FanPost

Using AY/A To Rank Every Vikings Team Since 1961

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It's something you've probably thought about before. Who was better between the 1998 Vikings and some of the 1970's Purple People Eater teams? Does the 2009 Vikings lead by Brett Favre belong in the same category? Where does last year's Vikings team stack up all-time in Vikings lore? While it's impossible to have a definitive answer to any of these questions, statistics, such as the formula I'm about to use in this fan post, allows us to somewhat accurately rank the strength of every Vikings team throughout history. It will also show us which Vikings teams were better than their record indicates, worse than their record indicates, and just as good as their indicates

Before I list the rankings, I'm going to explain the formula. What we're basically doing, is we're taking a team's offensive efficiency (the AY/A of their combined passing and rushing numbers) and subtracting it from the offensive efficiency that the team's defense allowed their opponents. We'll call it the team's AY/A differential. Do note that this formula does not account for special teams, penalties, sacks, injuries, players getting benched, strength of schedule etc...so obviously a chunk of the context is lost along the way. It's not a perfect formula by any means. With that out of the way, here's the formula written out. All of the statistics used in these rankings are provided courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Offensive AY/A - Defensive AY/A = AY/A differential

Offensive AY/A = (offensive yards + 20 * touchdowns - 45 * (interceptions + fumbles)) divided by (passing + rushing attempts)

Defensive AY/A = (defensive yards allowed + 20 * touchdowns allowed - 45 * (interceptions + fumbles forced)) divided by (passing + rushing attempts against)

Let's plug in the numbers of the 2012 Vikings to show an example of the formula.

Offensive AY/A = ((2935 passing yards + 2634 rushing yards) + 20 * (18 passing TDs + 16 rushing TDs) - 45 * (12 INTs + 21 fumbles)) divided by (483 passing attempts + 486 rushing attempts)

Offensive AY/A = (5569 + 680 - 1485) / 969 = 4.92 AY/A

Defensive AY/A = ((4192 passing yards + 1692 rushing yards) + 20 * (28 passing TDs + 10 rushing TDs) - 45 * (10 INTs + 23 fumbles)) divided by (612 passing attempts + 427 rushing attempts)

Defensive AY/A = (5884 + 760 - 1485) / 1039 = 4.97 AY/A

4.92 Offensive AY/A - 4.97 Defensive AY/A = (-.05) AY/A differential

So according to the AY/A differential, the 2012 Vikings were a very average team, which I think holds true with the opinions of most people about last year's team. Based on the way they played, they should have been more around 7-9 or 8-8 than 10-6.

So, now that the formula has been explained and an example has been given, here are the rankings of every Vikings team since 1961.

Minnesota Vikings Team Power Rankings

1.) 1988 Vikings (+3.13 AY/A) ---- Record: 11-5

2.) 1969 Vikings (+3.00 AY/A) ---- Record: 12-2

3.) 1998 Vikings (+2.26 AY/A) ---- Record: 15-1

4.) 1970 Vikings (+2.09 AY/A) ---- Record: 12-2

5.) 1975 Vikings (+2.09 AY/A) ---- Record: 12-2

6.) 1973 Vikings (+1.90 AY/A) ---- Record: 12-2

7.) 2009 Vikings (+1.88 AY/A) ---- Record: 12-4

8.) 1986 Vikings (+1.50 AY/A) ---- Record: 9-7

9.) 1974 Vikings (+1.42 AY/A) ---- Record: 10-4

10.) 1971 Vikings (+1.29 AY/A) ---- Record: 11-3

11.) 2003 Vikings (+1.20 AY/A) ---- Record: 9-7

12.) 1972 Vikings (+1.09 AY/A) ---- Record: 7-7

13.) 1993 Vikings (+0.95 AY/A) ---- Record: 9-7

14.) 1992 Vikings (+0.94 AY/A) ---- Record: 11-5

15.) 2004 Vikings (+0.94 AY/A) ---- Record: 8-8

16.) 2007 Vikings (+0.93 AY/A) ---- Record: 8-8

17.) 1976 Vikings (+0.87 AY/A) ---- Record: 11-2-1

18.) 1999 Vikings (+0.87 AY/A) ---- Record: 10-6

19.) 1989 Vikings (+0.57 AY/A) ---- Record: 10-6

20.) 1995 Vikings (+0.53 AY/A) ---- Record: 8-8

21.) 1987 Vikings (+0.49 AY/A) ---- Record: 8-7

22.) 1982 Vikings (+0.49 AY/A) ---- Record: 5-4

23.) 2008 Vikings (+0.47 AY/A) ---- Record: 10-6

24.) 1980 Vikings (+0.36 AY/A) ---- Record: 9-7

25.) 1991 Vikings (+0.26 AY/A) ---- Record: 8-8

26.) 1996 Vikings (+0.18 AY/A) ---- Record: 9-7

27.) 1985 Vikings (+0.18 AY/A) ---- Record: 7-9

28.) 1968 Vikings (+0.16 AY/A) ---- Record: 8-6

29.) 1997 Vikings (+0.09 AY/A) ---- Record: 9-7

30.) 1964 Vikings (+0.05 AY/A) ---- Record: 8-5-1

31.) 1994 Vikings (+0.04 AY/A) ---- Record: 10-6

32.) 2005 Vikings (0.00 AY/A) ---- Record: 9-7

33.) 1990 Vikings (-0.04 AY/A) ---- Record: 6-10

34.) 2012 Vikings (-0.05 AY/A) ---- Record: 10-6

35.) 2006 Vikings (-0.11 AY/A) ---- Record: 6-10

36.) 2000 Vikings (-0.17 AY/A) ---- Record: 11-5

37.) 1967 Vikings (-0.24 AY/A) ---- Record: 3-8-3

38.) 1983 Vikings (-0.37 AY/A) ---- Record: 8-8

39.) 1966 Vikings (-0.37 AY/A) ---- Record: 4-9-1

40.) 1965 Vikings (-0.43 AY/A) ---- Record: 7-7

41.) 1977 Vikings (-0.53 AY/A) ---- Record: 9-5

42.) 2010 Vikings (-0.68 AY/A) ---- Record: 6-10

43.) 2011 Vikings (-0.68 AY/A) ---- Record: 3-13

44.) 1978 Vikings (-0.70 AY/A) ---- Record: 8-7-1

45.) 1963 Vikings (-0.94 AY/A) ---- Record: 5-8-1

46.) 1981 Vikings (-1.05 AY/A) ---- Record: 7-9

47.) 1979 Vikings (-1.42 AY/A) ---- Record: 7-9

48.) 2002 Vikings (-1.47 AY/A) ---- Record: 6-10

49.) 2001 Vikings (-1.73 AY/A) ---- Record: 5-11

50.) 1962 Vikings (-1.78 AY/A) ---- Record: 2-11-1

51.) 1961 Vikings (-1.87 AY/A) ---- Record: 3-11

52.) 1984 Vikings (-2.43 AY/A) ---- Record: 3-13

Top 5 Offenses in Vikings History

1.) 1998 Vikings (6.53 AY/A)

2.) 2004 Vikings (6.47 AY/A)

3.) 2009 Vikings (6.09 AY/A)

4.) 2000 Vikings (5.53 AY/A)

5.) 2003 Vikings (5.40 AY/A)

Top 5 Defenses in Vikings History

1.) 1970 Vikings (1.16 AY/A)

2.) 1969 Vikings (1.25 AY/A)

3.) 1971 Vikings (1.31 AY/A)

4.) 1988 Vikings (1.71 AY/A)

5.) 1975 Vikings (1.86 AY/A)

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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