Are the Vikings Contenders?
Greg Miller Staff Writer
The Minnesota Vikings sit at 8-4 and hold the second wild card spot three quarters of the way through the season. After their comeback fell short on Monday in Seattle, the Vikings hold a one game lead in the Wild Card and are a game behind the Packers for the top of the division.
There has been a lot of hype recently around how good the Vikings have been and how amazing they are. As a Vikings fan, I disagree.
The Vikings finish the season against the Detroit Lions and at the Los Angeles Chargers before going against the Green Bay Packers and finishing the season against the Chicago Bears. Of those teams, two have a win percentage of .500 or above, and that is where the Vikings struggle mightily. As of right now, the Vikings have played six teams who are at or above .500 on the season. They are 2-4 against those teams, with the two wins coming against the Cowboys and the Raiders who are both exactly .500 on the season. The Cowboys and the Raiders are both in the bottom 10 of opponent win percentage of games played.
Now there are only two teams within two games of the wild card spot, the Los Angeles Rams and the Chicago Bears, and they both finish the season against at least three teams of .500 or better. This gives the Vikings a strong likelihood of making it to the playoffs, but do not expect them to do much there. Any team in the playoffs SHOULD be at least .500 (NFC East might not have gotten that memo), so the Vikings would have to win three straight games against above .500 teams to even get a whiff of the Super Bowl. Only winning two out of the six games against teams above .500 in the regular season shows that the Vikings are not ready to compete against the best in the NFL.