Now that the Vikings' season is over it's a little easier to see the forest for all the trees that were placed on injured reserve.

Here's the short view of their season:

They didn't make the playoffs because they didn't beat the Detroit Lions.

When the Vikings are good, they almost always beat the Lions. This season they lost two close, should-have-won games to Detroit. Had they won both, they would be 10-6 and in the playoffs for the second straight season. They would be receiving praise for fighting through a difficult season and they would still be seen as a rising power.

With just a little better offensive line play or a few more big plays from the defense in those two games, the Vikings could be receiving national praise.

The two losses to Detroit are what is leaving the Vikings looking like a team that self-destructed.

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