The Vikings won 10 games and made the playoffs last season, after winning just 3 the year prior. However, teams that have big win improvements like that tend to regress the following season, roughly about half of the win improvement. If the Vikings were to do that, that would put them at 6 or 7 wins and there’s reason to believe the Vikings will do something like that. There are three things about Minnesota’s 2012 season that are unsustainable.
The first is that they excelled in close games, winning 5 out of 6 games decided by a touchdown or fewer. As a result, they won 10 games despite a point differential of +31 and a Pythagorean Expectation of 8.8 wins. Record in games decided by a touchdown or less tends to be very inconsistent and almost always evens out in the long run. For instance, they were 2-9 in such games in 2011.
There’s no reason to believe they’ll be that bad again in 2013, but at the same time there’s no reason to believe they’ll be as good as they were ...