The Minnesota Vikings are no longer Super Bowl contenders

Ending the 2018 season with the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl win seems very likely for the Minnesota Vikings after their first 10 games.

Following a 2017 NFL season that saw them make it all the way to the NFC Championship, the expectations for the Minnesota Vikings in 2018 were high, and rightfully so.

After winning 13 games last year, the Vikings went out in the offseason and upgraded at quarterback with Kirk Cousins and added another weapon to their defensive line in Sheldon Richardson.

Minnesota was hoping that these new additions, combined with the amount of experience they had returning to the locker room, would lead to success in 2018. The Vikings were basically setting their team up for a “Super Bowl or Bust” type of season.

With their success last year and the new players they added through free agency, people began to hop on the train of thought that Minnesota was capable of capturing the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl win in 2018.

But most of this line of thinking was before the Vikings even played a game.

Before Minnesota tied the Green Bay Packers in Week 2, before the Vikings suffered an embarrassing loss on their home field to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in Week 3, and before Minnesota lost to a trio of top teams in the NFC that included the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams, and New Orleans Saints.

So after 10 games, the Vikings are 5-4-1 and the dream of a Super Bowl victory now seems less likely than the chance that a unicorn will fly through their stadium this season.

Yes, of course teams can get hot and go on magical runs that end up with championship results. But let’s be realistic. That’s most likely not something that will be happening for Minnesota this year.

With their current record and the difficult matchups they have left on their schedule, the Vikings are going to have a hard time even getting a spot in this season’s playoffs, let alone contend for a spot in the Super Bowl.

For those who are struggling to believe why Minnesota’s chances at a championship have all but disappeared this season, just take a look at their remaining schedule.

There are at least four games that the Vikings should be able to come out with wins during the next six weeks (Packers in Week 12, Miami Dolphins in Week 15, at the Detroit Lions in Week 16, Bears in Week 17).

But at the same time, it would surprise absolutely no one if Minnesota lost any of these four specific matchups. This fact alone is why the Vikings likely won’t be hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year.

Championship-caliber teams win the games they are supposed to and that’s exactly what Minnesota did last season. Unfortunately the Vikings came up a little too short last year, but they more than deserved to be in the NFC Championship.

This season is already starting to feel like a wasted one for Minnesota. Even if they get into the playoffs, no one expects them to be able to go on the road and get a win over the Saints or Rams.

Next: 3 Top Takeaways - Vikings vs. Bears

Those two teams have clearly taken the right steps from a year ago to get to where they are this season. As for the Vikings, they appear to have taken a few steps backwards.