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Baby Steps Turn Into Leaps And Bounds for Vikings: Is A 5-0 Start Next?

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IOctober 11, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 09:  A Minnesota Vikings fan looks on during  the game with the Green Bay Packers on November 9, 2008 at the Metrodome in Mineapolis, Minnesota.  The Vikings won 28-27.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Since Frazier arrived and overhauled the defense in ’06, it’s been nothing short of sheer success with two and half years of being rated number one against the run.

Since the arrival and cultivation of Adrian Peterson, the Vikings running game has turned from pretty good, to the top rushing attack in the NFC.

Since Brett Favre arrived, the Vikings total offense went from a one sided attack to team nobody wants to face.

A couple of years ago, most Vikings fans would’ve never imagined that their team would be one of the best in the NFC let alone the NFL, but here we are in 2009 and that reality is not only showing itself to be truth, but glaring back at the rest of the league as if to say” Oh yeah, we’re the real deal!”

On Sunday, the Vikings put a couple of monumental records on the line as they face a Rams team that is viewed as the worst or the worst, but this is precisely the type of situation that defines a team.

The Rams are 0-4 and the Vikings are 4-0 which lends itself to the “oh so common” NFL upset of the week.

Too often do we hear that familiar story—after the game, of course, right?—of a team that got too complacent and overly confident in themselves; so much that it blinded them from the actual task at hand—winning.

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But the impending upset is worth more than most realize in that, a Vikings’ victory after the emotional roller coaster game last week vs. the Pack, and the physically demanding brawl with the 49ers two weeks ago, will solidify their status as an elite team in the NFL and prove to the naysayers that yes, this team has finally maturated into a series contender.

But it is that proverbial hump that most teams never prevail over, relegating them to years of mediocrity and speculation.

A victory over the Rams would do several things:

1. Stopping Steven Jackson would be nice, and it would prove the run D is legit; keeping Jackson under 100 rushing yards would extend an impressive 26-game streak of not allowing any one rusher over 100 yards to 27—an unprecedented achievement.

2. Beating the Rams would lift the Vikings to 5-0—the first 5-0 start since 2003—and again would prove to themselves, more importantly, that they are now a complete package with a solid D and an explosive O.

3. The victory would surely begin the process of separation from the rest of the competition, leaving only the Saints as a true test of their metal.

But all of this rests on whether or not the Vikings can actually achieve such great feats; this guys thinks it’s more of a possibility than ever before.

On Sunday, for Vikings’ fans, there is going to be a great deal of unrest combined with anticipation that will be nothing like they have ever experienced before.

When the day is through, there will be more Vikings’ fans sleeping with smiles on their faces than all the children in the world on Christmas Eve.

For a game preview and total Vikings coverage, visit my column Vikings Vindication.

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