Outlook for Vikings Suddenly Looking Much Better

Cam Akers Transition
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings started out 0-3 and later 1-4, with three losses at home.

It certainly looked like the season could be headed for a possible disaster. Well, things have certainly changed since.

Outlook for Vikings Suddenly Looking Much Better

While the win in Week 6 at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears was not anything impressive, it was still a win, and winning there is always very tough for Minnesota. On Monday night, they won their first home game of the season, and it was against a very good San Francisco 49ers team.

Yes, they were without stars Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams, but they still are an outstanding team. That did not look like a game Minnesota would have a good chance of winning.

Outlook for Vikings Suddenly
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The losses on the road to the Philadelphia Eagles and at home to the Kansas City Chiefs were expected. Both teams made it to the Super Bowl last season and have a great shot at returning this year. However, the Vikings nearly won both games.

Two weeks ago, it looked like 1-6 was a possibility. Well, since then, they have won two in a row and are 3-4. Even 2-5 would not have been good, and it would have been a tough hole to climb out of.

Before the win on Monday night, being sellers at the trade deadline made perfect sense. Could they now become buyers? They very well could. The schedule the rest of the way is very favorable, and if they continue to limit the turnovers like they have the past two weeks, they could go on a nice run. Will they? They have a chance, certainly. Again, they need to continue to limit the turnovers.

Vikings Trade out
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Staying healthy, of course, is necessary as well. Once Justin Jefferson is back, it will be a considerable boost.

Turnovers were a huge problem in the four losses. The first three especially.

Here are their next six games:

  • @ Green Bay Packers (2-4)
  • @ Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
  • New Orleans Saints (3-4)
  • @ Denver Broncos (2-5)
  • Chicago Bears (2-5)
  • BYE
  • @ Las Vegas Raiders (3-4)

Going 5-1 is a possibility. Even going 4-2 will be very helpful. That would put them at 7-6, putting them in the playoff hunt with four games remaining. If they stay in the playoff hunt, 4-2 needs to happen at the minimum. Maybe 3-3 could perhaps be enough to help them get a playoff berth, but it would definitely make things tougher. Given how winnable all six games are, 3-3 overall would be disappointing.

Repeating as division chances is not impossible, but that will be tough with how the Detroit Lions have played this year. If Minnesota keeps winning, they certainly have a chance, though.

Will Detroit also start to fade? You have to wonder about that, as well. There are still 10 more games to go. It was expected that these two teams would be neck and neck all season long. That can still happen going forward. Minnesota needs to keep winning, though. They still have to play them twice. Splitting with them is necessary to be in the race for the North.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

With the trade deadline approaching, too, what will Kwesi-Adofo Mensah do?

If they win again this Sunday, it would not be a shock if he adds to the roster. What if they lose, though? Maybe he could then consider moving some pieces. Even though the losses against Philadelphia and Kansas City were tough, the fact that they played them tough was still encouraging. Winning against San Francisco was huge. All three teams should be in the mix once again for the Super Bowl.

Three weeks ago, mentioning playoffs in the same sentence as Minnesota would have made many react as Jim Mora did in his infamous rant. Right now, it does not sound crazy to think that.

Will this team make the playoffs? Still too early to say, but if they can stay healthy and go 5-1 or even 4-2 in the next six games, they have a great shot. If they can add another piece at the deadline, that could increase their chances.

Just three weeks ago, many fans were already looking ahead to the draft. Some were even saying they should tank for Caleb Williams. Not as many are saying that now.