Vikings will be the worst team in the NFL this year, one group of experts conclude
In related news, water is wet.
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But the football website that is known for approaching NFL projections with a higher dose of rationality than perhaps any other has a very different outlook on the Purple's 2013 season, which kicks off this Sunday in Detroit.
In fact, Football Outsiders, which bases it's projections on a sophisticated algorithm that simulates the season 10,000 times over, literally expects the Vikings to be the worst.
Football Outsiders projects the Vikings to finish with 5.7 wins this season, the least in the NFL by a good margin (the second fewest projected mean wins belongs to St. Louis with six on the nose).
FO also pegs the Vikings to have the lowest playoffs odds of any team at a dismal 4.9 percent.
So what gives? During a Q&A with the Daily Norseman Vikings blog, a Football Outsiders representative explained their pessimism about the Vikes thusly:
Our projection system is based on regression; the focal point of the Vikings excellent season in 2012 was the completely insane numbers of one Adrian Peterson. You are free to doubt that at your own risk after last season, and I have my own suspicions as well, but Peterson hasn't ever been the healthiest player in the league. The only other place we have the Vikings really taking a tumble is on special teams, where Percy Harvin's absence will be felt and they made a giant leap forward in 2012. That, and the toughest schedule in the NFL, are what we have holding down the Vikings this year.Of course, that response doesn't even acknowledge the elephant in the room -- namely, that Christian Ponder looked like he was on a one-man mission to sabotage AP's historic season for much of last year.
On the other hand, regression might prove to be nothing but a word for the beast otherwise known as Adrian Peterson, and in fairness to Paul Allen, he was one of the few who accurately projected the Vikings to go 10-6 and make the playoffs last year:
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.