What do you consider a successful season?
There have already been a couple posts implying that the only successful season is one that ends with a SB championship. I disagree, but want to see what others think.
Personally, I think there are several levels of success for a NFL season. It is not a black and white grade, just like in life. I may not be the richest person in the world, but I consider myself to be financially successful. I may not be the most empathetic or charitable person in the world, but I consider myself to be morally successful.
For a football season, I often look at it comparison to both expectations and the last season. Do we exceed expectations for the season? Did we improve from last season? If so I don't think the season was a failure. Maybe not a success, but not a failure either.
I think any time you make the playoffs, it is a successful regular season. Winning the division is more successful. #1 seed is even more successful.
Once you are in the playoffs, it is a different story. Winning a playoff game is a successful POST season. Winning a divisional round is more successful. Winning the NFC Championship is even more successful. And winning the SB is the ultimate success.
So where were the Vikings this year? Well, they exceeded expectations, did better than last season, and made the playoffs but lost in the first round. I would say this was a successful season but not a successful post-season.