I'm not at liberty to divulge my quantitative methodology, but the following prediction is the amalgam of a statistically significant number of mathematically-generated 2020 NFL seasons. Based on some of the more pessimistic predictions I've seen around here, I hope that what follows might be a calmative at this trying time; I know it was for me.
GAME 1: GREEN BAY PACKERS (0-0) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (0-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 77, PACKERS 0
A strong start to the season saw Kirk Cousins (27/27, 776, 8 TDs) lead the Vikings to a win in a season opening game that may best be remembered for a modern variation of the wrong-way run, itself the result of another memorable collision between Anthony Barr and Aaron Rodgers (0/5, 0, 5 INTs). The second quarter sack, which separated Rodgers' head from his body, saw, in the confusion, Barr pick up the head instead of the football, a mistake he did not realize until after he had taken it back to the house and spiked it. Rodgers is not expected back for the rest of the season.
GAME 2: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-0) @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (0-1)
RESULT: VIKINGS 56, COLTS 0
Despite a sloppy team performance after last week's emotional high, Justin Jefferson (7-459-7 TDs) continued to evoke comparisons to the rookie season of predecessor Randy Moss. Despite throwing his first incompletion of the season, Kirk Cousins (23/24, 624, 7 TDs) continued his strong start to the 2020 campaign, although it must be noted that he has yet to defeat an opponent with a winning record.
GAME 3: TENNESSEE TITANS (2-0) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 49, TITANS 0
In a game in which the Vikings forced more fumbles off of Derrick Henry that were returned for touchdowns (3) than Derrick Henry had yards (-14), it was the Vikings own running back Dalvin Cook (15-352-3 2 TDs, with 12 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns) that laid claim to the title of best in the league. However, some questions remained after Kirk Cousins had far and away his worst performance of the season (15/17, 335, 2 TDs). With the Titans barely clinging to a winning record and the Vikings having zero primetime victories thus far, some maintain that the Vikings early 2020 success is a mirage.
GAME 4: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (3-0) @ HOUSTON TEXANS (0-3)
RESULT: VIKINGS 45, TEXANS 0
With the Vikings having their worst offensive output of the season, including having to settle for a field goal late in the third quarter, they relied on their defense to stay undefeated both on the 2020 campaign (4-0) and against the Houston Texans all-time (5-0). Strong individual defensive performances included Harrison Smith (0 catches allowed, 3 INTs), Jeff Gladney (0 catches allowed, 3 INTs), and Danielle Hunter (5 sacks, 3 INTs). But with the Titans having fallen to 2-2, the Vikings now have zero wins against teams with winning records. With another sliding performance from Kirk Cousins (20/24, 320, 3 TDs) to mirror that of the offense in general, calls to replace him have grown louder than ever.
GAME 5: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (4-0) @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 105, SEAHAWKS 0
The Vikings broke out of their offensive slump in style, with NFL record performances from Dalvin Cook (11-566-4 TDs, with 8 catches for 321 yards and 2 touchdowns), Adam Thielen (36-521-8 TDs), and Kirk Cousins (64-64, 1084, 10 TDs, and one pass caught for 81 yards and a touchdown). It was the most points scored in a game in NFL history and the worst loss ever suffered by a team in NFL history. The Vikings seemingly answered their critics, defeating a formerly-undefeated team, on the road, in primetime. However, some analysts pointed to Justin Jefferson's (18-202) lack of a receiving touchdown as cause for concern, although he did throw the one to Cousins. The question remained: should they have kept Teddy?
GAME 6: ATLANTA FALCONS (1-4) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 42, FALCONS 0*
In a first in the modern era, the Atlanta Falcons forfeited at halftime to prevent further embarrassment and injury. A number of their defenders suffered season-ending ankle injuries after literally being juked out of their socks by Dalvin Cook (12-182-1 TD with 6 catches for 87 yards and one touchdown), Irv Smith Jr. (8-124-1 TD), Justin Jefferson (11-89-1 TD), and Riley Reiff (2-5-2 TDs). It was shaping up to be another dominant performance by Kirk Cousins (31/31, 398, 5 TDs) when the Falcons decided their lives were more important. The Vikings, seemingly responding to critics from last week, were spreading the ball around more to great success, although some critics now wondered if Adam Thielen's poor numbers (3-94) were cause for concern. As a condition of the forfeit, Falcons owner Arthur Blank was required to come out to the middle of the field and apologize for his team's fluke victory in the 1998 NFC Championship, stating that his team did not deserve to win, retroactively losing the game, and officially declaring the Vikings the 1998 NFC Champions.
*The Falcons forfeited at halftime.
GAME 7: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-0) @ GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-3)
RESULT: VIKINGS 2, PACKERS 0*
The Packers forfeited before the game began, apparently upset by a report that a number of their own players were so afraid of being literally killed on the field by the Minnesota Vikings that they contemplated suicide in order to "get it over with" (courtesy of Adam Schefter). The Packers formally apologized for the conduct of their fat, stupid fans, admitted that the refs routinely cheated and continue to cheat on their behalf including and especially by ignoring the egregious holding of their linemen, retroactively forfeited every "win" they'd ever stolen from the Vikings thanks to the refs, and disbanded the franchise. Both Paul Bunyan's Axe and the Slab of Bacon were rightfully returned to the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Badgers football team were disbanded as a diploma mill and pay-to-play criminal enterprise respectively. With the win, the Vikings improved their all-time record against the Packers to 118-0-3. However, some detractors noted that Cousins was a statistical nonentity for this week, and called for a trade for Teddy Bridgewater to replace him.
*The Packers forfeited before the game.
GAME 8: DETROIT LIONS (3-4) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 63, LIONS 0
After last week's nonexistent performance, Kirk Cousins (30/32, 652, 7 TDs) roared back against the Lions with a game that have some thinking that he might very well be a contender for the MVP this year. Others noted that with Seattle's swoon and Tennessee's middling performances, another number is more relevant: zero wins against teams with winning records (if Seattle and Tennessee keep losing). Justin Jefferson (18-357-4 TDs) also kept himself in contention for Offensive Rookie of the Year, but Dalvin Cook's underwhelming game (22-156, with 5 catches for 87 yard and one touchdown) suggest an imbalance that may haunt the Vikings down the line.
GAME 9: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-0) @ CHICAGO BEARS (5-3)
RESULT: VIKINGS 70, BEARS 0
The Bears surprising upswing thanks to the improved performance of Mitch Trubisky came to an end, literally, when he died. Anthony Barr, who has earned the reputation of a headhunter, did nothing to disabuse that notion when he ripped Trubisky's head clean off, this time thanks to a ripping motion rather than the usual sack. Showing that he has learned from earlier mistakes, however, this time he ran both the severed head and the football into the end zone, one in each hand, although the play was negated thanks to a number of penalties on Barr. When asked why after the game, Barr claimed that magic was real, a powerful curse being the reason that the Vikings always underperformed in Chicago, even though Minnesota is always better than Chicago, and that his actions were required to dispel the curse. Reacting swiftly, NFL officials claimed that uncertainty regarding the fairness of play meant that games in this rivalry could no longer be played in Chicago, with both annual games to take place in Minnesota going forward. Kirk Cousins (38/38, 526, 6 TDs) came in for some criticism, since, despite late opportunities, he could not even equal Chicago's famed 73-0 margin of victory in the 1940 NFL Championship.
GAME 10: DALLAS COWBOYS (7-2) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (9-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 77, COWBOYS 0
Despite the Cowboys being a popular upset pick, it was the Vikings who emerged triumphant, thanks to Justin Jefferson's (32-886-8 TDs) record-setting performance. The comparisons to Randy Moss will only grow, with Moss's famous rookie line on Thanksgiving against Dallas (3-163-3 TDs) being outdone by Jefferson before the first quarter was even over. The performance was so compelling that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was apparently moved of his own volition to reach out to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and apologize for, among other things, the so-called "Hail Mary" which stole a Super Bowl spot from the Vikings in 1974-1975, saying that it only worked because the refs openly cheated on behalf of the Cowboys and other darling franchises. The NFL released a statement saying that they would adjust the record accordingly, and are even considering the extraordinary step of revoking any of Dallas' Super Bowl victories which they may deem to be tainted. According to Adam Schefter, it is strongly believed that this will include all of them.
GAME 11: CAROLINA PANTHERS (7-4) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 56, PANTHERS 0
In a stirring ceremony before the game, Carolina Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater came out to speak before the crowd at midfield, declaring that the Vikings had made the right decision in getting rid of him after his injury because it was the smart thing to do. Moreover, Teddy continued, the Kirk Cousins signing was a masterstroke, indicative of the strong leadership in coaching and management enjoyed by the Vikings. He implored all of his fans to support Cousins wholeheartedly as the only man capable of winning a Super Bowl for the Vikings, before offering Cousins a firm handshake, which Cousins accepted. In the game, Cousins (25/28, 455, 4 TDs) outdueled Bridgewater (10/32, 102, 2 INTs) although Bridgewater became the only QB to break 100 yards passing against the Vikings this year and threw, far and way, the fewest number of interceptions. He also became the first QB to reach the red zone against the Vikings, although it was on a Hail Mary pass at the gun.
GAME 12: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (6-5) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (11-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 55, JAGUARS 0
Strong games from Kirk Cousins (28-30, 477, 3 TDs) and Dalvin Cook (25-323-2 TDs, with 10 catches for 124 yards), along with a pair of pick-sixes from Michael Pierce, part of eight turnovers forced by the defense, led the Vikings to victory. However, not one but two drives ended in field goals, and one of Cousins' incompletions almost became his first turnover of the year. Because of Jacksonville's loss dropping them to 6-6, it also became yet another win against a team without a winning record, keeping the number of wins that the Vikings have on the year against such teams, barely, at three.
GAME 13: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (12-0) @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (10-2)
RESULT: VIKINGS 49, BUCCANEERS 0*
It was Kirk Cousins (20/20, 382, 6 TDs) who came out on top of this much-anticipated showdown, a game forfeited by Tampa Bay at the half and, unexpected to anyone going in, probably Tom Brady's last game in the NFL. The forfeit is believed to have been inspired by an incident before the half when Anthony Barr had Tom Brady (1/8, 8, 4 INTs) dead to rights, something of which Brady appeared to be well aware, though he was too afraid to move. But Barr pulled off at the last second, leaving Brady to collapse whimpering in a heap, with, it appears on replay, a mysterious spot growing on the back of his pants. A white-haired, visibly shaking Brady could barely stutter out that he was retiring in his post-game conference, leaving Cousins with a clear path to becoming the League MVP, although some noted that the team did not break 50 this week. The Buccaneers were also required to forfeit their Super Bowl win because they didn't deserve it.
*The Buccaneers forfeited at halftime.
GAME 14: CHICAGO BEARS (6-7) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (13-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 2, BEARS 0*
Out of sympathy for the grieving Bears and apologetic for their own role in Mitch Trubisky's death, the Bears were only required to publicly acknowledge that the 1998 Vikings would have defeated the 1985 Bears. As a goodwill gesture, Anthony Barr shook Nick Foles' hand at midfield; in return, Foles' apologized for his extreme luck in the 2017 NFC Championship and claimed that the result was unjust. The most serious question was what another week of missing stats would do for Kirk Cousins' (0/0, 0) MVP chances.
*The Bears forfeited before the game.
GAME 15: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (14-0) @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (0-14)
RESULT: VIKINGS 2, SAINTS 0*
Drew Brees, having otherwise kept a low profile since apologizing for his role in transmitting COVID-19 from Sean Payton to the rest of the New Orleans Saints during his team's regular gay sex orgies, released a video on social media further apologizing for stealing the Vikings' rightful berth in the Super Bowl thanks to New Orleans' willful cheating in the 2009 NFC Championship. They intended, Brees claimed, to injure as many Vikings' players as possible with their purposefully dirty tactics, something they did with full knowledge that the refs would not only look the other way, but openly assist them as much as possible in order to create a feel good story after Katrina, the entirety of which Brees was aware of and openly complicit in from the start. Officially, the Vikings now played the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, with a determination to be made later as to who would have won by the NFL. The Saints were formally required to apologize to the Vikings as part of their official apology tour, taking place in part because the Saints have been suspended from playing games this season, all of which they have forfeited.
*The Saints were required to forfeit this game before the beginning of the 2020 NFL season.
GAME 16: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (15-0) @ DETROIT LIONS (7-8)
RESULT: VIKINGS 2, LIONS 0*
The Lions apologized for all the times they weren't good enough to overcome the refs and rolled over for the Packers, allowing Green Bay to "win" unearned NFC North titles. Kirk Cousins' cold finish to the season, where he didn't record a single pass in the last 3.5 games, may have doomed his MVP hopes. The Vikings did become just the second team in the history of the 16-game schedule to finish undefeated in the regular season (after the 2007 New England Patriots).
*The Lions forfeited before the game.
PLAYOFF GAME #1: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (11-6) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (16-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 91, EAGLES 0
Carson Wentz did not survive the Vikings' vengeance for the 2017 NFC Championship, his bones literally turned to dust from the severity of Anthony Barr's second quarter sack. The Eagles' attempts to forfeit at the half were rebuffed by the Vikings, who insisted on at least doubling up the combined score from the 2017 atrocity, something clinched by a Kirk Cousins touchdown run near the end of the fourth quarter that put Jadeveon Clowney in the hospital and capped off an all-time great passing performance (44/45, 702, 10 TDs) to complement the greatest margin of victory ever seen in an NFL playoff game.
PLAYOFF GAME #2: CAROLINA PANTHERS (13-4) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (17-0)
RESULT: VIKINGS 45, PANTHERS 3
A tremendous effort by the Carolina Panthers saw them come up short to the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship despite being the first team to score on the Vikings all year. A herculean effort by Teddy Bridgewater (22/56, 137, 1 INT) put his team in place to attempt a 52-yard field goal on the last play of the game, an effort converted by Graham Gano at the gun. Even the Vikings were impressed by the performance, applauding and embracing their former teammate Bridgewater after the game was over. For his part, Kirk Cousins (23/29, 420, 3 TDs, 1 INT) was solid, although his late interception, his first turnover of the year, helped set up Carolina's field goal. It was the sort of mistake that would formerly have driven his critics wild, but such sentiments have been greatly mollified since Bridgewater's public support of his eventual successor. In fact, the entire Vikings fanbase has become unified behind their quarterback as he has led them to their first Super Bowl since #11 in January of 1977.
PLAYOFF GAME #3: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (16-2) V. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (18-0) IN SUPER BOWL LV
RESULT: VIKINGS 55, CHIEFS 0
It finally happened, Vikings fans, and what a way to do it: the first Minnesota Vikings team to win the Super Bowl has become the first 19-0 team in NFL history. Behind the brilliant performance of NFL and Super Bowl MVP Kirk Cousins (29/30, 565, 7 TDs), Minnesota has appeared to pull off something not merely figuratively but literally miraculous. When the Vikings scored their final touchdown at the gun, on a Cousins pass to Justin Jefferson (15-282-3 TDs), it was always their intent to kneel down on the point-after try to produce the final score, a point for each Super Bowl that Vikings' fans had to endure until the promised moment arrived. But just as Kirk Cousins' knee hit the ground to end the game and officially make the Vikings Super Bowl champions, a great light came down from above, not just over Raymond James Stadium but over the entire world, and all was right: famine was ended and disease erased, the Coronavirus gone without a trace, peace throughout the globe. Except, that is, for Wisconsin, since the entire territory of which and all the residents therein disappeared in a mysterious blaze of fire, but this isn't about them, it is about the Minnesota Vikings, and at long and glorious last their fans are finally happy. After the game, the Chiefs officially forfeited Super Bowl IV and admitted that Hank Stram and Len Dawson are overrated.
But is all this what will happen... or only what may? You be the judge!