Vikings' faint playoff hopes still alive

The Vikings can't officially set a date for Metrodome deconstruction until they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. That could come this weekend through a number of NFC North scenarios, but it hasn't come yet.

One of the more interesting conversations concerning the Vikings' new stadium effort centered around when the construction on the Metrodome site goes behind photo ops with men in suits holding golden shovels.

Ever the optimists, the Vikings are holding out the potential that the Metrodome won't officially be vacated in the late afternoon of Dec. 29. They're still clinging to the notion that maybe, just maybe, there's a chance they can still win the NFC North. Officially and mathematically, they haven't been eliminated from the playoffs just yet.

The Vikings have been eliminated from wild card contention because Carolina and San Francisco have already won enough games to make sure the Vikings won't get in that way. But where there is a chance, there is the faint glimmer of hope.

As part of the discussion at the stadium groundbreaking ceremony press conference, it was asked when destruction of the Metrodome, the first real phase of stadium construction, would take place and the notion was brought up that the Vikings could still win the NFC North and, as a division champion, would host a game in the wild card round the first weekend in January.

Is that a realistic goal? Detroit would have to lose all four of its remaining games. Chicago would have to lose three of their remaining four, which includes a Week 17 game with Green Bay. The Packers would have to lose three of their final four games. Oh, yeah, and the Vikings will have to win all four of their remaining games – winning on the road against Baltimore Sunday and then taking down three current division leaders (Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Detroit).

Is it a long shot? It's the equivalent of running a marathon wearing mukluks. But, why snow on their parade and photo op with ceremonial gold-plated shovels? The Vikings are in need of a Christmas miracle as much as anyone. Keep hope alive.


  • Whether or not the Vikings are in the running to take a quarterback in the first round of May's draft, their choices got reduced by one Tuesday. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota announced he will return to the Ducks next season.

  • Right now, the Redskins are in line for the second pick. That would be good news for a team looking to build, but that pick is the property of the Rams. It's the final piece of the compensation package for the Robert Griffin III trade in 2011. Washington loves RG3, but he came with a steep price – getting steeper the more the Redskins struggle.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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