The Heat Is On

Thanks to a pair of unexpected losses the last two weeks, the Vikings' wiggle room to make the playoffs has become considerably more difficult.

The strength of the AFC is clearly visible when you look at the top teams in the league. Four teams have records of 7-2 or better and it will likely take 10, if not 11, wins to assure a playoff berth in that conference. In the NFC, the story is a little different.

Through nine games, eight of the conference's 16 teams have a record of 5-4 or 4-5, including the Vikings. What is the significance of that? If the Vikings are to make the playoffs, they have a lot of teams to compete with -- at least one or two that are going to get hot heading down the stretch.

Thanks to a pair of losses to the 49ers and Packers, the Vikings, who could have been in the playoff driver's seat with a 6-3 record, head to Miami at 4-5 and in danger of falling out of playoff contention altogether.

While there is still hope, if the Vikings finish the season with a 5-2 record, they have a decent shot to make the playoffs, but by no means are they guaranteed. To finish 10-6 would almost surely lock up a berth, but that would require a 6-1 finish. Are the Vikings capable of doing that? Stay tuned.

* As reported following Sunday's game, the injury to LB Jason Glenn forced the Vikings to put him on injured reserve Tuesday. His spot on the 53-man roster was taken by WR Jason Carter.
* The Vikings defense is rated No. 6 in the NFL -- first vs. the rush and 26th vs. the pass.
* The Vikings worked out rookie defensive backs Dimitri Patterson (Tuskegee)and Harrison Smith (California).
* Randy Moss is at it again. Never one to shy away from putting his foot in his mouth, Moss has blamed his poor play on being unhappy with the Raiders and their offense. It wouldn't be so bad if Moss wasn't the captain of the offense. What sort of message does that send to the younger players? If your captain doesn't play well because he doesn't like how things are going, there's a cancer spreading through the team.
* In the last five games, Troy Williamson has caught 11 passes for 104 yards.
* The Rams signed former Vikings OL Adam Haayer Tuesday.
* Of the 16 games on the schedule this weekend, half of them will pit an NFC team vs. an AFC team.

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