Vikings Treading on Dangerous Ground

The Vikings and coach Dennis Green are in danger of going 0-2 unless the team can beat Baltimore Monday. If they do go 0-2, they are entering dangerous territory.

The Vikings fully expected to blow out Carolina in their home opener Sunday. While many predicted the Vikings could get off to a tough start, the prospect of going 0-2 didn't even enter the picture of the most skeptical observers.

However, with a road game next Monday at Baltimore against the defending champions, that now looks like a definite possibility. If so, the Vikings are treading into some dangerous waters.

The Vikings haven't started a season 0-2 since 1984, the hideous Les Steckel year in which the team finished 3-13. A Dennis Green-coached team has never had to face such early adversity and it's unknown how the Vikings will react if their back is to the wall early.

Perhaps even more troubling is that, of the teams that started the season 0-2 last year (New England, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Seattle and San Diego of the AFC and Dallas, Chicago, Green Bay and San Francisco of the NFC) not one of them made the playoffs last year.

Does this make Monday's game, in which the Vikings are a six-point underdofg, a must win? It sure looks like it from here.

* In the injury front, Cris Carter (deep thigh bruise) and Orlando Thomas (separated rib) are both expected to play Monday. Green said the extra day of practice time will help both of them.
* Despite having former Vikings Moe Williams and Terry Allen in their backfield, VU is being told that Brian Billick may go with rookie Jason Brookins more in the Monday matchup.
* Former Viking Corey Fuller pleaded no contest to a a misdemeanor traffic offense for blocking traffic after a preseason game in Cleveland in August. At the time, Fuller was also charged with attempting to bribe a police officer to forget the ticket -- a charge that apparently was dropped.

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