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Poll: Vikings Playoff Hopes a Divisive Topic

Poll: Vikings Playoff Hopes a Divisive Topic

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Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) breaks a tackle by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton (21) in the second quarter during an NFL Week 1 football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati

Minnesota Vikings At Cincinnati Bengals Sept 12

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Minnesota Vikings fans are evenly split on the team’s prognosis to reach the postseason after an 0-2 start, according to an unscientific poll on Twitter.

Fans were asked to predict the realism of Minnesota reaching the postseason following a heartbreaking loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2.

1,286 people responded.

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Just over 51% of surveyees forecast Minnesota falls short of the postseason, marking the second season in a row the Vikings would theoretically fail to qualify for the playoffs.

The Vikings host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, a team that has conquered them seven consecutive times. You could’ve set a clock to it: From the moment Russell Wilson was drafted in 2012, the Seahawks have toppled the Vikings each time. Interestingly, five of those seven losses took place in Seattle — with one of the games in the playoffs, so Minnesota determined its own fate for the location. Schedule makers love tossing the Vikings inside Lumen Field, indeed.

But it ends Sunday. The Seahawks visit U.S. Bank Stadium for the first time in the regular season. And, Wilson’s bunch is coming off a tough loss to the Tennessee Titans after squandering a 30-16 lead in Week 2. Seattle must keep pace in its division as the NFC West is considered the league’s most difficult by nearly all NFL experts.

On the other hand, Minnesota has high hopes to right the ship because the NFC North is winnable. The Green Bay Packers don’t quite seem the same through two games, the Chicago Bears are good but not great, and the Detroit Lions simply lack the roster talent to contend for a division title. Even with a meager 0-2 start, the Vikings can surge to contend for the division.

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Yet, they must win soon, and the Seattle showdown, therefore, feels like a must-win. One team in 30 years has battled back from an 0-3 start to a season later reaching the playoffs. That was the 2018 Houston Texans, and that Deshaun Watson-led team lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs.

Minnesota’s offense has showcased big plays through two games. Meanwhile, the defense resembles a carryover from 2020 — a unit that ranked fourth-worst leaguewide for points allowed during the pandemic season. So far in 2021, Minnesota’s defense is sixth-worst in the same points-allowed metric. The men on the defense are healthier and even more talented, but the result is eerily familiar through two early-season contests.

In their own building, the Vikings are 1.5-point underdogs in Week 3.

Finally, the Wilson v. Cousins matchup at quarterback is a fascinating one. Thru two weeks, Wilson and Cousins are the only two quarterbacks in the NFL to toss at least five touchdowns — with no interceptions.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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