The networks love to hype as many games as possible as live or die games, but tonight's game between the Vikings and Packers has just those implications. With a win, the Vikings are all but coronated as division champions. With a loss, the title race, while still in the Vikings control, is back up in the air.
If the Vikings win tonight, they will improve to 7-1, while Green Bay drops to 3-5. With a head-to-head tie-breaker edge, even if the Packers went 8-0 the second half of the season, the Vikings would win the division with a 4-4 finish. Under a more likely scenario where Green Bay would go 6-2, the Vikings would have to win just two of their final eight games to win the division.
A Vikings loss would mean that the Packers would be within two games with eight to play and all head-to-head tie-breaker advantages would be gone.
It's only the midway point of the season, but the Vikings and Packers both have their destinies in their hands tonight.
* A football publication of USA Today rated all 32 teams by strengths on offense, defense, coaching and even attitude. The No. 1 team in the NFL according to its survey? The Vikings.
* The Packers are currently rated No. 30 in defense after being pummeled by the Rams and Chiefs. Despite a week off for the Packers, look for the Vikings to try to use the same formula that worked for the others in trying to beat the Pack.
Coronation Or Losing Streak?
Viking Update Top Stories
NFC North Rankings: Tight endsThe crop of tight ends in the NFC North has been formulated under two very different approaches, with varied levels of success.
Viking Update5:29 AM
Rivalries start for divisional defectorsThe Minnesota Vikings signed three free agents this offseason that played for each of their NFC North rivals. So what will it be like for them to play their former teams twice a…
Viking Update4:47 AM
Jones feeling good with position switchDatone Jones is thrilled to be back working at a position that made him a first-round pick out of college, and the Minnesota Vikings believe that is his best position.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 6:18 AM
Podcast: Mankato memoriesThe Minnesota Vikings will start their 52nd and final training camp in Mankato next week. We reminisce about the memorable Mankato moments and preview this year’s camp.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 5:35 AM