...Take into consideration that the Vikings played five games all season against teams that were below .500 in 2008. . .and four of those games took place within the division.
The only non-NFC North team the Vikings played this season with a sub-.500 record was the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Vikings also defeated the champions of the other three NFC divisions, a claim that I don't believe any team in either conference can make (meaning no AFC team beat the other 3 AFC division champions, either).
So, to anyone that says that the Vikings "have to play a first place schedule in 2009," guess what?
I guess the fact that we beat the other three division champions pretty much means we played a first-place schedule THIS year, doesn't it?...
The perpetually pessimistic ignore everything along these lines.
They will even dismiss the Jints win as a win against second stringers even though the Vikings were ahead at the half against their starters and won the game (at the same time conveniently ignoring that the Vikings beat the Jints their SB winning year to a tune of 41-17 in week 12).
There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
The offseason acquisitions of Hutch and Allen sent shockwaves across the league, following the plan of strengthening the lines.
It will be interesting to see what transpires this offseason.
Some fans look at the talent level across the league and look to see what teams are peaking and where their team is it compared to the depth of the rest of the league.
If you do look at the teams left in the playoffs there is not one dominant team. and as you said, we beat several division winers. That is why so many fans are frustrated. We have a team that was one above average QB and a RT away from being good enough to be that dominant team this year.
We may add players next year and we may be better as a team, but we don't know what the rest of the league is going to look like. It may come to be that the rest of the top teams in the league take a step back and no other teams make any head way which could leave us in a good situation, but more than likely a few teams will transform into powerful teams that will change our chances of winning it all.
One thing is certain. After next year we will start to have contracts due on the players we have signed and drafted in the Chilly era and some key names will either be leaving or taking bigger hits against our cap space and when that happens it will make it that much harder to field a high caliber team or to bring in top free agents.
2010 free agents:
Pos Player Name FA Status Previous Team Current Team
QB Tarvaris Jackson UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
RB Chester Taylor UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
TE Garrett Mills UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
OG Artis Hicks UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
OT Marcus Johnson UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
C Ryan Cook UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
DL Ray Edwards UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
LB Vinny Ciurciu UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
LB Dave Herron RFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
CB Cedric Griffin UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
CB Antoine Winfield UFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent
FS Eric Frampton RFA Minnesota Vikings Free Agent