Vikings Look For Third Straight Win

The Vikings will look for a third straight win to close to the season Sunday, something that hasn't happened in recent years or very often over the past quarter-century.

Finishing strong has always been the building block for teams heading into the following season. Before St. Louis became a champion, it finished strong the year before. The same was true for the Baltimore Ravens.

For the Vikings, a third straight win could be critical to an offseason that will include trying to get players working diligently in the team's offseason program, as well as trying to lure free agents to sign with the Vikings.

Coming off two straight years in which the team lost three straight to end the season -- a 2000 year in which those losses cost the Vikings home field in the playoffs and the end of Dennis Green's tenure when the team collapsed in 2001 -- a third straight win to close out a season would be key, as well as rare.

Since 1975, the Vikings have finished a regular season with three straight wins just three times. The first was in 1993. The Vikings followed that up with a NFC Central Division title the following year. The second was in 1998 when the team finished 15-1. The third was in 1999. The Vikings followed that season up with a division title and a second trip to the NFC Championship Game in three years.

While it may not look like it right now, the third win could be critical to the Vikings' success next season and another sign that the team has turned the corner and that the fortunes of the Vikings are back on the upswing.

* The Vikings return to practice today after being given a slightly longer than normal time off for the Christmas holiday.
* A VU source with the Lions says Detroit QB Mike McMahon will have a lot to play for Sunday. Namely, his job. McMahon has been inconsistent -- going 1-5 as a starter with a horrible 41.7 completion percentage. After coming on strong last year, he has regressed and some within the organization think if he struggles again Sunday, his spot behind Joey Harrington could be in jeopardy.

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