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Sunday, December 14, 2008
Rapid Reaction: Vikings 35, Cardinals 14


Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Minnesota's magic number is one.

That's the upshot of Sunday's impressive victory over the NFC West champion. The Vikings jumped out on Arizona with a 21-first point quarter and protected the lead for the remainder of the afternoon. Now, they can clinch their first-ever NFC North title with one more victory -- or one more loss by the Chicago Bears -- over the season's final two weeks.

The division could be decided, in fact, before Chicago steps back on the field. The Vikings will host Atlanta next Sunday at the Metrodome, but Chicago won't take the field until Monday night against Green Bay. (The Packers officially were eliminated from postseason contention on Sunday.)

Even after winning their fourth consecutive game, the Vikings have a few questions left to answer. Namely: Will they stay with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who has helped them to a pair of December victories? Or will they reinstall Gus Frerotte as their starter when he recovers from a fracture in his lower back?

Those are questions for later this week. For now, the Vikings can take comfort that they're one favorable result away from a division title.