A little bit of luck has gone into the Minnesota Vikings being 9-2 on the season. They have only a +5 point differential on the season, as they have been playing closer to what a .500 team would look like than a team running away with the division title and vying for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
For some context, the 4-7 Jacksonville Jaguars have a +12 differential and the 6-6 New England Patriots have a +24 differential. 12 teams in total have a better point differential than Minnesota, but only one, the Philadelphia Eagles, has a better record.
That is what happens when your two losses are by a combined 54 points as the Vikings got crushed by the Eagles in Week 2 and Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. On the other hand, all but one of their victories have come in one-possession games.
While some people will say that the Vikings will crash back down to Earth at some point as winning close games like that is unsustainable, it does take some level of skill to perform in crunch time. Playing at a high level when the game is on the line isn’t something everyone is capable of, but the Vikings have someone in Kirk Cousins that is capable of it.
Cousins may struggle in prime-time affairs, but if there is a chance for him to win the game at the end, he will almost always come through. In 2022, he already has six game-winning drives under his belt. According to the NFL on CBS, that happens to be a franchise record. Second place on the list is Warren Moon with five and then seven players who have four.
With six games remaining, Cousins has a chance to put some real distance between himself and second place, padding his spot in the roster. But, at the same time, he likely wouldn’t mind if he didn’t add another one to the docket as it means that Minnesota is winning games handily.