'So You're Saying There's a Chance'

The combination of a win Sunday and games coming up against the two teams currently in the frontrunner positions for the wild card spots, the Vikings' season -- once thought to be as a dead as a Thanksgiving turkey -- is very much alive.

In the locker room following the Vikings' win over the Raiders Sunday, there was something that hasn't been seen often if at all this year – something resembling a swagger. In their final game before Thanksgiving, the Vikings gave themselves and their fans something to be thankful for. The team was as loose and upbeat following Sunday's win as any Vikings teams in the Brad Childress Era. They were having fun.

In fact, some players talked about potentially running the table. While that remains improbable, they're taking a line from Lloyd Christmas is the movie "Dumb and Dumber" – "so you're telling me there's a chance."

In the next two weeks, the Vikings play the two teams that are the current frontrunners in the wild card chase – the Giants and the Lions. While the Giants seem pretty well locked in at 7-3, the Lions have lost two straight and have a short week ahead of them preparing for the Packers on Thanksgiving Day. After that, they play the Vikings at the Metrodome, where the Vikings are clearly a different team than they are on the road. If the Packers and Vikings take care of their business in the next two weeks, the Lions could easily be 6-6 after a 6-2 start and the wild card becomes a wild race indeed.

While a lot of things have to happen for the planets to align themselves in the Vikings' favor, with six games to play, things don't look nearly as desperate as they did a week ago when the Vikings had one of the most humiliating losses in franchise history. Aside from their road game with the Giants, the Vikings don't face a guaranteed playoff team the rest of the way this season. They have the Lions, 49ers, Bears, Redskins and Broncos – all teams at or below .500 and none of whom have captured the imagination of football fans as a team that can make a huge playoff push.

While the Vikings have a long way to go and a short time to get there, one thing they can say as they prepare for their own Thanksgiving holiday – "so you're telling me there's a chance."

MONDAY NOTES
* Adrian Peterson will begin the first step in his attempt to return from his torn LCL by running on an underwater treadmill today. He is likely going to have another MRI today to see what if any progress the knee is making. He told VU after the game that he is feeling good, but has to take it day by day before announcing that he's ready to return to action.
* After Sunday's game, there was a line of players that offered hugs to Daunte Culpepper. Among them was head coach Brad Childress. While not a long discussion, Culpepper said after the game they both wished each other luck and would appear to have buried the hatchet on the bad blood that many believed they had when Childress took over as head coach of the Vikings.
* Antoine Winfield aggravated his hamstring injury Sunday and sat out the second half. His status for Sunday's game with the Giants hasn't been determined, but Winfield told VU Sunday that he felt a burn every time he tried to cut or push off on the injured leg and was shut down at halftime. He said he could have continued, but the team felt it was in the best interest of Winfield and the team to make sure he's 100 percent before they send him back out again.


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