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Mid-Season Review: Minnesota Vikings

It's been a slow news week for the Green Bay Packers. Mike McCarthy had another press conference on Wednesday, but nothing significant was discussed. So I thought I'd do a similar statistical mid-season review on the Vikings as I did for the Packers earlier

This post isn't intended to kick a team when they're down. Their 3-6 record is doing a better job of kicking them around then I could ever do. I've only watched a couple Vikings games this season, so I don't expect to provide any insight beyond what most people know. I just wanted to see their 2010 DVOA rankings through week 10 according to Football Outsiders side-by-side with their final rankings from 2009:

Year Offense Defense Special Teams
2010 25 21 24
2009 9 17 4

The obvious scapegoats are QB Brett Favre and Brad Childress (and this isn't a defense of either) but the Vikings have slipped overall on both sides of the ball (and on special teams). Those look like the stats of a 6 win team. The return of WR Sidney Rice would be a huge boost, but that's looking less likely by the day, and I don't know how they can expect to improve those rankings this season. That said, don't expect an easy win for the Packers next Sunday under any circumstances because 1) the Vikings are much better at home, and 2) this will remain a physical, divisional game. 

First, let's look at the offense. 2010 stats and 2009 stats again from Football Outsiders:

Year Pass Offense Run Offense
2010 27 7
2009 4 23

As everyone knows, Favre is having a bad year. My snap judgment is that he really misses Rice, and he's trying to do too much. I've read the arguments for giving QB Tarvaris Jackson another chance to start, but he only had the pass offense ranked 24th overall in 2008. Their run offense might be the biggest surprise: 1) that it was so bad in 2009, and 2) that it's better in 2010. While RB Adrian Peterson had 6 fumbles last season, he's only had 1 so far in 2010. Also, WR Percy Harvin is best wide receiver at running the football in 2010, though he was very good in 2009 too.

Second, the defense. 2010 stats and 2009 stats from Football Outsiders:

Year Pass Defense Run Defense
2010 22 17
2009 22 1

For all that's been written about their lack of sacks, it hasn't hurt their mediocre pass defense. Opposing QBs had a 92.5 QB rating against them in 2009, and so far in 2010 it's 85.8. They've actually been a little bit better at grabbing INTs, but they know they can get better which is why they tried to sign CB Al Harris last week. I'm not sure what's wrong with their run defense, but NT Pat Williams has been discussing retirement lately.