Can the Vikings Come Back?

Can the Vikings Come Back?

As you may know, the Vikings were a pre-season favorite of mine to contend in the NFC. Specifically, I predicted that they would win the NFC North with approximately 11 wins.

Obviously, one of two things can happen here. Either I’ll wind up dead wrong, or Minnesota will find some way to turn things around with a big second half.

I’m going to lean towards the optimistic scenario, and I think now is a good time to show you something new that I am putting some time into.

If you’ve ever worked with a large database you’ll know that you’ve got to have some pretty sweet mining software if you ever want to get the information you want out of it. I don’t have any software, yet, but my next undertaking will be to get my hands on something that will let me put together some new methods of analysis. One thing that I would like to do is look at a team, i.e. this year’s Vikings, and figure out if there are any similarities between their trend this year and any trends in previous years.

For example:

2008:
MIN
H
3
15
10
0

L
-12
-3
-10
-13

C
-5
-3
10
-13

I want to know if there have been any other teams in the past that have had a similar beginning to the season. Not just a 1-3 start, but a 1-3 start with the same kinds of Highs, Lows and Closes.

Well, if you look back to 1995 there are two teams that behaved similarly:

1995:
MIN
H
7
0
24
0

L
-11
-37
0
-27

C
-11
-29
17
-20

JAX
H
12
3
10
0

L
-1
-7
-4
-14

C
12
-7
6
-13

They’re not exact matches, but they are similar. The ’95 Vikings have a significantly worse week two loss, and the ’95 Jaguars have a significantly better week one result, but the other three weeks for each team are very similar to what the ’08 Vikings are going through.

How did those two teams in 1995 finish? Both performed much better down the stretch. Jacksonville finished with 12 wins after a 2-2 start and Minnesota finished 9-7 after a 1-3 start.
I’m not saying the exact same thing will happen for the Vikings this year, but it’s worth looking at how teams in similar situations have fared in the

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 at 11:11 am.

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