Last weekend's improbable late heroics (after an all-too-familiar late stumble) at least give the purple a chance to dream, yet again, about a 2-0 start. Better yet, they get to think about it against the Colts, a team in the same rebuilding mode as Minnesota.
Our best guess, which we'll call a prediction: The Vikings will, indeed, improve to 2-0 Sunday and start to spark some genuine curiosity.
Our reasons range from logic to things you might think are strange. Logic: The Colts have a rookie QB and a patchwork offensive line, and as talented as Andrew Luck is, that is a recipe for disaster against a front four eager to make up for its zero sacks against Jax. Also, the Colts gave up 41 points last week to a Bears team that was often hopeless Thursday against the Packers.
Strange: We actually didn't think the Vikings defense played all that poorly last week. There were breakdowns, but there were also actual signs of encouragement in the secondary. There were more pass breakups in that game than we remember seeing all of last year.
Bottom line: The NFL is all about turnovers and third down. The Vikings couldn't get off the field on third down last week, when the Jaguars were put into 3rd down situations a staggering 18 times and converted nine of them. The Colts were miserable on third down, converting just 2 of 10 against the Bears, and we see that trend continuing Sunday given Indy's deficiencies on the offensive line. Turnovers? The Colts coughed it up five times. Even if the Vikings get two or three, which we think they will, they should win that battle.
It won't be a rout -- we can't imagine many Vikings victories that will be this year -- but something in the 23-17 range is how we see it. Then the purple will be 2-0 heading into a home game against San Francisco -- exactly the scenario in 2009. The dream won't be as big this year (nor likely will the 49ers game drama match that of three years ago), but it would at least be a pleasant change from recent nightmares.