About the only good thing to happen in Chicago on Monday night, if you’re a Vikings fan, was that legendary Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss dressed as a Viking for the game. If you missed it, here you go:
Happy Halloween pic.twitter.com/7MQIHa8xrC
— Randy Moss (@RandyMoss) November 1, 2016
If that doesn’t cheer you up on a gorgeous November day, maybe try this on: as bad as the Vikings have looked in the past two weeks, particularly on their offensive line, some struggles in the regular season are no guarantee a team is doomed. Let’s take a look back at the last 10 Super Bowl winners to see what I mean:
2015 Broncos (12-4): Lost back-to-back games twice during regular season and struggled through an uncertain QB situation before their defense led them to a championship.
2014 Patriots (12-4): Lost 41-14 to the Chiefs in Week 4, their second double-digit loss in the first month of the season. The national story lines after that primetime game were about Tom Brady’s alleged decline and the struggles of New England’s offensive line. Things turned out just fine.
2013 Seahawks (13-3): Lost two of their final four regular-season games, leading to concerns that they might be fading down the stretch. They were not.
2012 Ravens (10-6): Lost three in a row and four out of five down the stretch, with shaky offensive line play being a main culprit. They pulled it together in the playoffs, scoring at least 24 points in all four postseason victories.
2011 Giants (9-7): Started out 6-2 before losing four consecutive games to drop to 6-6. Included in that run was a 49-24 loss to New Orleans. They rallied to win seven of their last eight games — the last four, of course, in the playoffs.
2010 Packers (10-6): An offense that looked unstoppable in the postseason wasn’t always that way. Green Bay lost back-to-back games twice that season, including a 7-3 setback to the Lions. Green Bay, in fact, had games where it scored 3, 9, 10 and 13 points that year. In four playoff wins, the Packers averaged 30 points per game.
2009 Saints (13-3): There was talk that New Orleans could run the table after a 13-0 start. Then the Saints lost their final three regular-season games. It didn’t matter, though, when they reset in the playoffs, defeating the Vikings in overtime on the way to a championship.
2008 Steelers (12-4): Pittsburgh didn’t have a major “sky is falling” stretch, but a Week 16 loss to the Titans by a score of 31-14 cast doubts over the Steelers’ Super Bowl viability. As it turns out, they were fine.
2007 Giants (10-6): New York lost its first two games of the season (giving up a combined 80 points) and two of its final three regular-season games. The Giants also lost 41-17 to the Vikings that year. And in the playoffs, all they did was win three road games before knocking off the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl.
2006 Colts (12-4): After starting 9-0, the Colts had a stretch where they lost four of six games. Included in that run was a 44-17 loss to the Jaguars in which their run defense was gashed for 375 yards on the ground. And then of course they allowed an average of 83 rushing yards in four playoff wins.
None of this is to say the Vikings don’t have real problems. But so did plenty of other teams who went on to win it all.