So I wrote in Sunday’s paper that the Vikings were lucky, that they hadn’t beaten a good team, that they had benefited from injuries to Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte, that they would eventually have to beat a good team to prove they were a good team.
So on Sunday, the Vikings beat a 4-4 Rams team in overtime, and the key play in the game might have been a Rams missed field goal.
The Vikings are 6-2, tied for first place in the NFC North with a battered Packers team, in a conference featuring only one clear frontrunner, in Carolina.
So...are the Vikings lucky, or good?
I’d say they’re pretty lucky, and pretty good.
After watching Nick Foles play, and the Rams jump offsides 93 times, I can’t say the Rams are a good team. The Vikings should probably be 7-1, because there is little excuse for losing to this year’s 49ers.
But give the Vikes credit for winning close games, for patching up their problems on the offensive line, for bringing Stefon Diggs along, for constructing defensive gameplans that have kept what has been a mediocre offense in position to win close games.
However they got to 6-2, the key is being 6-2. With five straight games against quality competition, the Vikings need only win two of those games to make it to 8-5. From there they should make the playoffs, which would be a major step for a team in the second year of its latest rebuilding attempt. My pick of 10-6 might actually come true.
The concern is Bridgewater’s concussion. If he’s out, what has been an unproductive offense could become inept. Shaun Hill is the kind of backup you sign to sit in meetings, not to run an offense with the playoffs on the line.
An easy schedule and a bit of luck has given the Vikings a comfortable margin for error.
But if you’re a discerning fan, you should probably be disappointed they aren’t 7-1.
Note from my column in the Monday paper: The Vikings are 6-2 for only the second time since 2003 (and it didn't end well in 2003).
Today at 5:30 p.m. at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub in St. Paul, Wild owner Craig Leipold will be our guest on the Russo-Souhan Show. There will be a giveaway of two very good Wild tickets.
Also at MalePatternPodcasts.com: Russo on the Wild, Jon Krawczynski on the Wolves, Roy Smalley on the Twins, Tim Yotter on the Vikings and my latest interviews, including Bernie Miklasz and Alan Page.