Road is unkind to Vikings

The Vikings continued their winless streak at Raymond James Stadium and have another Florida trip next weekend as they try to make something positive out of the NFC North race.

The Vikings opened a two-game trip to Florida on Sunday with a familiar result.

Minnesota dropped its sixth consecutive game at Tampa Bay, losing 19-13 to the Buccaneers. It's a loss that could definitely come back to haunt a team that had a golden opportunity to take over sole possession of first place in the NFC North.

Green Bay certainly tried to help its division rival by cruising to a victory over the Chicago Bears.

The Vikings had not played in Tampa since 2002 — the Bucs and Vikings were NFC Central foes before the NFL realigned its divisions following the 2001 season — but the time away and organizational turnover that has occurred since then didn't do Minnesota much good.

The Vikings remain winless at Raymond James Stadium. They are hoping their lack of luck in Tampa does not carry over to Jacksonville. Minnesota has played Jacksonville three times but all of those games were in the Metrodome.

A victory over the Jaguars would set the Vikings up to still be in good shape when they play host to Chicago in a Sunday night game on Nov. 30.

The Vikings are 0-1 against the Bears this season, having lost at Soldier Field on Oct. 19. A second loss to Chicago would be a major blow to the Vikings' hopes when it comes to tiebreakers.

"Sooner or later we've got to realize that first place is out there for us and we have to jump on it and quit shooting ourselves in the foot so much and get off that hump," defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. "We can't keep making those excuses about being so close because it is frustrating. We've got to get off our butts and do something."

One reason why the Vikings could be in trouble against the Jaguars is because of their lack of success away from the Metrodome this season. Minnesota is 1-4 on the road, with its only victory coming against New Orleans in the Superdome.

The Vikings haven't beaten a team outdoors this season, losing at Green Bay, Tennessee, Chicago and Tampa Bay. After playing at Jacksonville, the Vikings have two road games left in December. Those will be in Detroit and Arizona.

But so far, Brad Childress' team has failed to do that in key situations.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "On a consistent basis, you would like to be able to (win on the road). We won in a tough environment, no tougher environment than the Superdome down in New Orleans. You want to be able to come on the road and win. You need to be able to come on the road and win." — Coach Brad Childress.

LINEUP WATCH: With cornerback Charles Gordon lost for the season because of a leg injury, Benny Sapp replaced him in the Vikings' nickel defense on Sunday. Sapp was shaken up blocking on a kickoff return but only missed one defensive play.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2:26 — The amount of time the Vikings possessed the football in the fourth quarter of their loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Vikings ran only seven plays in the quarter.


  • WR Robert Ferguson was inactive for the third consecutive game and it appears, barring injury, he might find himself in a sweat suit for the remainder of the season.

  • QB Gus Frerotte did not throw an interception for the first time in four games in the Vikings' loss to the Buccaneers. Frerotte had been picked off eight times over the past three games before Sunday.

  • RB Adrian Peterson was fined $5,000 by the NFL for wearing a white skull cap in the Vikings' victory over Green Bay on Nov. 9. Peterson rushed for 192 yards in that game.

  • DT Kevin Williams and DT Pat Williams reportedly will have their appeals heard by the NFL late this week in New York in regards to the potential four-game suspensions they face for violating the league's steroid policy. The Pro Bowl defensive tackles are among a group of six to eight players who could be facing suspensions for testing positive for a banned diuretic in water pills that can serve as a making agent for steroid.

  • WR Bobby Wade injured his right knee early in the Vikings' loss at Tampa Bay last Sunday but was able to return and caught his first touchdown pass of the season.

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