BIG GAME AT MINNESOTA

The Dolphins possibly could clinch the AFC East title this weekend if they win at Minnesota and the Jets win at New England on Sunday night. They could put themselves in line for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs with a victory and a loss by Tennessee at Jacksonville. Or they could put themselves in danger of missing the playoffs by losing to the Vikings.

With two weeks left in the regular season, there is still a lot to be determined in the wide-open AFC race.

What the Dolphins want to do is take care of their own business and not worry about anybody else. That's going to be tougher than it might look against a Minnesota team that everybody acknowledges is a lot better than its 4-10 record might suggest.

What follows is a glance at the Dolphins-Vikings matchup.

WHO: Miami Dolphins (9-5) vs. Minnesota Vikings (4-10)

WHEN: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minn.

TV: CBS (Dick Enberg, play-by-play; Dan Dierdorf, analysis; Bonnie Bernstein, sidelines)

LINE: Dolphins by 3

NFL RANKINGS: Dolphins — 14th in the NFL in total offense, 3rd in rushing offense, 24th in passing offense, 2nd in total defense, 3rd in rushing defense, 5th in passing defense

Vikings — 3rd in the NFL in total offense, 2nd in rushing offense, 12th in passing offense, 29th in total defense, 9th in rushing defense, 31st in passing defense

COACHES: Dolphins, Dave Wannstedt (3rd year with team); Vikings, Mike Tice (1st full year with team)

SERIES RECORD: Dolphins lead 5-3 (Miami is 1-0 in the playoffs)

LAST FIVE MEETINGS: 2000 at Minnesota, Vikings 13, Dolphins 7

1994 at Minnesota, Vikings 38, Dolphins 35

1988 at Miami, Dolphins 24, Vikings 7

1982 at Miami, Dolphins 22, Vikings 14

1979 at Minnesota, Dolphins 27, Vikings 12

INJURIES: Dolphins — T Mark Dixon (ankle), S Trent Gamble (quad), WR James McKnight (ankle), DE Adewale Ogunleye (oblique), CB Patrick Surtain (heel) and DE Jay Williams (quad) are probable.

Vikings — WR Kelly Campbell (toe) is questionable; RB Moe Williams (foot), LB Henri Crockett (chest) and C Matt Birk (lower leg) are probable.


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