And by "seals their fate" I meant 5-game winning streak

class=img_thumbleft>Buck the Idiot's got nothing on me when it comes to prognosticating. Sports pundits around the country picked the Vikings to make it to the Super Bowl this year, with a well-stocked defense and locker room distraction

Randy Moss

shipped off to Oakland. Well, the defense choked and sputtered, and Daunte Culpepper, without his go-to guy, seemed a bit lost in the backfield. All that talent on the field, in the hands of Mike Tice, Steve Loney, and Ted Cottrell, added up to 2-5.

In an October 31 post, I stated Culpepper's season-ending injury would sink the Vikings ship. It seemed between off-field antics and on-field lack of production, Pep's blown knee was the last gasp for this team. And, of course, I was completely wrong, which is why I don't get paid to write about sports. I would agree with most of the sporting world's talking heads that, with Brad Johnson we had the most capable back-up in the league, and the combination of his slowing down the offense, and the defense starting to gel, the Vikings aren't winning flashy, but they're winning.

Chicago looks to take the division with their dominating defense, but the Vikes are gunning for a wild card spot. While some of their opponents in the final weeks have been struggling (St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore), none of them look like an easy win, and the final game against the Bears could decide whether the Vikes get into the playoffs - an ugly scenario for Vikes fans with obnoxious Bear-fan friends such as yours truly. However, if the Vikes manage to win two out of the next three, a 9-7 record should be enough in the anemic NFC to keep them playing beyond New Year's Day.

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