Mapping out the Blueprint for a Vikings Super Bowl Run in 2013- 2014

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Mapping out the Blueprint for a Vikings Super Bowl Run in 2013- 2014
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings fans know the 2014 Super Bowl is within their team's reach. They'll face some unique challenges and might have further to go than other several other teams. But they can get there.

However, the Vikings need to be careful because they overperformed their Pythagorean win projection, a system that uses point differential to calculate "expected wins," according to Football Outsiders. Teams that overperform in this system consistently "regress" to their (lower) expected win total, according to Pro-Football Reference.

The good news is that they didn't exceed their "expectations" too much. At 1.2 wins over their likely win value, they aren't raising alarms, but there are signs that the Vikings need to do more than most to improve on their first-round playoff defeat this season.

They'll need to manage every part of their roster. According to ESPN, the Vikings have $12.3 million of cap space$8.1 million more if they use all their carry-over. It's not a license to spend, so they will need to be careful about re-signing their in-house free agents as well as free agents from other teams.

That $12.3 million initial cap space calculation likely doesn't take into account the bonuses that Chris Cook and Percy Harvin received, so the safer route is to assume the Vikings' initial cap space is closer to $9.6 million.

Further, they'll have to make the same smart choices they made in last year's draft they want to be ready to compete. Coming up with two immediate starters and an excellent special teams player last year was a good way to begin.

The excellent depth that wide receiver Jarius Wright provides and the potential for cornerback Josh Robinson to make a big impact  cemented the fantastic work that general manager Rick Speilman and the rest of the staff have done in evaluation and draft strategy.

More than that, the Vikings' will have to evolve tactically, both on offense and defense. They have a long way to go before fans will believe they are true contenders. But here's how they can get there.

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