DVOA Hates the Minnesota Vikings

Photo: Boston.com

The Minnesota Vikings finished the 2022-23 season with a 13-4 record, something that should make them one of the favorites in the NFC postseason. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

In reality, the Vikings aren’t monitoring the NFL draft odds this weekend. But in another dimension operated by FootballOutsiders.com — a popular football analytics website referenced regularly by NFL pundits — they probably should be.

DVOA Hates the Minnesota Vikings

See, Football Outsiders worships a team efficiency metric they created, called DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). And DVOA absolutely hates the 2023-24 Vikings.

In fact, they have the worst DVOA of any playoff team since 2016 and the 9th worst in the last 40+ years. None of the other teams on this list made it past the divisional round, though none of those teams were ranked as high as a 3-seed.

Not only did the Vikings’ regular season -13.8% DVOA rank near the bottom of the projected playoff pool, but it ranked near the bottom of the entire NFL (27th). The Bucs (-0.7%) and Giants (-4.7%) were the only other two playoff teams that finished the season with a negative DVOA.

No Chance for Vikings…?

Football Outsiders doesn’t just doubt the Vikings this postseason. They’re calling a 2022-23 Super Bowl impossible, giving Kevin O’Connell & co a 0.3% chance of winning the organization’s first ever Lombardi Trophy.

That’s the worst odds of all 14 postseason teams. According to the site, it is even far worse than their Wildcard opponent, the New York Giants, who have a 1.4% chance at a title.

Nobody Cares

It’s true, the Minnesota Vikings are not the best 3-seed in NFL history. I think everyone agrees with that. But football games are decided on the gridiron, not on a spreadsheet, and this 2022-23 Vikings team has proven that.

The NFC is weak, too. The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t played well in a month and we do not know how healthy Jalen Hurts is. The 49ers have been dominating (winners of 10-straight) but they’re entering the tournament with the last pick of the 2022 draft, Brock Purdy, as their QB. Would it shock the world if he stumbled at some point?

Then, there’s Dallas, New York, Tampa Bay and Seattle. Nobody is afraid of facing those three opponents. So let’s be realistic. This is a wide open NFC and no analytics model can convince me the Vikings have just a 1.6% chance of coming out on top.

Screw DVOA.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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