Minnesota Vikings: Updated Game-by-Game Outlook

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Minnesota Vikings: Updated Game-by-Game Outlook
US PRESSWIRE

The Minnesota Vikings—at 4-1—remain one of the biggest surprises of the 2012 season. A stout defense and a careful ball-control offense, have been leading the way for a young team currently standing atop one of the toughest divisions in football.

Their accomplishments look impressive in almost any light, with a number of good predictive metrics putting the Vikings in as a top team in the NFL.

While oddsmakers haven't quite bought into Minnesota's record just yet—they still place Minnesota as the 13th or 14th most likely team to win the Super Bowl—opponent-adjusted statistics are optimistic.

Three systems that tend to do well against the spread, Matt Grecco's Winning Stats, Football Outsiders' Efficiency rankings and Advanced NFL Stats' Efficiency rankings, all place Minnesota as the seventh or eighth best team overall.

For the most part, this has been lead by a Minnesota defense that has been a top team against the run and the pass, placing second in yards per carry allowed, at 3.2, and third in yards per passing attempt allowed, at 6.1. This puts them at second in the league in yards allowed per play, at 4.5.

Minnesota will need to continue relying on its tough defense to pull it out of games as its offense sets its feet, but without a strong offensive performance, the Vikings may find themselves regressing.

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