Injuries have forced the Vikings to alter their plans at quarterback, running back and on the offensive line, but the team has still won four straight games to open the season and are favored to make it five straight at home against the Texans this Sunday.
The play of their defense has been the biggest on-field factor in their success, which should sound like a familiar formula to those with memories long enough to remember how the Broncos fueled their run to the Super Bowl last season. One member of that Broncos team is now in Minnesota and running back Ronnie Hillman has found more links the two clubs than a standout defense.
“The big thing is the camaraderie,” Hillman said, via the Pioneer Press. “This team plays for each other, and that’s the biggest part. This team has the same brotherhood — these guys treat each other like family the exact same [as in Denver], and that’s what you need to have a championship team. I saw it here right away, how these guys treat each other with respect and without excuses — they’re accountable for what they do, and that’s definitely a good trait to have as a whole. The guys are cool.”
There’s a lot of time between Week Five and the Super Bowl for those comparisons to grow stronger or prove to be superficial, but the Vikings have already shown an ability to overcome adverse developments that they’ll need to go the distance.