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Insider

Are the surprising Vikings for real?

The Vikings are in good shape when Christian Ponder hands it to Adrian Peterson. AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato

When I watched film of the Minnesota Vikings in the offseason, I thought their proverbial window had closed. With aging players on the downsides of their careers, it looked like a team with a major rebuilding job in front of it. Well, at least to this point of the season, the Vikings have surprised a lot of people with a 5-2 record. Now we are all asking ourselves if they are for real or just a nice little early-season story that will fade into the sunset. Let's examine six areas of this team to see if it can sustain its early success as the season moves forward.

1. Pass offense

This is a passing game with limited weapons. The Vikings have a young quarterback who was good early but has come back to reality in recent weeks. They may have the most conservative play calling of any pass offense in the NFL. No coaching staff asks less of its quarterback, in terms of big plays, and yet Christian Ponder has really been mistake-prone in the past three games.