Just in case you needed another reminder on the difference a few weeks can make on perceptions, here are a few remarkable numbers regarding the Vikings:
• Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs is now on pace for almost 1,300 yards receiving this season after posting two of the five highest-yardage games of his career each of the past two weeks. His previous career high for yards in a season came last season when he had 1,021.
• Kirk Cousins, who was getting justified criticism from all corners after a poor performance against the Bears, now has the best passer rating (114.3) of any qualified quarterback in the NFL. It sure helps that in the past three weeks he hasn't posted a mark lower than 138.4.
• FiveThirtyEight.com gives the Vikings a 74% chance of making the playoffs and has them pegged for an 11-5 finish based on an average simulation of the rest of the season. And they're one of just seven teams with at least a 5% chance of winning the Super Bowl.
Read Michael Rand's every day blog at startribune.com/randball. E-mail: email@example.com