After being eliminated from playoff contention last weekend, the Vikings wrap up their season Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium against the Bears.
And while neither team will be going to the postseason, Adam Carlson wrote on FOXSports.com that Minnesota still has plenty to play for.
Carlson said that having wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs both hit the 1,000-yard milestone would be a reason to celebrate.
Coming into the game, Thielen stands at 960 receiving yards on 91 targets. That means he only needs 40 more yards to reach 1,000 on the season, which would be mighty impressive for a guy who worked his way up from being a camp body to being an NFL starter.
Don't write off Diggs on joining him though. It will be a bigger challenge since he needs 97 yards, but it is definitely possible if Bradford can spread the ball around. If that can happen, Diggs and Thielen can be the first receiver pair since Randy Moss and Cris Carter to go for 1,000 in a season.
Carlson also noted that beating the Bears and finishing 8-8 would end the season on a positive note.
After a red-hot 5-0 start, the Vikings have now won only 2 of their last 9 games. Finishing with a win over the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium could be a huge motivator and take a bit of the sour taste out of the mouth of the fans as well as players and coaches.* *
Encouragement will be important when the team returns for the 2017 season. A winning mentality goes a long way for a team, and if winning is fresh in the mind of the players and fans, the positive nature of a win might carry over to the next season and remind this team that they can get things done, even when facing adversity.
Roach enjoying special first season with Vikings
The man behind the voice of U.S. Bank Stadium has enjoyed his first season in Purple.
Alan Roach, who is the Vikings public address announcer, is a Brainerd High School graduate.
Mike Bialka of the Brainerd Dispatch recently profiled Roach.
Bialka wrote that Roach, who grew up a Vikings fan and used to work for the Denver Broncos, has had a few memorable moments this season.
One of (Roach's) most emotional moments was when he introduced members of the Vikings Ring of Honor at halftime of a game, announcing the names of the players he idolized as a kid.
"For me to announce 'Fran Tarkenton' and 'Bud Grant' and 'Alan Page,' I got choked up," Roach said. "I had tears in my eyes. That's when it dawned on me that I'm really doing this. It's been amazing."
*(Roach) has also served as the PA announcer for Colorado Rockies games, four Winter Olympics, eight Super Bowls and numerous Pro Bowls, NFL Drafts and Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies. *