Condition Critical

The Vikings have been chasing the Bears all season long. But, with one misstep today, could find themselves chasing the Packers as well.

Early in the season, it looked as though the Vikings and Bears would be a two-team race, with the Lions and Packers unceremoniously buried and left at the wayside. But entering today's game, the Vikings are 4-4 and the Packers are 3-5. A loss today would drop the Vikings behind the Pack in the standings.

With Green Bay still alive, the pressure will be on the Vikings to take care of their business at home. Brett Favre has shown signs of life throughout this season and, if given a chance to make big plays, could be a killer to the Vikings' playoff chances today.

If the Vikings are to erase the hideous memory of the loss last week to the 49ers, it will have to be a resounding victory over the Packers. Anything short of that would be viewed as a step backward.

* The Packers have been resting Ahman Green during the middle of the week of practice. They also have been taking him out at specific points in drives. The results have been obvious. He has averaged 90 yards a game rushing over the last month.
* No official decision has been made as to the status of Fred Smoot, who buried his brother Saturday. If he doesn't start, rookie Cedric Griffin will get the call.
* Brett Favre will start his 230th consecutive game today, passing Bruce Matthews into third place. Still in front of him are two former Vikings -- Jim Marshall with 270 and Mick Tingelhoff with 240.
* The Vikings have 13 dropped passes this season -- nine by Troy Williamson.

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