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Wednesday (Are the Vikings legitimate playoff contenders?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: October 10, 2012 - 8:42 AM

 

We spent the last two days packing for a move, closing on a house and moving into a house, which 1) explains our two-day absence and 2) allowed us plenty of time to think about whether these 4-1 Vikings (yes, we did allow ourselves a certain three-hour window Sunday to watch football) are for real.

 

After many solitary hours of putting things in bins and boxes, taking things out of bins and boxes, wondering how Percy Harvin bounces off tacklers like that and legitimately wondering just who this team is, we have arrived at this conclusion: We're not sure yet.

Even those of us who wildly predicted a strong year for the Vikings -- even had them at 4-1 at this point in the season -- could not have envisioned how this team would win its past three games: with defensive grit and offensive efficiency against San Francisco, with timely playmaking against Detroit and with an all-around swarm against the lowly Titans. This team displayed a playoff-friendly formula in those past three games.

Still, we're not ready to announce the turnaround is permanent. Even though the Vikings have defeated two 2011 playoff teams, the Lions are a mess. The 49ers victory was a signature win -- impressive by any standards -- but there will be plenty more tests in a much more daunting second half of the schedule.

However, we wouldn't say the schedule is the biggest thing holding us back. The biggest thing is fear. We've seen fast-starting Vikings teams that turned to dust (hello, 2003). We've seen fast starting Vikings teams that fell apart at the worst possible time (hello, 1998 and 2009).

This team feels entirely different. If fear is the biggest thing standing between belief and skepticism, then 2012 has already been a wild success.

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Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland 4 Bottom 11th Inning
LA Angels 4
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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