Vikings still the division favorite

Despite not getting the help they were looking for on Thursday night, the Vikings still have to be considered the favorite to win the division.

Despite winning Thursday night, the Bears are still going to need a lot of help to take out the Vikings. If they lose at home a week from Monday against the Packers, all the Vikings will need is one win in the final three games and one Packers loss to lock down the division title.

The Vikings were Saints fans Thursday night and thought they had been wrapped a present when New Orleans scored with less than two minutes to play to take a three-point lead over Chicago. But the Saints defense sputtered and allowed the Bears to score at the end of regulation and again on the first possession of overtime to keep the Bears very much in the playoff hunt.

If the Vikings are going to win the division, backing in likely won't be an option. While an underdog in Arizona, they are the kind of team that the Cardinals have struggled with – they are just 2-5 against teams with winning records.

The Bears made things more difficult for the Vikings, but, if you're going to win a division title, you need to earn it – not back into it.

SATURDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings are 11-9 all-time against the Cardinals, including 2-0 in the playoffs.

  • This will be the Vikings first trip into University of Phoenix Stadium.

  • The Vikings have won six of the last seven meetings, with the only loss being in 2003 when the Cardinals knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs with a Hail Mary pass as time expired.

  • Bernard Berrian is nine receptions short of 200 for his career.

  • With four rushing yards, Chester Taylor will top 4,000 yards for his career.

  • Sunday's game will be the Vikings final road game of the 2008 regular season. A win would let them finish 4-4 on the road for the first time since 2000.

  • Arizona leads the NFL with 372 points scored.

  • Since Week 7, the Vikings have averaged 27.7 points a game, while the Cardinals have averaged 27.9.

  • Peterson needs just 42 yards to pass Terry Allen and move into ninth place on the Vikings all-time rushing list.

  • Since 2004, nobody has more sacks than Jared Allen's 53.5 sacks. Robert Mathis is second with 50 sacks.

  • Ryan Longwell needs just 14 points to pass former Viking Fred Cox into 22nd place on the NFL's all-time scoring list.

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