A lot of Vikings blogs have recently been fuming on how the media has placed the Vikings in thier Power Rankings. To understand why they have placed the Vikings this low, look at the upcoming season from the perspective of a casual sports fan and not a diehard Vikings fan.
Favre Factor- I think most people are assuming that Favre won’t be back or that Favre won’t be able to perform at the level he performed last season. The thing is, it looks like Favre will be coming back. Of course Favres 2009-2010 season was an outlier and you can probably expect 10-12 interceptions this year. Worse
Run Game- The Vikings offensive line will be better this season. We have 2 rookies who will undoubtedly play better in thier sophomore season. Hutch was injured for most of the season. This will dramatically help our run game. Last year Peterson had a slightly ‘off’ season. He averaged 4.4 yard per carry. This was not his fault though. Once a runningback is beyond the line of scrimmage it’s on his back to execute. Unfortuneately Peterson was stopped behind or at the line a stunning 27% of the time in the 2009-2010 season. He would have easily broken 5 yards per carry if the line would let him. Thus, due to the assumption that the line will get better, our run game will get better. Better
Wide Receivers- Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice are still young and haven’t even approached their prime. They will probably get better. Bernard Berrian will probably be healthy next season too. this more than cancels out Chester Taylor’s departure. Better
Secondary- Another knock on the Vikings is that our secondary sucks. This was true for the past few years but the we finally have the talent to atleast make our CBs elite. Sure our safeties are still horrible but they can’t get worse which isn’t exactly saying much. Our CBs are certain to get better with the additions of Cook and Sheppard. Another factor is Griffin’s health. Slightly Better
Thus it is fair to think that the Vikings will actually be better next season, compared to last season. All in all a teams fate isn’t based on the mumbling of sports geeks but rther on how they perform in real life.