Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewin’ on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble! Give a whistle!
And this’ll help things turn out for the best. . .aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand. . .
Always look on the bright side of life
So, we’re officially six games into the Minnesota Vikings’ 2018 season, and we’ve had some serious ups and downs to deal with already. As far as the on-field product is concerned, this team has already won a game that they probably weren’t expected to win this preseason, blown a game that they should have won (or, depending on your perspective, they should have lost), and gotten blown off the field by a team that, on paper, they shouldn’t have had any issues with.
But, after these first six games, are we really all that far off from where we expected this team to be? I mean, I’m sure that there are some out there among us that expected the Vikings to be 6-0, but I’m not sure if that was realistic or anything. Obviously, you don’t ever “call” a tie, but if we take a realistic look back at what we expected from this team each week compared to what the Vikings delivered, I think we can agree that this team is pretty much where we expected them to be.
Week 1 vs San Francisco - Even with the Niners officially starting the Jimmy Garoppolo era at U.S. Bank Stadium to start the season, I think that most of us expected this one to be a Minnesota victory. That’s exactly what it turned out to be.
Expected record: 1-0, Actual record: 1-0
Week 2 at Green Bay - With as long as most of us have been Vikings fans, I think we know better than to just expect the Vikings to walk into Green Bay and come out with a win. Granted, the Vikings were favored in this one, but if you’ll recall that was largely because of the hubbub over Aaron Rodgers almost losing his leg after getting it caught in a bear trap or whatever that was all about. Even with that, I don’t think a lot of folks “expected” the Vikings to walk into Lambeau and win the Aaron Rodgers Revenge Game. Yes, they should have won the game in overtime. They also should have lost the game in regulation.
Expected record: 1-1, Actual record: 1-0-1
Week 3 vs Buffalo - I’m not gonna lie. This game was terrible, and this is the point that we, with good reason, started to doubt this team a bit. The Vikings should have throttled the Bills, but thanks to a combination of their own ineptitude and the Bills simply not backing down, it didn’t happen. Yes, this one was not enjoyable, but it also serves as a reminder that this is a marathon and not a sprint.
Expected record: 2-1, Actual record: 1-1-1
Week 4 at Los Angeles - We knew going into the season that the Rams were good. As I write this, unless Kansas City gets their act together in a big way, the Rams are going to be the last undefeated team in the NFL. I think we expected a better performance out of the Vikings against the Rams than they showed against Buffalo, and we got one, but the game turned into a track meet and the Vikings just weren’t able to keep up. Again, however, not a totally unexpected result.
Expected record: 2-2, Actual record: 1-2-1
Week 5 at Philadelphia - Coming off of two consecutive losses, and with the Eagles coming off of a tough loss, I think that a lot of Vikings fans were expecting a third loss in a row. I know that I was. I predicted it in the Open Thread with all the info for the game that afternoon. But, in a nice surprise, the Vikings went into Philadelphia and got a small measure of revenge for the way the 2017 season ended. Just like this team can lose games they have no business losing, they can also win games they’re not expected to win.
Expected record: 2-3, Actual record: 2-2-1
Week 6 vs Arizona - With respect to the Cardinals, after what happened with the Bills in Week 3, I think the Vikings were pretty well determined not to let that happen again. Even though it got a bit more interesting than it probably needed to, thanks to a defensive touchdown by Arizona, I don’t think there were many Vikings’ fans that expected the purple to lose this one.
Expected record: 3-3, Actual record: 3-2-1
See, if you take the “30,000-foot view” of things, it would appear that the Vikings are right where most of us expected them to be. We thought they’d get three wins in their first six games, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Did they get there the way we thought they’d get there? No. . .no, they have not.
But, when the records are sorted out at the end of Week 17 and the NFL decides who makes the playoffs, the fact that you got there is more important than how you got there. There’s still ten games left in this season, and it appears that the Vikings are starting to come around a bit, so there’s still plenty of time for this team to get where we expected them to get to.
Sure, we’ll have more disappointments this season. We’re also going to have some pretty great moments along the way, and hopefully all of it will lead to where we want it to. Could things be better right now? Sure, they could. They could also be a lot worse. The Vikings are going to be focusing on the big goal, and as long as they do that, they’ll get to it, regardless of the route they take to make it there.