When a season ends in flames, it's hard in the short term to keep the positives in perspective.

That happened last season with the Wild, which built goodwill with a second-half surge and first-round playoff victory, only to have the sourness of a playoff sweep be the final taste of the season.

This Vikings season has that danger as well. So many good things happened, including the coaching of Mike Zimmer and an NFC North division title. Is there consolation in playing well even in Sunday's crushing defeat? Is that the difference or does that make it worse? Time will tell.

DOUBLE CRUSH It's hard to top the Vikings' loss Sunday in terms of heartbreak, but Mike Zimmer's old boss in Cincinnati probably has him beat.

SHIFT CHANGE OK, Wild. The Vikings season is over. The Timberwolves and Gophers are struggling. This town is yours. Let's see what you can do.