Vikings' Resolve To Be Tested

The Vikings enter their next stretch of game as likely favorites in every game heading into a Dec. 3 matchup with Chicago. Can they handle success? We'll see.

To outside observers, heading into today's game with a 4-3 record would not be something that would have most analysts drooling over a team's playoff possibilities. But, the 4-3 Vikings have the deck suddenly stacked in their favor.

With the lay of the Vikings schedule, there is every reason to believe that the Vikes are on pace for 10 or more wins this season. With games in which they are expected to be favored for the next four weeks, if the Vikings even go 3-1 in those four games, all they would need to do is play .500 ball after that to finish with 10 wins.

In the past few years, that has been enough to make the playoffs. Considering the Vikings already have tie-breaker advantages over the Panthers and Seahawks and have the opportunity to create an advantage over the Rams, 10 wins would almost assure the team of a playoff berth.

The road to the playoffs starts today. The Vikings have survived the worst of their schedule. Now comes some of the gravy. The only real question is whether the team can handle success as favorites?

SUNDAY NOTES
* The Vikings made official the release of safety Rashad Baker. They haven't announced who will take his place on the 53-man roster and might not. Nobody from the practice squad made the trip to the Bay Area yesterday when the team flew out.
* The Vikings' plans for a stadium in Anoka County may be dead. VU has been told that the City of Anoka's website, which for months included a link to the stadium complex, did an about-face when it was reported Zygi Wilf was exploring a stadium option in Hennepin County near the Metrodome. It was also said that Anoka Mayor Tom Ryan had some heated words to say about Wilf during a city council work session and expressed a sense of betrayal to the position of building a stadium in the suburbs.
* Mewelde Moore was a lost man early in the season as Chester Taylor was working as a three-down back. But, as his explosion has returned, Moore has become the team's third-down back again.
* The 49ers have allowed almost 250 yards a game passing and, between their awful pass and run defenses, have allowed nearly four touchdowns a game on defense.

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