EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings understood the low expectations from outside the organization.
During training camp, linebacker Chad Greenway asked the obvious: Why would the pundits predict good things for Minnesota, a team coming off a franchise-tying 13 losses, with a star running back trying to return from major knee surgery, an unproven second-year quarterback and a defense that was historically bad against the pass last season?
But Greenway witnessed a transformation during those training camp days that manifested itself in September. He sensed a "buy-in" from everyone on the team, a change in mentality to reverse the downward slide the Vikings had been on for two years.
"There's a confidence we have, and everybody is just playing for each other," Greenway said. "Playing for the guy next to you makes a big difference, and last year the circumstances were so much different."
Greenway added: "I think we're all in. I don't think you can see anybody in this locker r...