Vikings Super Bowl Hopes On the Line

The Vikings have a golden opportunity today -- to bury past failures and bury the Chicago Bears at the same time. One of two things will happen -- either the Vikes make a mockery of the seven-point Las Vegas spead or they set up the potential of a repeat December collapse.

The Vikings find themselves in a familiar position – in control of their own playoff destiny. If you think they're looking wild card – almost a given at this point – you're sadly mistaken.

For the last three years, going on the road to face the Bears has been a nightmare – part of the past, according to the horse's mouth.

With the turmoil in the NFC – where a slew of teams with 4-7 records can still make a legitimate claim to playoff respectability – the Vikings can throw dirt in their recent past with a blowout win. Anything less will be viewed as a failure. A Packers loss (they will lose at Philly) will give the Vikings a one-game lead in the NFC North and set up not only the final four games, but the Tice Administration as we know it.

The 2003 talk is over. Beat up the Bears and the Super Bowl talk resumes. If not, the discussion becomes moot.

* Mike Tice has a 10-5 record vs. division opponents.
* If Randy Moss hits 100 yards today, he will tie Cris Carter for the franchise record. With three touchdowns, he can vault from 10th to eighth all-time on the NFL touchdown reception list.
* Daunte Culpepper continues to have the league's best third-down passer rating. Peyton who?
* The league's official website must have something against the Vikes. First, the site said Tice is 0-3 as a head coach on the road vs. the Bears. Wrong. Second, in its official preview, it claims the Vikings started 2003 8-0 and finished 1-7. Again, wrong. All that's missing from the distortion is John Madden and Al Michaels pontificating how great Chad Hutchinson is.
* VU side bet – Jeff George plays today – hopefully not more than 25 minutes.

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