It's the Sports Abyss for Vikings fans. So, for entertainment this weekend, I did some number crunching on the Pro Football Focus 2014 Depth Charts. Arif, I think, has posted the Minnesota Chart before and the PFF rankings are pretty reasonable. AP is Elite. Greenway was Poor, based on last years performance. And I wondered how our team would come out, if weights were assigned to the PFF rankings.
I used this weighting for the PFF rankings.
Here's the Vikings PPF 2014 Depth chart with this weighting applied.
Then I did the same for all 32 teams. I decided to give added weight to the quarterback's ranking. Basically, I added the quarterback's points a 2nd time in the column Off+QB. Since Teddy is a rookie, with zero for weight, it made no difference in the results for the Vikings.
Looking at all 32 teams, it gets pretty interesting for the Vikings, especially on offense.
The Vikes offense comes out very high. We do well because we have very few below average or average starters. Even if Cassel starts (sorry for the mis-spelling - was late) we don't drop very much. And the PFF ranking likely does not consider the Norv effect on the offense.
Defense, unfortunately, is another story. The Vikes defense comes out at zero. The sorting shows us at the top of the other teams with zero. Call it the Zimmer effect. And I know we all think Zimmer will have us doing better than 25 in 2014. But bottom half of the league is probably realistic.
OK, so how about our first 5 opponents. Personally, I've been pretty worried we might go 0-5 but the numbers look more promising. I didn't know much about the strengths and weaknesses of these teams but here's the numbers.
We should do well against the Rams, if we can perform on the road. Offensively, we can compete with the Patriots but their defense probably will be tough. New Orleans looks pretty hopeless. But Atlanta looks promising. Then there's the Pack. If, big if, Zimmer can get our defense working well, the first Packers Vikings game could be competitive. So 2 wins seems very do-able and maybe an upset of the Pack is possible, if defensively we can turn it around.
In case you want to noodle the numbers, here the spreadsheet.