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The Case for 1-4: Of the remaining winless teams after four weeks of play, the Minnesota Vikings are probably the one I'm most surprised to see in this position. I don't think anyone thought they would be anything close to a contender this season, but they didn't look like a good bet to be 0-4 at this point either. At least on paper, there is a good argument that the Vikings are the best winless team out there.
They have arguably the league's best running back in Adrian Peterson, a tougher defense than their fellow 0-4 teams, and a smart veteran QB in Donovan McNabb who, despite early struggles this season, should be able to turn things around at least to some degree.
But perhaps the best argument for Minnesota to be the first 0-4 team to post a win? Week 5 pits them against the Arizona Cardinals who, while not among the winless, are far from among the league's best.
The Arizona defense has been downright terrible against the run, giving the Vikings the perfect opportunity to use their best weapon—Adrian Peterson—to rack up points. While neither defense has exactly been stellar, the Cardinals have ceded more total yardage than the Vikings have.
And while the Arizona offense has its strong points, Kevin Kolb has struggled a bit, and Beanie Wells as the go-to back has worked so far, but many are skeptical as to whether he can keep it up. The Vikings D hasn't been as good as advertised prior to the season, but they're better than they've looked so far too.
The Case Against: Whether they're better than they've looked or not, the Minnesota defense is still a disappointing 21st in the league.
The Arizona offense has been worse than many expected, but Kevin Kolb has a much higher upside than Donovan McNabb does at this point in their respective careers, and a better receiving weapon in Larry Fitzgerald than McNabb does in the decent but inconsistent Percy Harvin.
And even if, like me, you're waiting for the other shoe to drop on Beanie Wells, you can't argue with the numbers he has put up so far.
Bottom Line: Given their potential and the matchup they have in their fifth game, the Vikings probably have the best shot at a win of the remaining winless teams.
The Vikings defense should be able to handle the Arizona offense, but the Vikings offense absolutely has to improve if they want to win. At an average of 19.3 points per game, Minnesota is only a few ticks behind Arizona at an average of 21.5.
If the Vikings can put together even a decent game this week, they have an excellent chance to log their first win of 2011.