One Credible Metric Claims Vikings Are a Playoff Team

Warranted and
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

Remember the statistic from last year that absolutely insisted the 2022 Minnesota Vikings weren’t any good?

It’s called DVOA, and the Vikings ranked 27th leaguewide per the metric — even with a 13-4 record when the season capped.

One Credible Metric Claims Vikings Are a Playoff Team

Then, the postseason arrived, the Vikings lost at home to the New York Giants, and DVOA looked smart.

Credible Metric Claims
Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell at 2023 mandatory minicamp in Eagan. The Vikings won 13 games in O’Connell’s first season as head coach. He previously won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams as offensive coordinator in 2021.

Now, the complete opposite scenario has bubbled to the surface. Minnesota’s 1-3 record is lousy, but under the hood, Kevin O’Connell’s squad is a playoff football team — according to DVOA. A twist of fate, indeed, these are the Top 7 squads in the NFC per DVOA:

  1. San Francisco 49ers
  2. Detroit Lions
  3. Dallas Cowboys
  4. Philadelphia Eagles
  5. Seattle Seahawks
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  7. Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

And if those rankings held while translating to wins and losses — they won’t — the Vikings would travel to the Detroit Lions in January for a Wildcard playoff game. Detroit thoroughly spanked the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field last Thursday, establishing sheer dominance in the NFC North and exposing the Packers as pretenders to start the season.

Green Bay ranks 21st per DVOA through Week 4, much to the chagrin of some.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

For newcomers to the DVOA stat, Fantasy FTN describes it like this: “Our proprietary DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) system breaks down every single NFL play and compares a team’s performance to a league-average baseline base on situation and opponent. It is explained further in this article.”

The Buffalo Bills are the top team in the NFL per DVOA as of October 3rd.

“Offense and Defense DVOA are adjusted based on strength of opponent (beginning after Week 4) and indoors/outdoors. DVOA considers all fumbles, kept or lost, as equal value. Performance in the fourth quarter of blowouts is downweighted. Special Teams DVOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season. Non-Adjusted Total VOA does not include these adjustments,” Fantasy FTN explains about the metric.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Here are the Vikings DVOA rankings in total before the start of Week 5:

  • Total Team DVOA = 14th
  • Offense DVOA = 12th
  • Defense DVOA = 20th
  • Special Teams DVOA = 21st
  • Kirk Cousins DVOA = 12th

The Vikings host the Chiefs this weekend, and the Super Bowl champs rank eighth per the same DVOA standard.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by