Metric loss

ESPN ‘FPI’ Metric unusually low on Vikings for MNF

Eagles fans. © Jerry Habraken, The Newspaper.

Minnesota Vikings fans may have newfound and optimistic hope that the franchise can take care of business in Philadelphia, but ESPN REITs the metric does not buy it.

The confrontation of the Vikings and the Eagles Monday night football for a chance to join the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the NFC’s only remaining undefeated teams.

ESPN describes the REIT metric this way, “The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is believed to be the best predictor of a team’s performance for the remainder of the season. FPI represents the number of points above or below a team’s average Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the remainder of the season using FPI, results to date and the remaining schedule.

And according to this criterion, Minnesota has just a 34% chance of poaching the Eagles on Monday. The Eagles are expected to win by 4.7 points, per ESPN FPI.

The Vikings-Eagles pregame show
October 7, 2018; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

According to the FPI ranking system, the Eagles are the 9th-best team in the NFL as of Sept. 18, while the Vikings are two spots below at 11th. So for the 4.7-point spread, Minnesota may just be a victim of home-court advantage because the teams aren’t worlds apart.

The Eagles slashed the Detroit Lions on the ground in Week 1, rushing for 216 yards and 4 touchdowns from Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott and quarterback Jalen Hurts. And, oh, by the way, Philadelphia fed recently acquired AJ Brown for 155 passing yards, indicating their offense has dual threat capability. The Eagles beat the Lions 38-35.

The Vikings Playoff Probability Meter: Week 2
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota handled the Green Bay Packers at home, 23-7, behind a strong defensive performance by former Packer Za’Darius Smith. Dalvin Tomlinson, Harrison Smith and Harrison Phillips also stood out, but Za’Darius Smith set the tone defensively in what he called a revenge game.

On offense, Justin Jefferson is the author of the best game of his career, snatching nine balls in the air for 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Dalvin Cook recorded 108 yards from scrimmage, almost feeling like a footnote as the Vikings showcased an aggressive approach in the first place for arguably the first time since 2010.

Whichever team arrives Tuesday morning with a 2-0 record will join the Buccaneers as the interim NFC leader in reaching the NFC Championship. The “other” NFC contenders – Packers, 49ers, Rams and Cowboys – all suffered a loss in early 2022.

Vegas favors the Eagles by two points.

Former Vikings Safety joins Packers

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).