As the old saying goes, it's better to be lucky than good. The 2012 season seemed to be a good mixture of both for the Vikings.

It's never easy to go from 3-13 to the playoffs in one season. A lot of things have to go right to have a seven-game positive swing in the standings. One of the best ways to turn a team around is drafting well. Rick Spielman and company had one of the best immediate-impact drafts in franchise history with Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, and Blair Walsh greatly upgrading their respective positions. Jarius Wright, Josh Robinson, and Rhett Ellison made an impact as well.

In the parity-driven NFL, most games come down to a handful of plays. Winning the close ones can make all the difference between a successful season and a complete failure. Case in point: the Vikings were 2-9 in games decided by 7 points or less in 2011. They were 5-1 in games in such games in 2012. (Side note: is anyone else surprised that we ended up with only six one-score games this season? I was when I looked back at it. It felt like there were a lot more.)

Of course it also helps to have the best running back in the NFL bringing his dominance to another level along with a slowly-but-surely improving young quarterback. (Seriously, Christian Ponder improved overall this year across the board. I looked it up and everything.) We've already covered many of the reasons for the Vikings' improvement this year, but one key factor still might be getting overlooked.

Relatively speaking, the Vikings were really, really healthy in 2012.