Vikings Look to Avoid Record

The Packers look to set an NFL record Sunday with help from the Vikings and New York Jets.

The Green Bay Packers are on the verge of history Sunday, thanks in part to their own tremendous 8-1 start, but also thanks to the ineptitude of the other teams in their division.

With a win over the Vikings, the Packers can eliminate both Minnesota and Chicago from the division title picture. Combined with a loss by Detroit vs. the Jets and the Packers will be the first team in NFL history since the advent of the 16-game schedule in 1978 to clinch a division title in the span of 10 games.

Part of the reason for the record-setting clinching pace is that the Vikings, Bears and Lions are on pace to COMBINE to win 12 games, while the Packers are on pace to win 14 by themselves.

It looks very possible that the Packers will be the only team in the new NFC North to have a winning record. That has only happened twice since division play began in the 1967 with the Central, Century, Capitol and Coastal Divisions. It happened in 1990 when the the Bears won the division and everyone else finished 6-10 and it happened in 1973 when the Vikings coasted to a division title as the only winning team in the division.

Considering that three of the AFC divisions are led by teams without six wins -- two divisions have a logjam of leaders at 5-4 and Pittsburgh leads the AFC North with a 5-3-1 record -- the parity of the league isn't being found in the NFC North and Green Bay is the main beneficiary.

FRIDAY NOTES
* Corey Chavous isn't overly thrilled about the move to safety from cornerback. He came to Minnesota because most teams wanted him to play safety and he wanted to play CB. Being a team player, he agreed, but said "you aren't going to see Paul Krause out there." From what VU has seen this year, we'll settle for Paul Lynde out there.
* Vikings linebackers continue to get hit with a stomach virus that looks like food poisoning but isn't being called as such. Antonio Wilson was the latest casualty, missing Thursday's practice. Earlier Jim Nelson and Lemanski Hall had the same symptoms.
* Chris Hovan (back) and Dave Dixon (toe) were removed from the team's injury report Thursday.
* Brett Favre remains 2-8 at the Metrodome, his worst record vs. any team anywhere.
* Everett Lindsay has been working out at right guard this week and may see action both at right guard and left tackle, where Bryant McKinnie will make his first NFL start.

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