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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning streak

    Posted on Mon, Dec. 05, 2005
    The Mercury News

    [size=18px]What boat? Vikings put problems in past during winning streak[/size]

    JON KRAWCZYNSKI
    Associated Press


    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - In just over a month, Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice has gone from dodging questions about the now infamous boat party to dodging questions about the playoffs.

    Not a bad trade.

    The Vikings were the laughingstock of the league and 2-5 on Halloween, leading some to wonder whether Tice would make it through the season as the head coach.

    They've won five in a row since then, putting their problems behind them to jump back into the playoff race.

    "It's just us being a confident team," linebacker Keith Newman said Monday following a 21-16 victory at Detroit. "We were 2-5, but we really weren't playing well. We had a lot of distractions off the field. There were a lot of different things going on. When you have that kind of lofty expectations put on you, you're never going to be where you thought you'd be, but the landscape of the NFL changes on a weekly basis."

    The Vikings (7-5) play three of their final four games at home, including Sunday's game against St. Louis, and are right in the thick of the NFC wild card race. They are one game behind Tampa Bay (8-4), with Dallas and Atlanta also at 7-5.

    But in what would have seemed improbable if not altogether impossible at the end of October, the Vikings are now eyeing the Chicago Bears (9-3) for the NFC North title.

    "Our focus is not on the wild card, our focus is on winning the NFC North," Newman said. "That's our first goal. If we're going to rely on tiebreakers, or this to happen or that to happen, we're going to be on the outside looking in."

    Prosecutors are still deciding whether to file misdemeanor charges against members of the Vikings for alleged sex acts and other lewd behavior during an October boat party on Lake Minnetonka.

    Since then, the Vikings have taken advantage of an easy schedule to salvage what once appeared to be a lost season. They have beaten the Lions twice, edged the Giants without scoring an offensive touchdown, then beat Green Bay and Cleveland.

    Other than NFC-East leading New York, that's not exactly a murderer's row of opponents, but the remainder of their schedule isn't much better. They host the injury-plagued Rams (5-7) and the reeling Steelers (7-5) and head to Baltimore (4-8) before the season finale at home against the Bears.

    "You sneak a peek at the what-ifs. It's human nature," tight end Jermaine Wiggins said, adding that the Vikings still can get into the playoffs if they keep winning.

    Who would have thought that would have been the case after Daunte Culpepper went down with a season-ending knee injury in a 38-13 loss at Carolina on Oct. 30?

    "We would have thought that. Y'all wouldn't have thought that," Wiggins said. "So rephrase that question. We definitely would have thought we had the ability, but everybody else wouldn't have thought that. That's the difference of a character of a team."

    Wiggins should know. He played for New England in 2001 when the Patriots were 5-5 in Week 10. They went on to win nine in a row, including the Super Bowl.

    "Players will not be allowed to look ahead if I can help it," a grumpy Tice said. "I don't want to hear any discussion about anything other than the Rams. I think they'll adhere to that advice, or they should. If they don't, we'll see what type of penalties we'll employ."

    Tice played devil's advocate on Monday in a transparent effort to keep the team grounded. They were up 21-9 in the third quarter, but let the Lions back in the game and needed an interception at the goal line by Corey Chavous to preserve the victory.

    They were also dominated up front by a Detroit defensive line that registered eight tackles for a loss.

    So when Tice was asked if the Vikings are one of the best teams in the league, he was quick and definitive in his answer.

    "No. No. No. No," Tice said, shaking his head. "When you have eight tackles for losses against you, I don't see that as being a sign that you're one of the better teams in the league."

    Tice didn't allow the players a traditional "victory Monday," instead requiring them to come in and watch film of an unimpressive victory against a hapless opponent.

    But it was a victory nonetheless, something this team was desperate for just a short time ago.

    "When you have talented players, it's a matter of time. You're going to start to play well," safety Darren Sharper said. "Early in the season, we didn't have everyone executing what they needed to do. We didn't have a common cord, doing things as one. We have that now."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Potus2028 is offline Hall of Famer
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    Re: What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning streak

    Yea, I completely agree with Newman.. Just need to worry about winning the game they have next...
    Interesting about the Patriots going 5-5 to the SB.. We should too.
    i m better than you, so just give up...

  3. #3
    C-PepNSalt is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning st

    i'm really glad they are looking at one team at a time...it seems like it was only yesterday when we were 5 - 1 and 6 - 0 and we looked over teams, and we lost to them because of it!

    keep on truckin!
    "Johnson, we will keep on beating them until morale improves."

  4. #4
    i_bleed_purple's Avatar
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    Re: What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning st

    i'm glad their boat shenanagins are done with and people are actually starting to mention minnesota vikings and playoffs in the same sentence

  5. #5
    gregair13's Avatar
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    Re: What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning streak

    yeah we have gotten over the boat, but it will still be brought up until we win it all... so keep winning boys.
    We're bringing purple back.

  6. #6
    ryanmurphy is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning streak

    "We would have thought that. Y'all wouldn't have thought that," Wiggins said. "So rephrase that question. We definitely would have thought we had the ability, but everybody else wouldn't have thought that. That's the difference of a character of a team." <=== I like that!!!

  7. #7
    StillPurple is offline Hall of Famer
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    Re: What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning st

    It also occurs to me that we don't have to answer questions about the "Vikings collapse" - when we usually start out 7-1 and then fade in December. It seems to me like we started out slow, and are gaining momentum as the season progresses - the exact opposite of how it usually works...

  8. #8
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    Re: What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning streak

    "Tice didn't allow the players a traditional "victory Monday," instead requiring them to come in and watch film of an unimpressive victory against a hapless opponent."

    I like seeing Tice keeping the team grounded. Letting them know that they havent accomplished anything is important to keeping momentum. The win streak will be for not if we dont make the post season. But I like that Tice is making the team focus one opponent at a time rather than focus on the main goal of a title. It does feel good to be winning again. I remember the 01 Pats. Heavy underdogs to the Rams, I think like 2 touchdowns. They went in and kept the greatest show on turf, well, on the turf. That could be us against the Colts whoops, getting ahead of myself.
    ...Rodgers had to hold on the ball longer, giving players like Jared "I am completely insane and will literally eat your children" Allen time to sack Rodgers again.And again. And again. Actually I think Rodgers may have nightmares about Jared Allen the rest of the year.

  9. #9
    StillPurple is offline Hall of Famer
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    Re: What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning st

    ... on the other hand, I think anytime you win on the road, it is a good thing, especially the Vikings.

    We just need to take care of business now at home. I think we can do that. :grin:

  10. #10
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    Re: What boat?Vikings put problems in past during winning st

    On the other hand ever since our guys took that trip on the boat we have been doing better. Hmmmm, maybe what this team needs is more hookers and cruises. :lol: :twisted: j/k :razz:

    WWBGD

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