Advanced metrics indicate Vikings are much better than their 1-4 record

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /
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Could a turnaround be happening for the Minnesota Vikings soon?

For anyone who has watched the Minnesota Vikings during the last three weeks, there’s no arguing against the fact that they’ve been very competitive in each matchup.

The Vikings were only able to come away with one win in their last three games, but they lost the other two contests by a combined two points to a pair of unbeaten teams.

Especially during their last game against the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota proved they are capable of hanging with just about any team in the NFL. The Vikings just have to figure out what they need to do better in order to be the team to walk away with the victory in a close matchup.

The Minnesota Vikings are not one of the worst teams in the NFL

Currently, Minnesota has a 1-4 record and they would have a top-10 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft if the season were to end today. Typically, this isn’t the sign of a good team. But for Minnesota, there is plenty of proof to show that they are a much better team than what their current record indicates.

For example, Football Outsiders has the Vikings ranked as the 11th-best team in the league after five weeks according to their DVOA metric. To come up with their rankings, Football Outsiders utilizes a number of factors including the strength of the opponents each team has faced so far this season. According to their metrics, Minnesota has had the toughest schedule in the league so far this year.

Based on their metrics, Football Outsiders has the Vikings with an estimated win total of three after the first five weeks of the season. Obviously, Minnesota only has one win so far this year, but these metrics indicate that their talent level is comparable to a team that should have a 3-2 record after five games.

ESPN’s Football Power Index also indicates that the Vikings are much better than a typical 1-4 team. After five weeks, Minnesota has the 13th-highest FPI in the NFL. The Vikings’ current FPI is higher than four teams with 3-2 records and two teams with 4-1 records.

Despite their current FPI ranking among the top 15 teams in the league after five weeks, ESPN is still projecting Minnesota to only finish the season with nine wins at best.

Just like Football Outsiders, ESPN believes the Vikings have had one of the toughest schedules in the NFL so far this year (fourth-toughest). Luckily for Minnesota, the advanced metrics from both Football Outsiders and ESPN indicate that the rest of their 2020 schedule will be much easier than their first five games.

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This should mean that more wins are on the way for the Vikings. Exactly how many more remains to be seen. But at the very least, Minnesota shouldn’t finish the season as one of the worst teams in the league.