For years, the national media have had a love-hate relationship with Randy Moss. About the time they start dogging him for not giving 100 percent, he blows up and has a huge game.
He has the potential for another big outing Sunday -- and the Vikes will need it if they are to beat Seattle. While the conventional wisdom is that the Vikings will try to go ball control on Seattle to keep their vulnerable defense off the field, Moss is primed to give a rookie an apprenticeship by fire Sunday.
When the Vikings took Kevin Williams with their first pick, there was talk that Marcus Trufant -- one of the best cover cornerbacks in the draft -- would be the Vikings' selection. Instead, he ended up in Seattle and the Seahawks have put him up against opponents' top receiver in hopes he can be a shut-down corner.
While the overall reviews are good, Trufant has been criticized for not having the "second gear" to make up for mistakes. Against a player like Moss, that could mean seven points per mistake.
Trufant is sure to get safety help often, but there will be a half-dozen or more plays in which he is matched up in single coverage. If the Vikings can identify those matchups and take advantage of them, Moss could have a big day -- which will be needed for the Vikings to keep their hold on first place in the NFC North.
* If Seattle wins Sunday, coach Mike Holmgren will notch his 124th win as a head coach, passing Sid Gillman into 19th place all-time. It would tie him with George Seifert and leave him one behind Jim Mora and three behind Mike Ditka on the NFL's all-time win list.
* A win at the dome won't be easy for Holmgren. In his career, he has 1-6 record as a head coach in the Metrodome.
* In the Vikings' 6-0 start to the season, Daunte Culpepper didn't have an interception. In the 1-5 slide since, he has eight picks.
* Seattle has had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown in each of the last two games.
* Kelly Campbell missed practice Friday to attend the funeral of his cousin -- who was shot and killed earlier this week.
* Seattle TE Itulu Mili has four touchdowns this season, tying the Seahawks career high for a tight end in a season -- a record he now shares with Mike Tice.
Moss Should Be Key Player Sunday
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