Yardage Record In Reach

With a big day Sunday and some help from the Raiders, the Vikings can set a franchise first this weekend.

Earlier this year, Mike Tice said stats were for losers. He followed that up by saying that, considering the team's record at the time, it was something they were holding their hats on.

So, it should come as no surprise that the Vikings will be watching Saturday's game between the Chiefs and Raiders with mild interest, since it could help the Vikings set a franchise first.

As hard it as it may seem to believe, the Vikings have never finished with the top-rated offense in the NFL -- rankings are determined by total yards. While many may have thought the dream season of 1998 was a record-setter, the Vikings set a league record for points but not yards. That same year, San Francisco beat them out for total yards -- a record that still sits among the top yardage years in NFL history.

Entering the final weekend, the Chiefs have a 82-yard edge on the Vikings, but, with RB Priest Holmes out and the Raiders at home looking for AFC home-field advantage, there is every possibility the Chiefs may be limited offensively. Meanwhile, the Vikings have a much better chance of piling up yardage vs. Detroit.

In the final analysis, it may not mean a lot, but a positive franchise first is always good news -- and, as we've mentioned before, another thing the Vikings can hang their hat on to try to lure free agents (defensive free agents) to come to the team next year.

* Cornerback could be a problem for the Vikes this weekend. With backup Carey Scott already questionable with a quadriceps injury, Brian Williams and Tyrone Carter are both still limited with ankle injuries. While expected to play, depth is a big concern for all three should one or more have a setback during the game.
* Kelly Campbell remains questionable on the team's injury report with a turf toe, but VU is being told that he will be ready to reclaim his No. 3 WR position Sunday.
* Seven of the Vikings' 10 losses this year have been by a touchdown or less.
* Michael Bennett needs 53 rushing yards Sunday to have the second-best single season rushing mark in team history. Robert Smith holds the record with 1,521 yards in 2000. Bennett currently sits at 1,214 yards.
* LB Greg Biekert and TE Hunter Goodwin were each fined $5,000 by the league for incidents from last week's game with Miami. Biekert was fined for hitting RB Ricky Williams out of bounds, while Goodwin was fined for taunting DE Jason Taylor. Both will appeal. Neither will win.
* WRs Randy Moss and Chris Walsh are both listed as probable on the injury report. Moss is listed as having an ankle problem, while Walsh experienced back spasms again Thursday in practice. Both are expected to be fine Sunday.
* The local Twin Cities media has been pretty rough on longtime VU friend Paul Allen, the play by play announcer for Vikings radio broadcasts. As far as VU is concerned, there's no such thing as being too home-team biased on radio broadcasts and P.A. has been a breath of fresh air in that regard. Much of his criticism has been that he is friendly with players and tries to make broadcasts interesting with unique takes on the action. Forgive us for asking, but when was that bad? It's not like he's high-fiving Ricky Foggie when the Gophers won a big game several years back? Oh, wait. His harshest critics work for the same paper that employs said high-fivesman. Oops.

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