Who is going to beat the Minnesota Vikings?
The Minnesota Vikings are 5-0 and not a single one of those wins is an accident.
The Vikings are playing exceptional football, led by their tremendous defense and an offense that demands respect. They have the best record in the NFL, and alongside the New England Patriots can make the claim that they’re the best team in the league.
They’re doing it in defiance of all logic. No Teddy Bridgewater? No Adrian Peterson? An offensive line that’s rotating in third-stringers? No Stefan Diggs for Sunday’s game against the Texans?
It hasn’t mattered — the winning machine keeps rolling up the road.
Sunday’s win was the latest example of how sound a football team the Vikings are — Minnesota won, roundly and nearly to a level of embarrassment, in all three phases of the game against a Texans squad that, given the weakness in the AFC South, is probably a playoff team.
The Vikings took a 24-0 lead and from there, it was over. If this was a game of Madden, there would have been a restart.
Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler was totally stymied by the Vikings defense, completing only 19-of-42 passes for 184 yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Vikings offense was ruthlessly efficient, again. No intrigue, just results. Quarterback Sam Bradford was excellent again Sunday, completing 22-of-30 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns with nary a bad throw or decision to be found in the contest.
There’s no doubt that this team, left for dead after Bridgewater’s injury (and then again after Peterson’s) is a Super Bowl contender. They might be the favorites to come out of the NFC at this point.
How do they keep doing it? There are a few answers to that question — first and foremost, tremendous coaching, but also: great quarterback play by Bradford; prodigious, if unsuspecting, depth; and, of course — this has to be mentioned ad nauseam — that defense.
But here’s a better question: Who’s going to beat them this year?
Going 16-0 in the regular season is an absurd accomplishment, particularly in this parity driven NFL, but the Vikings are just about a third of the way to that mark.
When the question of who will beat Minnesota is first asked, it’s fair to scoff at the notion.
But then you look at the schedule.
And then you think about what they’ve already done this season.
You can’t eliminate the possibility just yet.
Let’s take a look at the remainder of the Vikings’ schedule and try to find that loss:
Week 7 – at Eagles — This is going to be a hell of a game, no doubt, but after seeing the Eagles lose to the Lions and with the Vikings coming off a bye you have to favor the Vikings here.
Week 8 – at Bears — On the road. But no.
Week 9 – Lions — Don’t joke.
Week 10 – at Washington — Hard to see it, but maybe?
Week 11 – Cardinals — Arizona’s vertical passing game against that Vikings defense? I’d like Minnesota’s chances.
Week 12 – at Lions — Stop it.
Week 13 – Cowboys — The Cowboys are good, but that defense isn’t elite and those short throws Dak Prescott lives on won’t be there with the Vikings’ defense.
Week 14 – at Jaguars — The Jaguars will be totally dissolved by this point in the year.
Week 15 – Colts — Come on, is this a prank?
Week 16 – at Packers — Here’s the best bet — a cold (probably) night in Lambeau — but we saw what happened the last time these two teams played.
Week 17 – Bears — Maybe because it’s a John Fox save-your-job game… On second thought, no.
There are some games in there that will give the Vikings pause, no doubt. You can find four losses on that slate and that discounts the fact that the NFL is absolutely insane and the unexpected happens all the time.
But we’re talking about the Minnesota Vikings going 16-0 this season, doesn’t that say it all?