NFL Week 5

And the Vikings shoot to make it five straight against Houston. This is the weekly NFL open thread.

Okay, now this is going to sound crazy, but rest assured, it has NOTHING to do with my being a Vikings fan. A friend who shall go unnamed subscribes to the scripted theory of the NFL, by which he means that the probable outcome of the season is more or less determined in advance.

It doesn’t always hold up, of course, due to the unpredictable elements of the game, but he points out that there are observable primary, secondary, and tertiary narratives. And here’s where it gets interesting: for the first time, I’m picking up a narrative that suggests the Vikings are scripted to win the Super Bowl this year.

One example, and far from the most egregious:

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.

I picked up on this after watching their Week Two win and hearing the announcers go on and on about a very different game than the one I’d just watched.