Even in a offensive driven league, when we look back at the champions of the NFL, teams that play good defense and teams that win on the road tend to separate themselves from the rest.

That is exactly what the Minnesota Vikings are doing and they are proving that they are playoff worthy.

Two weeks ago, the Vikings had a record of 5-20-1 in their last 26 road games and were 0-2 this season on the road.  Over the last two weeks though, the Vikings have proved past history wrong and have shown they are improving quickly.

After a tough fought road win over the Detroit Lions last week, the Vikings followed up that road win with another hard fought battle this Sunday at Chicago and prevailed in the final minutes to beat the Bears as well.

The identity of Mike Zimmer is proving also to be the identity of this team.

He is a hard worker that has established himself as a bright defensive mind in the NFL as a coordinator and now as a head coach in year two, his philosophies are allowing this Vikings team to be in the mix for the playoffs this season.

Currently the Vikings rank 6th in the National Football League in points against and 5th overall in total defense.

The elevated level on defense has allowed for more leniency in the development of Teddy Bridgewater who continues to show he's a professional while also showing he's learning to evolve as a NFL quarterback in the process.

Stefon Diggs has been a big part of the equation offensively as the Vikings have smartly removed the waste of space known as Cordarrelle Patterson from the wide receiver core to make room for the more polished Diggs.

The combination of Barr and Kendricks as young, energetic linebackers has been a catalyst for the defense and veterans like Brian Robison and Chad Greenway have added a dynamic that every team needs.

I'm not calling for the first Super Bowl title in franchise history this year, but what I am calling for is respect for a team that has shown and proven it is playoff worthy.

The rest is now up to the Minnesota Vikings as they navigate through the final eight weeks of the season.