After four weeks of the NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings are 3-1 and in first place in the NFC North. They are ahead of the Packers, Lions, and the Bears, at least until Chicago visits Dallas tonight. This is the first time the guys in purple have been atop the division since winning it in 2009. Nationally, nobody gave this team a chance to even compete. After the Vikings won in Detroit yesterday, it was the first time the Vikings actually started to get some attention from places like ESPN and the NFL Network. So how are the Vikings winning and can they keep it up?
Efficiency. Normally this term refers to a quarterback, but in the case of the Vikings it is really a key to the team winning. Christian Ponder certainly has been efficient, and also very good at protecting the ball. He still has yet to throw an interception. Maybe more importantly, Adrian Peterson is back. I mean BACK. AD had 102 yards on only 18 carries Sunday and really looked like the real deal. He was constantly running through tackles and making sharp cuts on his surgically-repaired knee. And believe it or not, there is a Viking who has played better than either one of these guys during the 3-1 start; Percy Harvin. #12 opened the game yesterday with a 105 yard kickoff return for a TD and added 3 receptions and 3 rushes to contribute another 30+ yards. He has been one of Ponder’s favorite targets this year and always seems to be there for a big catch.
The Vikings defense has also played well during most of this four-game stretch. On Sunday they pressured Lions QB Matt Stafford consistently and sacked him five times, including the final play as the Lions were trying to throw a hail mary. Minnesota has been stout against th run this year as well. The Vikings D is currently ranked 7th in the NFL against the run and is only giving up 3.3 yards per carry.
Can the Vikings keep winning? Absolutely. Coach Leslie Frazier just needs to keep them focused. He felt that they lost focus after pulling that game out against the Jaguars in week one, but has also said that since losing to the Colts in week two the team has stayed on task. Minnesota has a lot a winnable games coming up. They will be favored this Sunday as they host Tennessee. If the Vikings can continue their efficient play in all three aspects of the game, there is no reason they can’t string together a few more wins and make a serious playoff push. I personally thought the Vikes were a year or two away, but maybe the future is now.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).