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Lunch Break, 8/12: Preseason Success Means What?

Shortly after the Vikings defeated the Steelers 14-3 in the Hall of Fame Game to open the 2015 preseason, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was reminded by a reporter that he's 5-0 in the preseason.

Zimmer quickly shrugged that aside and said he'd rather be 5-0 in the regular season.

Fox Sports North's Kelly Beaton examined correlations between preseason and regular season results in Vikings history.

Beaton wrote:

*One thing history seems to suggest: A great, undefeated preseason often translates to big success later in the year in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Vikings have had seven undefeated preseasons all-time, and only two of those unblemished exhibition campaigns were followed up with losing regular-season marks (in 2001 and last season). *

VIKINGS UNDEFEATED PRESEASONS

YEAR PRE. | REG.

1964 5-0 | 8-5-1

1965 5-0 | 7-7

1973 5-0 | 12-2

1992 4-0 | 11-5

1998 4-0 | 15-1

2001 4-0 | 5-11

2014 4-0 | 7-9

Beaton added:

When the Vikings have looked truly dominant in the preseason, it usually means they're bound for legitimately exciting things in the months ahead, like in 1998, when Minnesota's memorable, 15-1 regular-season was preceded by a 4-0 preseason run. That was also the case in 1992, when, in Denny Green's first season as head coach, the Vikings ran roughshod through the preseason — winning every exhibition game by at least 21 points, including a 56-3 whitewash of Cleveland — en route to an 11-5, division-winning campaign.

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That leads us to another common theme throughout Vikings history: first-year coaches having preseason success. Since 1984, the Vikings haven't had a first-year head coach endure a losing preseason.

Position on the opposition: In an around-the league update, here's a look at Tampa Bay running backs from ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas:

The running backs are a position that deserves watching every day. Although the coaching staff is infatuated with second-year pro Charles Sims, veteran Doug Martin has been having an outstanding camp. Martin is healthier than he has been the last few years and should be able to hold off a challenge by Sims for the starting job.

Quick hitters:

Mark Craig of the Star Tribune writes that there's a time and place to use the phrase "I don't know" in a cautionary tale of basing too much off one preseason game.

Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press on Zimmer's thoughts after reviewing film from the preseason opener.* *

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