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Playoffs loom: Here or the bayou? (11/18/2009)
By John Edstrom

Well fans, the Vikes got by the Lions with a minimum of drama, though they still gave their fans many a bad moment in the midsection of the game before they finally pulled ahead. It would be nice to see them put in a crisp, error-free effort against an inferior opponent so that we could all laugh away the afternoon, but that does not seem to be something this team can or cares to do. Thus, anxiety is our constant companion.

Against Detroit the Minnesota offense seemed an unstoppable juggernaut on the ground as well as in the air. The only question was why they didn’t score more points and the answer, of course, is mistakes – there were enough of them to turn a tight game with a better opponent against the Purple. The inability of the Vikes to ever dominate an inferior opponent from start to finish makes you wonder how well they will do in the playoffs, where they now seem safely headed.

The last seven games of Minnesota’s schedule is not terribly difficult, with the Cardinals away and the Bengals here appearing to be the toughest dates. Let us assume that the Vikes drop only one of their remaining games, finishing 14-2 at best. The New Orleans Saints, on the other hand, are 9-0, and must face only three more teams with winning records, Atlanta, New England, and Dallas. They are a good bet to finish 14-2 at worst.

So it appears the Purple will probably have to play the Saints in New Orleans which would be to the usual, conventional disadvantage, but for some reason the Vikes have always had a weird, voodoo hex over the Saints and beat them anywhere. We’ll hope that trend holds up, but Drew Brees is a scary opposing QB. No matter where we face him, here or down on the bayou, the weather will be indoors and favorable to old bones.

Next Sunday the Vikes should finally be able to achieve that laugher over a weak opponent, but you never know when this team, which tends to play down to its competition, will fall in too deep a hole to climb out of. Be prepared to help them out with a lot of body English. 


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