NFL Nation: Vikings-Cardinals rr
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.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It's tough to take the Cardinals seriously beyond the NFC West when they fail to show up at home with a chance to become the NFC's third seed heading into the final two games.
This was an across-the-board meltdown for Arizona.
Kurt Warner was careless with the football early and defenseless against the Vikings' pass rush most of the day.
As a result, Arizona has gone from a likely 10-victory team to one that might need to beat Seattle in the regular-season finale for a shot at topping its 8-8 record from 2007.
Perhaps this outcome will serve as a wake-up call heading into a Week 16 game at New England. The Cardinals had better hope so.