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Monday Morning Mailbag: Playoff Scenarios & the Vikings RB Room

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If the Vikings beat the Packers and the Bears, but the Packers beat the Lions in their last game, then the Packers win the division, correct?

– Jim in Michigan

Yes, you are correct. In order for the Vikings to win the division, they need to win their final two games and have the Packers lose to (or tie) the Lions in Week 17.

I was [at the game in Los Angeles]. Great win. I loved watching the rotations. People coming in the entire game. I want all our RBs healthy for our playoff run. [Dalvin] Cook, [Alexander] Mattison, [Mike] Boone and [C.J.] Ham will be a great rotation. They can all play. The O-line had a very good game. How many times did we hear [Joey] Bosa's name. We need to get better on our third-down conversions on defense. We are getting better at sustaining drives. Skol to the Bowl!

– Gerald

Thank you for being one of many loyal Vikings fans who attended the game in Los Angeles. I'm glad you could see the fun victory in person.

Good observation – Vikings coaches have been utilizing rotations at multiple positions (depending on the situation), and it does seem to be effective. Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer spoke during his media session last Monday about the depth at running back, which has certainly shown itself recently and will be important tonight with Cook out.

Zimmer also has acknowledged ups and downs with the team's pass defense this season, and that did show up in third-down situations against the Chargers. One thing I'm certain of is that Zimmer and the rest of the coaching staff are continuing to focus on improving across the board as we enter the final two games of the regular season.

Games are fought hard, yet when the game is over players greet each other and truly (mostly) seem to revel in good sportsmanship. Yet I read comments on threads from fans, and the tone is vitriol. How can we promote that old fashioned "good sportsmanship" concept and remember that it's only a game.

– Ray

Excellent point, Ray. It's always great to see the sportsmanship and camaraderie among players around the league, some of whom have been teammates on previous teams or played together in college. I have seen a lot of fun and respectful rivalry among fans, as well, especially at games or team events. As far as social media, I agree that it can sometimes trend negative. It's probably fair to say that people find it easier to react emotionally via an online medium rather than in-person.

I wish I knew what the answer and solution was, but I appreciate that you're focused on sportsmanship and remembering that it's a game.

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