No. 4 (up 2 spots): NFL Staff – Launderer’s report
The Minnesota Vikings like to keep things interesting.
Their season was a high-flying act. One-score games. Late game heroism. A position on the goal line. If the game ends on the wire, the Vikings win – Minnesota is a staggering 9-0 in business at one possession. If things go away, however, it’s likely a loss — Minnesota’s only double-digit win was in its season opener, and the team’s two losses have come by a combined score of 64-10.
So much of living on the edge can feel heartbreaking. But after safety Camryn Bynum shut down the Jets with a goal-line interception, he told reporters the team got used to it.
“It feels like any other game,” Bynum said. “I know the pressure is on us. We’re in the red zone, fourth down, game to lose or win the game, but for us it’s normal football.”
One more win (or loss for the Lions [or tie]) will clinch the NFC North for the Vikings. Kevin O’Connell’s first season as head coach was a resounding success, but Gary Davenport still can’t seem to get behind the Vikings as a Super Bowl team.
“To their credit,” Davenport said, “the Vikings beat the Bills, Patriots and Jets. But Minnesota also got trampled by the Cowboys and Eagles. Their pass defense also remains a liability, and I can’t get rid of this feeling that the leaky secondary will be his loss in the playoffs.”
Maurice Moton, however, is a believer.
“At some point, the analyst community needs to drop the DVOA argument and just acknowledge that the Vikings are good,” he said. “No, they’re not at the top of the major statistical categories when it comes to defense, but they’ve found ways to win. The Vikings have the fourth-most takeaways after adding two more. Minnesota has also scored 27 points against the Gang Green defense, which had ranked in the top five in yards and points against prior to Sunday.”