The freak out factor for a team’s fan base is going to be high following an 0-3 start to the season. And 0-3 is precisely where the Vikings find themselves after blowouts at the hands of the Packers and Colts and then a heart-breaker courtesy of the Titans. And, thus, freaking out is precisely where many Vikings fans find themselves right now.
It’s justifiable to have a little freak out to you right now if you’re a Vikings fan. But it’s not justifiable to throw in the towel. The reason for that is first quarters aren’t all-telling.
If each of the Vikings first three games had been halted after the 1st quarter, the Vikings would be 3-0. They held leads of 7-3 over Green Bay, 3-0 over Indianapolis and 7-6 over Tennessee after one quarter of play in each respective game. What did that mean? Nothing. There were still three quarters – a lot of football – left to be played.
You can find all sorts of ominous stats about teams that begin 0-2 or 0-3 and what their chances of making the playoffs are. But the bottom line is you can’t quit after the first quarter. Fortune 500 companies don’t quit after Q1. Football games don’t end after the 1st quarter. So a football season’s story cannot be written after (less than) a quarter of the schedule is played.
With all of that said, the 0-3 start is a major hole for the Vikings. The best they can finish the first quarter of the season is 1-3. That means that just to get back on track, the Vikings would need to go 3-1 (or 4-0) in the second quarter. The schedule isn’t easy. The second quarter begins with a prime-time game in Seattle. Then it’s Atlanta at home, followed by the bye and then a pair of divisional games – at Green Bay and at home to Detroit.
Vikings teams under Mike Zimmer have gone 3-1 or 4-0 in a quarter of a season eight times in 24 chances; it’ll be 8 times in 25 chances after this week’s game against Houston. It will be difficult, but not impossible.