The Minnesota Vikings Are Not Super Bowl Contenders Yet

Vikings Team Culture Can’t Be Matched 
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Through two weeks of the 2022 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings have one impressive win…and one really big stinker. Unfortunately, the most recent memory we have of this team is the stinker, and because of that, there’s a lot of negative air surrounding the team this week. So, let’s rip off the band-aid right away: as of September 21st, 2022, the Minnesota Vikings are not Super Bowl contenders.

Let’s Calm Down

It’s okay that the Vikings aren’t Super Bowl contenders in September because the Super Bowl isn’t played until February. It’s also a bit silly to assume that this team would experience nothing but sunshine and roses on Monday Night Football considering the following things:

  • The Vikings played in hostile territory and in one of the rowdiest stadiums in the NFL.
  • Their head coach had one game under his belt as a play caller.
  • They utilized their new offensive scheme for a half of football, maybe three quarters.
  • There are a number of new starters at key defensive positions.
  • The Eagles are really dang good.

Looking at the Vikings schedule to begin the year, with a season-opener against the Green Bay Packers and a road game in Philadelphia, 1-1 is a perfectly fine record, and quite frankly, should be the expectation. At 2-0, we’d be talking about a potential Super Bowl, and at 0-2, we’d be very nervous. At 1-1, let’s relax before making too many overreactions.

The Vikings Defense Fought Back

Look, the defense was horrid in the first half of the game against the Eagles. That said, maybe I’m just lost in the sauce, but the fact that the Vikings came out of halftime and shut out Philly in the second half gave me hope.

Perhaps the Eagles truly did come out of halftime and play conservative football, but I have a hard time believing that Nick Sirianni’s message was “we’re good” when Dalvin Cook, Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen are playing on the other team.

Mistakes were made throughout the game, but the defense adjusted enough for the offense to have a chance to get Minnesota back into it. The offense just flat-out failed, and I don’t expect that to be the case too often.

Getting Punched in the Mouth Is Normal

If you look at the teams that have won the Super Bowl in recent years, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that hasn’t had games like the one the Vikings had on Monday night.

The 2019 Kansas City Chiefs went through a stretch where they lost 4 of 6 games. The 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers got blow out twice by the New Orleans Saints, including a 38-3 loss at home on Sunday Night Football. Then last year, the 2021 Los Angeles Rams didn’t win a single game in the month of November.

Going through rough patches is part of the process of becoming a Super Bowl contender. The Minnesota Vikings may not be Super Bowl contenders right now, but neither were any of the aforementioned teams for chunks of their regular seasons.

The reason these other teams went on to win Super Bowls is because they responded to the rough patches and came back better than they were. Sure, the Vikings got shellacked, but if they respond by shellacking their next few opponents, there’s not much to worry about right now.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken