Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 14 4th Qtr 9:43
Seattle 24
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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 NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT