The Vikings are a dangerous team this year, but one weakness will drown them.
The Minnesota Vikings enter the 2017 NFL Playoffs as the NFC’s two seed and the favorite to win the conference after Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14.
The Vegas odds are highly in the Vikings’ favor:
SUPER BOWL ODDS— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) January 2, 2018
And it’s easy to see why the Vikings are so highly thought of. Their defense is completely smothering, ranking second in DVOA, first in points allowed and first in yards per play allowed.
Their offense is also completely underrated. Despite starting Case Keenum for the majority of the year and losing their starting running back in Week 4, the Vikings offense ranks fifth in DVOA and they’ve scored the 10th-most points in the league.
But I’m here to tell you that it won’t matter. The Vikings are going to fall on their face in the post season, and it’s going to happen in a terrifyingly familiar way to Vikings fans.
In 2015, this Vikings team was similarly scary. Led by the fifth-best scoring defense and one of the best running games in the league, the Vikings entered the playoffs with a lot of confidence. They had just defeated the Packers on the road in the season finale to win the NFC North.
Hosting the Seattle Seahawks in Wild Card weekend, the Vikings defense did what they did all year: smother the opposing offense. But entering the fourth quarter with a 9-0 lead, the Vikings gave up 10 straight points. Thanks to a last-second drive from Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson, however, the Vikings had a chip-shot field goal to take the lead with just seconds left.
Then this happened:
The Vikings have since rid themselves of Blair Walsh, but if Kai Forbath is their true savior at kicker, he sure hasn’t acted like it this season.
Forbath is just converting 84.2 percent of his field goals this year (16th), but even worse... he’s already missed some chip shots. Forbath has already missed two field goals from under 40 yards and he leads the league in missed extra points with five.
With such a strong defensive identity, the Vikings are going to play in some low-scoring games this postseason. That means every point is going to be crucial. But with such an inconsistent kicker, the Vikings could very well fall victim to another heartbreaking missed kick. And that’s exactly what I think is going to happen.
Later in the week, the entire POD staff will be giving their full Super Bowl predictions.