Vikings Back On Track

With Sunday's win, the Vikings have complete control over their own playoff destiny.

It's a good year to be in the NFC, and the Vikings are learning to love every minute of it.

With Sunday's win, the Vikings currently sit alone atop the NFC North -- the Packers play tonight vs. the Rams. But the bigger picture is that their playoff hopes are much more solid than they were a year ago this time with a similar record. Why? Because everyone else stinks.

At 7-4, the Vikings will either be the division leader tomorrow or the top wild card team. Even if the Rams lose tonight and sit at 5-6, they would be the second wild card team. Beyond them, a slew of awful teams at 4-7 hope for their spot.

In the AFC, there's a decent chance that a team with 10 or possibly even 11 wins won't make the playoffs. In the NFC, an 8-8 team has a good shot at making the big time and, if the chips fall right, a 7-9 club has an outside chance. But, the best news for Vikings fans is that, whether as division champ or wild card, it looks pretty solid that the Vikings are back in the playoffs.

* How bad is the NFC? The Eagles clinched their division Sunday with five games to play on the schedule.
* Chris Hovan's demotion to the de-active list is a clear sign that his days with the Vikings are numbered.
* Michael Bennett may be on his way out, too. But, with a strong running back crop in next April's draft and some high-priced free agents likely available, the Vikings' asking price in trade for Bennett may have to drop to a third-round choice at best.
* Randy Moss made his on-field return but was clearly struggling with the few deep routes he was asked to run.
* The Jags got inside the Vikings 30 seven times Sunday and came away with just 16 points.
* Kelly Campbell has 55 receptions in his career, and 10 of those have been for 40 yards or more.

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