The Minnesota Vikings are heading into the NFL playoffs an unlikely participant. They were 6-6 and the only real reason fans had Minnesota Vikings tickets to the Metrodome was to catch at least one massive game from Adrian Peterson before the season came to an end. They were hoping to see AP break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. Peterson did not end up breaking the record, but suddenly the Vikes had postseason ambitions.
They would win the last four games of the season by adding to the squashing of the Chicago Bears playoff hopes, keeping the Houston Texans from enjoying a wild card round bye, and doing the same to the Green Bay Packers. Just how did this team turn things around? Well, as Peterson continued to make the NFL consider allowing teams play a 12th defender whenever he was on the field, front four of the defense began to finally contribute. Defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison combined for over 20 sacks while Letroy Guion and Kevin Williams plugged up the middle.
Meanwhile, Chris Ponder stopped turning the football over and the defense began to create turnovers. Any coach loves a positive turnover differential, and Leslie Frazier was able to reach the playoffs for the first time in his short tenure as an NFL head coach.
No wide receiver has stepped up to take the place of Injure Reserved Percy Harvin. Tight end Kyle Rudolph has done his best to give Ponder a consistent option on third down and in the red zone. Rudolph caught 53 passes and 9 touchdowns. He has actually been the second best deep option to Harvin. If anyone, Michael Jenkins, Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright or Devin Aromashodu, could step up and take advantage of a deep right in single coverage, the offense could thrive as Peterson only faces an 8 man front. Then maybe Vikings playoff tickets could be available for the Super Bowl in New Orleans.