What do the Vikings, Cardinals, 49ers and Falcons have in common, besides their combined record of 16-35-1?
Answer: They are the only teams in the NFL without a victory over a team that now has a winning record.
That’s right. These, indeed, are desperate times at TCO Performance Center.
The difference is the Vikings are still very much in the playoff picture at 6-6-1. They can salvage a season, which is why head coach Mike Zimmer says he fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in favor of Kevin Stefanski, someone he’s more philosophically aligned with.
How he didn’t see this philosophical butting of the heads coming just months ago when he hired DeFilippo is something Zimmer no doubt will have to explain to the big bosses when it comes time for the organization to self scout the 2018 season.
For now, the Vikings have three games left against the Dolphins (7-6) at home, the Lions (5-8) in Detroit and the Bears (9-4) at home.
Right now, the combined record of the six teams the Vikings have beaten is 27-50-1 (.353). The combined record of the six teams they’ve lost to is 53-25 (.679).
They’ve beaten no one they weren’t expected to beat. And they lost to Buffalo as a 16 1/2-point favorite in one very memorable game they were supposed to win.
Meanwhile, around the league — except for Arizona (3-10), San Francisco (3-10) and Atlanta (4-9) — unexpected wins have been more plentiful.
Denver (6-7) has beaten Seattle, the Chargers and Pittsburgh. The Lions (5-8) have beaten the Patriots and Dolphins. The Packers (5-7-1) beat the Bears.
The Giants (5-8) beat Houston and the Bears. Washington (6-7) beat Dallas. Tampa Bay (5-8) beat New Orleans. The Jets (4-9) beat Indianapolis. And even Oakland (3-10) beat Pittsburgh.
Next up for the reeling Vikings is a Dolphins team coming off the “Miami Miracle,” a last-second 70-yard, triple lateral touchdown pass to beat the Patriots at home.
As they head to U.S. Bank Stadium — where the “Minneapolis Miracle” took place and now seems so long ago — the Dolphins (7-6) will be bringing victories over three teams that now have a winning record: The Patriots (9-4), Titans (7-6) and Bears (9-4).