E Point Perfect

Bleacher Report Predicts Unpleasant Vikings Postseason


Bleacher Report Predicts Unpleasant Vikings Postseason
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (27) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The talk about the Vikings allegedly fraudulent record has been an ongoing theme in the season. One thing no analytics or statistics can take away from the purple team is the 12-3 record. Wins and losses are the only things that matter for postseason seeding and divisional titles. No team has ever won the Super Bowl because their DVOA rating was high. Usually, teams win that first of all, make the playoffs, and then win games in the postseason.

Bleacher Report adds to those talks in an article called “Top NFL Contenders Most Likely to Suffer an Early Playoff Exit.” And of course, the Vikings are one of the four teams on the list. Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon started by addressing the Vikings fans “Minnesota Vikings fans, we know you expected to see this.”

Predicts Unpleasant Vikings

He is correct. Most Vikings fanatics expected the purple team among the teams on the list when they opened the article. It is another good example of how national media views the 12-3 team.

Easily the most confounding team of 2022 is Minnesota, which has posted an NFL-record 11 wins in one-possession games. The difficult balance is appreciating the team’s resilience and late-game success while understanding the negatives that created the need for dramatics.

– David Kenyon | Bleacher Report

Indeed, the team is confounding. The team confuses its fans every week, and there are no exceptions. A look at the games in the season is highly entertaining, as there are 11 one-score wins, three losses by more than one score, including two blowouts by NFC championship contenders, and a Week 1 win against the Packers, the only of the 12 wins by more than one score.

How Vikings Can Avoid
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell (right) and Indianapolis Colts head coach Jeff Saturday. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The word resilience is also a perfect description for the 2022 Vikings. No team has ever come back from a 33-point deficit. On the road against the Super Bowl favorite with the MVP candidate at quarterback — down 27-10 in the third quarter — is another game other teams would just quit.

Bleacher Report Predicts Unpleasant Vikings Postseason

Kevin O’Connell’s Vikings somehow won both games because the team is incapable of accepting a loss. However, it’s not the goal to get down by that many points in the first place. They must play a complete game to go on a postseason run.

Minnesota holds a massive advantage with Justin Jefferson, the league’s best receiver. Having a wideout of his caliber gives the Vikings a chance to succeed in any clutch-time possession, and Jefferson has developed a great connection with quarterback Kirk Cousins.

– David Kenyon | Bleacher Report

Justin Jefferson can easily be called the best wideout in the league at this point. He is breaking record after record. Since he came into the league in 2020, Jefferson is leading the league in receiving yards by almost 500 yards. In 2022, he is close to breaking the single-season record, and even the 2,000-yard mark is in play.

Justin Jefferson Continues
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Opponents double-team him all day and focus their whole game plan on him, but he is still putting up gaudy numbers. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is playing excellent in the fourth quarter, a big reason for the late-game success of the Vikings.

He is spreading the ball around, K.J. Osborn, T.J. Hockenson, and Adam Thielen are important in the clutch, and if they are open, Cousins will find them, but no matter how good the others are. In the high-leverage moments, Cousins is looking for Jefferson first, and he is often bailing out the offense. His MVP level, especially in clutch moments, is fun to watch.

Despite Jefferson’s god-like play, Kenyon is not convinced about a potential Vikings playoff run.

However, the Vikings’ path to the Super Bowl likely requires at least two matchups with top contenders. Minnesota’s penchant for close victories seems unsustainable against that level of competition in the playoffs.

– David Kenyon | Bleacher Report

Against the best three opponents of the season, the Vikings beat the Bills and lost to the Eagles and Cowboys without having a chance. Both games against the Cowboys and the Eagles were horrendous outings, and it’s hard to imagine the Vikings beating those two teams in particular. Another strong opponent is the 49ers, a likely divisional-round matchup for the purple team. All three NFC contenders are built through strong trenches and have outstanding defenses, which gives the Vikings some problems.

Vegas Has an Odd Beef
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Overall against current playoff teams, the Vikings have a record of 4-2, the fifth-best record in the league against those opponents. In addition, the purple team won against the Packers, Patriots, and Jets and split against the Lions. The teams are all still in playoff contention.

No matter how far the Vikings will go in the postseason, the season has already been a success. No team is expected to make any loud noise in the first year after hiring a new head coach, especially a first-time head coach. The Vikings are a team with great locker-room culture and excellent situational awareness. Those two things can help a team to achieve greatness. As long as the Vikings are not eliminated, everything is possible in a single-elimination setting.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt


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