to think about [getting into the playoffs] too much right now," safety Darren Sharper said, "but we definitely know that we have a team that's good enough to be. ... We've played with everybody we've faced this year, so we knew we had a playoff-caliber team."

The other part of the equation, of course, is that despite their recent upswing, a 2-5 start has left the Vikings facing a difficult road to the postseason. Since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, only three teams have made the playoffs after starting 2-5: the 1990 New Orleans Saints, the 1995 Detroit Lions and the 2002 New York Jets.

Currently jumbled among six NFL teams with identical 5-6 records, the Vikings can't ensure a playoff berth by winning the rest of their games, based on a tie-breaking analysis. They can, however, cripple their hopes by losing Sunday.

Coach Brad Childress acknowledged he considers his team "relevant," but the scenarios are so hypothetical that he plans to ignore them for now.

"[That has] served us well here over the last couple weeks," Childress said. "Just sticking to our knitting and kind of keeping those blinders on."

Indeed, Childress has used a theme of going "1-0 this week" since the Vikings suffered a 34-0 loss Nov. 11 at Green Bay. Their current two-game winning streak -- or consecutive one-game streaks, as Childress might call it -- has been the result.

"I look at disgust as being a great motivator," Childress said, "whether you're in the gutter and you're disgusted with yourself or you've gained 60 pounds and you're disgusted with yourself. There is a point where you just say, 'I can't stand [it].' ... I don't think that any of [the players] would have wanted their football career to end after that Green Bay game, or our coaching career, and I just think that they have decided to rise up and do something about it."

Will it lead to the franchise's first playoff berth in three years? Not if they lose Sunday to the Lions, who would join the Giants as a wild-card team if the playoff started today.

A Lions victory Sunday would leave the Vikings with poor marks in two of the most important tie-breakers. In fact, they would be unable to finish with an NFC North record of better than 2-4 and their conference record could be no better than 6-6.

Should Detroit or the Giants falter down the stretch, the Vikings would be competing with Philadelphia, New Orleans, Arizona, Washington and Chicago for possibly one wild-card spot. Of those teams, the Saints are in the best position to move up because they have a better conference record (4-3).

  • related content

  • Audio: Childress says the team isn't looking to playoffs

    Monday November 26, 2007

    Vikings coach Brad Childress said Monday at a press conference that he's confident that Adrian...

  • Vikings: Peterson healing well, on track to play

    Monday November 26, 2007

    Running back Adrian Peterson cleared another hurdle in his quest to return from a partially torn lateral collateral ligament Monday...

  • Patrick Reusse: Rice has long history as a difference-maker

    Tuesday November 27, 2007

    Phil Strickland came to Gaffney (S.C.) High School as the football coach and athletic director in time for spring practice...

  • Mark Craig: Finally, a job for some good Bucs

    Monday November 26, 2007

    Former Gopher Greg White, after working gigs in and out of football, has found a place in Tampa Bay.

  • NFL power rankings

    Monday November 26, 2007

    NFL POWER RANKINGS

  • Redskins safety Taylor critical after shooting

    Monday November 26, 2007

    PALMETTO BAY, FLA. - Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was critically wounded in a pre-dawn shooting at his suburban Miami...

  • VIKINGS WEEK 13

    Up next: Noon Sunday

    vs. Detroit • Metrodome

    TV: Ch. 9 (1130-AM, 100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 8 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 5 FINAL
Baltimore 4
Toronto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 2 FINAL
Cleveland 4
San Diego 3 FINAL
Seattle 4
Chicago WSox 6 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Kansas City 13 FINAL
Texas 2
Oakland 9 FINAL
San Francisco 2
Wisc-Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Milwaukee 8
Arizona 6 FINAL
Colorado 3
Univ of Minnesota 1 FINAL
Minnesota 3
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 105
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Orlando 100
Cleveland 120 FINAL
Toronto 112
Utah 84 FINAL
Boston 85
Charlotte 115 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Denver 100 FINAL
Minnesota 85
Detroit 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
LA Lakers 94 FINAL
Miami 100
Philadelphia 118 FINAL
Oklahoma City 123
Memphis 102 FINAL
Houston 100
Sacramento 85 FINAL
San Antonio 112
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
Golden State 102
Portland 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Ottawa 3 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
NY Rangers 1 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 2
Pittsburgh 1 FINAL
Colorado 3
Montreal 1 FINAL
Anaheim 3
Longwood 65 FINAL
Presbyterian 61
Campbell 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 80
Ohio State 77 FINAL
Penn State 67
Maine 66 FINAL
Albany 83
Duquesne 81 FINAL
Fordham 66
George Washington 67 FINAL
George Mason 51
Tennessee 78 FINAL
LSU 63
Notre Dame 71 FINAL
Louisville 59
SE Missouri St 74 FINAL
Morehead State 79
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Mount St Marys 58
Hartford 63 FINAL
New Hampshire 67
Wagner 68 FINAL
Robert Morris 91
Long Island 70 FINAL
St Francis-NY 79
La Salle 50 FINAL
Saint Josephs 55
Providence 79 FINAL
Seton Hall 66
UCF 45 FINAL
South Florida 74
Binghamton 57 FINAL
Stony Brook 62
UMBC 39 FINAL
Vermont 66
Sacred Heart 85 FINAL
Bryant 91
Richmond 56 FINAL
Massachusetts 53
Wake Forest 51 FINAL
Duke 94
Purdue 66 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Miami-Florida 67 FINAL
Pittsburgh 63
St Bonaventure 64 FINAL
Saint Louis 48
New Mexico St 69 FINAL
TX-Pan American 48
Houston 68 FINAL
Tulane 63
Howard 62 FINAL
NJIT 71
TCU 70 FINAL
Oklahoma State 82
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
Tulsa 47
USC 74 FINAL
UCLA 85
Miss State 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 66
Utah State 53 FINAL
Wyoming 76
St Johns 67 FINAL
Marquette 51
SIU Edwardsville 66 FINAL
Eastern Ill 78
Air Force 66 FINAL
Fresno State 68
Nebraska 57 FINAL
Illinois 69
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Nevada 62
Boise State 68 FINAL
San Jose St 51
San Diego St 60 FINAL
UNLV 58
Oregon 65 FINAL
Oregon State 62
UC Santa Barbara 98 FINAL
Hawaii 90
Toledo 64 FINAL
Northern Ill 68
Wake Forest 69 FINAL
Boston College 53
Eastern Illinois 35 FINAL
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 69 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
NC State 56
Massachusetts 55 FINAL
St Bonaventure 49
Auburn 71 FINAL
Florida 49
Penn State 63 FINAL
Indiana 68
Clemson 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 80
Davidson 63 FINAL
La Salle 74
Loyola-Maryland 46 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Boston U 48 FINAL
Colgate 58
Coll of Charleston 58 FINAL
James Madison 107
Delaware 76 FINAL
Elon 77
Drexel 58 FINAL
Northeastern 42
Hofstra 75 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 76
Towson 56 FINAL
William & Mary 68
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Akron 67
Ball State 85 FINAL
Central Michigan 69
Buffalo 55 FINAL
Bowling Green 47
Western Mich 65 FINAL
Eastern Michigan 74
Ohio U 69 FINAL
Kent State 56
Youngstown St 62 FINAL
Cleveland State 73
Illinois-Chicago 54 FINAL
Wright State 74
Alabama 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 66
Detroit 60 FINAL
Milwaukee 56
Purdue 58 FINAL
Wisconsin 56
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close
Vikings