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Mid-day talker: Exactly how did the Vikings get here?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: December 28, 2012 - 12:26 PM

 

Often times, people accuse us of being too negative. They even say we -- gasp! -- relish in cheapening it.

 

To those people, let's expose a more positive side (not the side that's going to get us arrested). Just a few weeks ago, we groused about how lousy the Vikings passing game was, and in the process we divided up the blame for why it was such a mess.

Not everything has been fixed, of course, but the purple have won three consecutive games since that point. They are 9-6, which is ridiculous even by our ridiculous "maybe they win 9 or 10 games" prediction way back when. They have tripled their win total from last season. And they will make the playoffs if they can win a home game against the rival Packers on Sunday. As such, let's play the percentages again -- in a good way. How exactly did the Vikings engineer such a stunning turnaround? There are obviously more nuances and factors than just this, but here we go:

ADRIAN PETERSON: 30 percent. What he has done this season is nothing short of amazing. He has a very realistic chance at breaking 2,000 yards. He has at least a puncher's chance at setting the all-time rushing record. And he's doing it all on a majorly reconstructed knee. Crazy. Fantastic. He's been a joy to watch. The only thing keeping the percentage from being even higher is the Vikings obviously need more than him to win. In fact, they are 4-2 when he doesn't reach 100 yards and 5-4 when he does. AP has done all he can and more. But he's not the only thing this team has going for it.

SMART PERSONNEL MOVES: 18 percent. The field is littered with recent draft picks playing major roles. Harrison Smith has been a major upgrade at safety, while Josh Robinson has solidified the cornerback play. Blair Walsh has made all of us look foolish for questioning the release of Ryan Longwell. Kyle Rudolph is a major red zone threat. Christian Ponder, for all his ups and downs, is the starting QB on a playoff contender. The list goes on. It's a major credit to Rick Spielman and his staff.

LESLIE FRAZIER: 15 percent. We had our doubts about Frazier last year. We even had some this year. And we're still not 100 percent sold. But we're 95 percent of the way there. His even hand and ability to keep getting his team to bounce back are admirable traits.

IMPROVED SECONDARY: 15 percent. The Vikings don't have a great pass defense. But they have an adequate pass defense, which makes it look great in comparison to last year.

IMPROVED OFFENSIVE LINE: 12 percent. Let's not shortchange the revamped offensive line when it comes to opening holes for Peterson and keeping Ponder upright more lately.

SOFT SCHEDULE: 10 percent. The Vikings feasted on some cupcakes early on, with wins over Jacksonville (barely, remember that?), Tennessee and Arizona, to name a few. But they have also defeated two teams playing for first-round byes (Houston and San Francisco). The only bad loss we see, really, was the home game against Tampa. This team has earned its record.

Your thoughts, please, in the comments.

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Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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