Vikings 2022 Hopes Pivot on One Deed

John Madden Coming to U.S. Bank Stadium on Thanksgiving
Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans react during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Barring a 2016-like collapse, the Minnesota Vikings are close to a mathematical shoo-in for reaching the 2022 playoffs. The team’s playoff odds through seven weeks are 92%.

And this is thanks to a spiffy 5-1 record — and a jaw-dropping three-game losing streak from the hated Green Bay Packers.

But if the Vikings want to be serious about the 2022 season — as in, win-the-Super-Bowl serious — they must not let off the gas for one reason: They’ll need as much homefield advantage in the playoffs as they can get.

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Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Why? It’s quite simple. Historically, Minnesota is a stellar home team but a flimsy road club. You can feel this characteristic in your bones — if the Vikings play at U.S. Bank Stadium or the Metrodome previously, they’ll probably be victorious on Sundays. On the road is a wildly different story.

Since 2010, the Vikings are the NFL’s eighth-best franchise at home. On the road, the win percentage drops to 23rd. Here are the numbers:

Vikings Win Percentage,
Since 2010:

At Home = 62-37 (.626) 8th in NFL
On the Road = 39-59-2 (.400) 23rd in NFL

For context, the Green Bay Packers are the league’s second-best home team since 2010 and the seventh-best road team.

Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; A general view of a Minnesota Vikings fans. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

Therefore, this version of Vikings, who appear to be barrelling toward a playoff berth, should do everything in their power to host at least one playoff game. While the Philadelphia Eagles may not be within reach of Minnesota for the No. 1 seed, stranger things have happened than Nick Sirianni’s club getting jettisoned from the postseason in the Divisional Round.

And if that occurred, the Vikings, who could reasonably grab the No. 2 seed — they’re in that spot now — could host playoff games in Minneapolis throughout the postseason.

Of course, the Kevin O’Connell-led Vikings may turn out to be dreamy road warriors, but ensuring postseason games transpire at home is a safer bet. It should also be noted that the Vikings 23rd-best road-game win percentage is propped up by wins in Detroit over the Lions, who play on turf. The Vikings are the NFL’s 26th-worst “outdoor” team in the last 13 seasons.

Thankfully for the Vikings sake, they’re in the driver’s seat to host at least one home playoff game. Yet, they should strive to guarantee that — and pray for 2 to 3 home playoff games.

As of October 25th, Minnesota has 6.5 to 1 odds to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVII.



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Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).