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Vikings' path is clear

Jermaine Wiggins claims that the Vikings can win every game between now and the Super Bowl.

And then win the Super Bowl.

"I definitely think we can do those things," the Vikings' tight end said. "It's been done before."

Wiggins was on the 2001 New England Patriots, who won nine in a row, including the Super Bowl, after a 5-5 start. The Vikings already have won five straight after starting 2-5. To win the Super Bowl, they would need a win streak of 12 games, 13 if they're a wild card.

I don't see the Vikings catching the Chicago Bears in the NFC North or reaching the Super Bowl. I do see them in the playoffs as a wild card.

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Once in the playoffs, they'll be a dangerous team and win a game or two. They'll beat anyone in the NFC except Seattle or Carolina. The Bears have a terrific defense, but their lack of offense will make them vulnerable in the playoffs.

The Vikings' defense, the catalyst for the five-game streak, will be better come playoff time because Fred Smoot and Kevin Williams will return. The offense will be improved, too. Brad Johnson gets more productive each week. Nate Burleson, now that he's healthy, and Koren Robinson, now that he understands the offense, will scald defenses.

"Yeah, we'll be explosive," coach Mike Tice said. "We're starting to gain some rhythm offensively."

They're gaining on the NFC teams with better records, too.

"I've been around long enough to know, in order to win championships, you have to have a lot of guys who might not do things great but do things well,'' Wiggins said. "I think we have that."

Bob Sansevere

bsansevere@pioneerpress.com

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