There are a lot of ways to sum up this Vikings’ season-to-date, but one pretty stark way to tell the story is by looking at their week-to-week odds of making the postseason — as defined by Five Thirty Eight.
When a team starts with modest expectations, jumps out to a 5-0 record and then loses six of its next seven games to slide all the way back to .500, it’s not hard to spot the trend lines. Here are the 14 weeks on a graph (percent chance of making the playoffs before the season started and each of the 13 weeks of the season-to-date, including the Vikings’ bye week):
A couple of the highlights/lowlights:
*You see the Vikings started out with a 54 percent chance of making the playoffs — basically a coin flip. That’s important to remember in the context of the entire season. They had acquired Sam Bradford by that point, but nobody knew what his impact would be.
*Through the 5-0 start, the odds steadily climbed to a high of 94 percent when they were 5-0. At that point, we were all talking about first-round byes and treating the playoffs like a virtual certainty.
*And then of course the bottom dropped out. In losing their next four games, the Vikings’ odds dipped all the way to 52 percent — roughly what they were at the start of the year.
*A win over Arizona boosted the odds to 65 percent, but the last two losses have hurt quite a bit. The Vikings are all the way down to 28 percent right now, a season-low by a long shot.