The Vikings are one of the best teams in the NFL to win division titles. The Vikings are tied for last in Super Bowl wins. Both realities exist side by side, strange bedfellows that underscore the challenge of cheering for Minnesota.
The Vikings’ offense has been an ongoing problem during the Super Bowl era. For a very long time, fans have felt a sense of fitness. Time is up NFL on CBS social media account – which has 1.1 million followers, there has been some discussion about this issue. A couple of posts highlight the struggle.
View exhibit A.
And exhibit B.
The Vikings appear as the disruptor of the ratio between the division and the final crown. In general, teams that win their division are strong teams. Generally, strong teams eventually find a breakthrough to win it all.
So far, the Vikings have defied convention.
Last season’s 13-4 Vikings sums it up perfectly. To mount such a tantalizing win total suggests that Minnesota had an elite team, and yet the game against the Giants underscored just how unlucky that conclusion was. Kevin O’Connell’s inaugural season as head coach was rushed from the NFC North champions to the first round.
The upcoming season offers another chance to overcome heartbreaking years. Currently, the Detroit Lions are making a lot of noise, but if they continue to lose players to gambling suspensions, Minnesota could be back on top. Chicago has made improvements, but they’re likely far from contention, and the Packers are a complete wild card.
Minnesota’s schedule features great teams like the Eagles (Week 2), Chiefs (Week 5), 49ers (Week 7) and Bengals (Week 15). Throw in some tough games against the Lions (Week 16 and 18) along with the Chargers game (Week 3) and the team has a pretty strong lineup of opponents. Establishing themselves as the best team in the North will not come without a fight.
Minnesota needs the offense to go from “Very Good” to “Elite” as their defense goes from “Disaster” to “Decent”. Doing so could very reasonably result in a 10-12 game win range, which should be more than enough to capture back-to-back NFC North crowns for the first time since 2008 and 2009.
And Lombardi? Well, let’s cross that bridge if/when we get there.