Facing The Champs On The Road

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 2, 2009 – 3:23 pm

The Vikings are on a mission to win championships – the NFC North championship, the NFC championship and then the NFL championship (a.k.a the Super Bowl).

And if the Vikings ultimately accomplish those goals, they’ll have become the champions after facing the champions – both of them.

For the 8th time in franchise history, the Vikings will play both teams from the previous year’s Super Bowl – they played at defending AFC champion Pittsburgh on October 25 and they are slated to play at defending NFC champion Arizona this Sunday. The Steelers defeated the Cardinals in last year’s Super Bowl.

But while this year marks the 8th time the Vikings have taken on the previous Super Bowl participants, it’s only the 2nd time they will take on both of the previous Super Bowl participants on the road.

As if playing both defending conference champions wasn’t enough, the Vikings must do so while playing both games on the road. The Green Bay Packers are the only other team who has the same task of taking on both teams on the road this year.

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress, speaking with reporters Wednesday at Winter Park, is clearly aware of this scheduling circumstance and it’s clear he’s also made his team aware of it.

“I think it’s important for us to understand you’re going on the road to play the NFC champions,” Childress explained. “They are the champions until somebody unseats them. We have one experience that’s akin to that so far this year; we went on the road and played the AFC champions, who are the Super Bowl champions. And we didn’t do so well.”

The Vikings lost to Pittsburgh by a count of 27-17 in October. In order to avoid a similar fate at the home of another conference champion, Childress insists his team must prepare well during the week and be in the proper mindset come game day.

“That’s a hostile environment down there,” the coach acknowledged. “We need to be about our business, heading down on a three-hour trip to the West Coast.”

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