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Throw Out the Unknowns; Why the Vikings Improving on 13-3 Isn’t Crazy (MSF Article)
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Throw Out the Unknowns; Why the Vikings Improving on 13-3 Isn’t Crazy (MSF Article)

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Dalvin Cook Minnesota Vikings Training Camp (IMAGE: Brad Rempel, USA TODAY Sports Images_

 “Tough” schedule

 Target on our back

 Won’t surprise anyone this year

 Need time to build cohesiveness on offense

 The offensive line won’t block anyone

 … pick your reason for why the Vikings won’t improve on, or even match, last season’s 13-3 record.

All of the excuses are out there, but guess what - is there anything you notice from that list that sticks out? Maybe a running trend throughout?

….. anyone?

They are all hypothetical; mythical figures of our imagination. None of those things can be measured and some of them may not even exist, or if they exist, they may not be relevant enough to cost the Vikings any games.

Let me explain, by looking at our “tough schedule”….

I’m picking on this one because it it’s my favorite. Making a prediction about a season, that hasn’t existed yet, is hard enough. Why would you make a projection that is based around 31 other team’s predictions? Just because the Vikings are lined up to play a bunch of teams who were good last year, doesn’t mean they will wind up playing that same good team, when this year’s match-up rolls around. The NFL has more turnover in their playoff teams than any other professional league on the American map.

Look no further than 2016-17 playoff teams to 2017-18 playoff teams. The AFC actually hung steady with 3 of the 6 teams making the playoffs after both seasons (New England, Pittsburgh, Kansas City). The NFC, on the other hand, had only ONE team (Atlanta) that made the playoffs in both ‘17 and ‘18…

So, you can take that argument and   🚮

The other bullet points and their hypothetical nature are self-explanatory. But, I have an idea:

Instead of trying to pick each game and project matchups that are weeks in the future. Let’s make a record prediction based on things we actually know. Let’s compare last year’s 13-3 team with this year’s and decide how many games better or worse the 2018-19 Vikings are vs. last year’s.

The Vikings look a lot like the team from last year in most areas but there are a few important spots that have some new faces, one in particular that we’ve discussed a little bit leading up to the new season…