Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings clinch NFC North

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Packers Updated: December 20, 2009 - 6:53 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Steelers' 37-36 last-second victory over the Packers at Heinz Field on Sunday means the Vikings have clinched the NFC North title for the second year in a row.

The Vikings needed either a victory at Carolina on Sunday night or a Packers loss to win the title. This marks the first time the Vikings have won back-to-back division titles since they won six consecutive NFC Central crowns from 1973 through 1978.

The Vikings can't wrapup a first-round bye in the playoffs today because the Eagles cruised to a 27-13 victory over the 49ers in Philadelphia. The Vikings would have gotten a bye with a victory and and Eagles loss.

As we wrote earlier, the Vikings are still alive in the race for the top seed in the NFC and home-field advantage throughout but that is going to be difficult to achieve.

 

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