The Vikings playoff hopes took a hit with Sunday's loss to Chicago but remain far from over. Even with a tough game expected Saturday vs. the Chiefs, the Vikings can clinch a playoff spot if everything falls in the right place.
The only teams still alive for wild-card contention are Dallas, Seattle, the NFC North loser, Tampa Bay and New Orleans. With a win Saturday, the Vikings would clinch a playoff spot if Dallas wins vs. the Giants and Seattle, New Orleans and Tampa Bay all lose. While that may be a stretch, if the Vikings simply beat Arizona and Seattle loses one of its two remaining games, the Vikings would have the tie-breaker edge on the Seahawks. New Orleans and Tampa Bay both need a lot of help from other teams to sneak in as the last wild card.
As shocking as it may seem, the Vikings could wrap up the division title this week with a win and a Packers loss at Oakland Monday night. It's all a little too complicated, but the bottom line is that a win Saturday will put the Vikings at the doorstep of the playoffs. A win vs. Arizona and a loss by either Green Bay or Seattle in their final two games will all but assure that the Vikings make the playoff dance.
* The Vikings signed Leo Araguz, but, as expected, still hung on to Eddie Johnson. While he's expected to be deactivated for the final two regular-season games, instead of cutting Johnson, the team released DT Cedric Killings. It is unknown whether the Vikings will keep Johnson's roster spot open if they make the playoffs or if they would make a late signing if Araguz performs well in the final two games and the need for a special teamer or a position player becomes necessary for the postseason.
* The Pro Bowl teams are expected to be announced tomorrow and the Vikings could have as many as six players make the team. Four Vikings – Randy Moss, Daunte Culpepper, Corey Chavous and Brian Russell – led their respective positions in the fan portion of the balloting. Moss led all NFC players in the fan vote.
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