Fighting to keep atop the dreadful NFC North, the Vikings came out swinging on Sunday, battering the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-12, including 17 points off Jaguar turnovers. Now at 6-5 and tied for first place with Chicago, Minnesota's game next week with the Bears becomes all that much more important.
The Wild, who have found success mostly through sparse scoring and top-notch defense, proved again that they are most vulnerable when they need to score. After eeking out a 2-1 shootout victory in Pittsburgh, last Tuesday, the Wild lost consecutive games on Thursday (3-2 at home against Vancouver) and Saturday (2-1 in St. Louis).
That's four regulation goals in three games. Even with goalie Niklas Backstrom continuing his hot play, that is simply not enough goals to keep the Wild competitive as the season drags on and inevitably bring more injuries and possibly the loss of Marian Gaborik to a trade.
The Gophers finished their tenure at the Metrodome in a style reminiscent of how they spent much of their 20-plus year residency in the Dome: by losing. The Iowa Hawkeyes, fresh off their thrilling upset of Penn State the previous week, came to the dome and obliterated Minnesota 55-0. Maybe the Gophers will have more luck in the future when they make their triumphant (?) return to campus at their new home TCF Bank Stadium.