Two Teams, Many Similarities

With renewed enthusiasm thanks to the Packers loss Thursday, the Vikings face the Rams -- a team with which they have an awful lot in common.

There's a list that many people have seen about the similarities between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. These similarities range from things like both men were succeeded by a vice president named Johnson to the fact that Lincoln's personal secretary's name was Kennedy's and Kennedy's secretary's name was Lincoln.

When you look at the Vikings and Rams, you see many of these same similarities, as two teams with different makeups are both vying for the same goal -- with numerous similarities.

Consider the following:
* The Vikings played in the NFC title game with one year in between -- 1998 and 2000. The Rams went to two Super Bowls with one year in between -- 1999 and 2001.
* Both coaches have winning records, but have fans asking whether their starting quarterback will be benched.
* Last year, the Vikings led the NFL in giveaways. This year, the Rams lead the league.
* The Rams lead the NFC averaging 27.2 points a game. The Vikings are second at 26.6.
* Both teams have been without their starting running back for more than half the season.
* There are two 1,000-yard receivers in the NFL -- one plays for the Rams (Torry Holt) and one plays for the Vikings (Randy Moss).
* The Rams lead the NFC in passing yards per game with 262.3. The Vikings are second at 250.0.
* The Vikings are near the bottom of the NFL with 28 sacks allowed. The Rams are even worse with 33.
* Both have head coaches named Mike.
* The Rams have averaged 128.4 yards a game rushing. The Vikings have averaged 128.2 yards a game.
* The Rams have a high-profile owner who moved the team from Los Angeles. The Vikings have a high-profile owner threatening to move his team to Los Angeles.
* The only player the Vikings brought in for an extended workout before the draft was DT Jimmy Kennedy. He was drafted by the Rams.
* Rams left tackle Orlando Pace drew the ire of fans with a protracted holdout. Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie drew the ire of fans with a protracted holdout.
* Kevin Williams has become a leader of the Vikings defense despite being too young. Aeneas Williams has become a leader of the Rams defense despite being too old.
* In their history, the Vikings have played to two ties with three teams. They have two ties with the Bears in 85 games, two ties with the Lions in 85 games and two with the Rams in 37 games.
* Both of the teams chasing the Vikings and Rams may lose out of division title hopes because of road losses at Arizona.
* The Vikings are 6-5 against the point spread; the Rams are 5-5-1.

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