Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) throws the ball against the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings won 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today Projects The Minnesota Vikings To Suck This Year

Although it is really, really early in the preseason, USA Today decided to put together a projection of each team’s record for this coming season.  While many teams saw improvement, it seems as though the author believes the Minnesota Vikings will absolutely suck next year.

Here is what the author of the article, Nate Davis, had to say about the Vikings this year:

Vikings 3-13: If the 2008 or 2010 version of Matt Cassel shows up, this might be playoff team. That’s a big if.

Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) claps following the game against the Detroit Lions at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Lions 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

3-13 is, in fact, the lowest number of wins projected for teams in this article.  Other teams projected be terrible this year are the Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneeers, Dallas Cowboys, and Buffalo Bills.  This means that he believes Minnesota Vikings will be in the hunt for the #1 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but to think that the Vikings have gotten significantly worse from last year is astounding.  It may take a little time for the players to adjust to the new head coach, personnel, and offensive and defensive systems, I don’t see this being a three win year for the boys from Minnesota this year.

His statement about Matt Cassel is curious as well.  If it were clear-cut that Cassel will win the starting job this year, I’d agree completely with his assessment.  However, with rookie signal caller Teddy Bridgewater breathing down Cassel’s neck, it could be a bigger competition than many experts think.

There is also the issue of the defense.  The Vikings brought in a strong rotation of pass rushers and improved the secondary by swapping out Chris Cook for Captain Munnerlyn.  While the linebackers can still be considered a weakness, fans can be hopeful that the more aggressive defensive system will help them be more effective players.

Do the Minnesota Vikings playoff chances rest solely on the Matt Cassel’s shoulders?  Does Cassel even have the ability to make a 3-13 caliber team into a playoff contender?  Those are some of the questions I have after reading the author’s evaluation of the Vikings chances this year.

What do you think?  Discuss it in the comments!


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  • Kyle Smith

    Just makes me laugh at how much people don’t truly pay attention to our team.

    We have a new HC OC DC, all who are brilliant.

    And the only thing that USA today can comment on is Matt Cassel?

    How about the badass LB we drafted, or the DT Joseph, or Captain Munnerlyn… We have beefed up defensively and haven’t lost any offensive weapons. Only gained Norv Turner and a QB in Bridgewater that might either A) fire up Cassel to earn his starting job, or B) be brilliant as advertised and win the starting role.

    I laugh at this.

    But hey, I’ll take us being an underdog.

    Look at 2 seasons ago….

    • Don Andrew Halvorson

      Could not agree more. Look at the talent added to the 53 man roster on defense.

      LB: Barr, Brinkley
      CB: Munnerlyn, Cox
      S: Coleman, Exum
      DE: Wooton, Crichton
      DT: Joseph, Johnson

      All of whom could be starters at some point this season. That’s not including any late round DBs or front seven we drafted. Throw into that Yankey and McKinnon as impact players on offense, and we look good. AC Leonard might be worth mentioning here too. Maybe need another WR for depth. Bridgewater takes us to the playoffs next season at the latest.

      • HeWhoKnowsAll

        I think Exum is destined to make the 53 roster, but don’t count your chickens.

    • manbearpig01

      I think we will be vastly improved but I’m really just hoping for an 8-8 season. With the combination of our tough schedule and this being a new group that will take some time to come together, I see us being competitive this year and hopefully playoff bound the following. I do love all the additions, but we have to be patient with the chemistry and new schemes.

    • HeWhoKnowsAll

      The line in Vegas is 6-10… and Vegas is always right. Our ceiling is about 10 wins, our floor is 5 I say.

  • Bob E.

    Cassel is good when he is on and I would agree he needs to perform at a high level for us to consider playoffs, its the nature of the QB position. But this article hinges on Cassel A) being the starter and (more importantly) B) that Cassel will be magnificent ALL season or Suck ALL season… Both of which are out of the question. He will have ups and down of course and saying we will go 3-13 OR make the playoffs is kind of a stretch with no middle ground.

  • jedidethfreak

    3-13 can’t be a serious prediction – it’s gotta be trolling. I give them a solid 8-8 or even 9-7 season, regardless of QB, because – believe it or not – QB play wasn’t the problem last season. Defensive playmaking, especially in the final two minutes of the game, was.

    If our defense last season made one more stop in the 2-minute drill five times last year AND NO OTHER PERFORMANCE CHANGES BY ANYONE ELSE ON THE TEAM, the Vikes would be 10-5-1 and NFC North Champions.

    • HeWhoKnowsAll

      Yup… Ponder loses 3 games early in the season because the defense can’t make a play.

      • jedidethfreak

        That is correct – those three games were games Ponder led the team to a lead in the final two minutes of the game, only for the opposing team to march right down the field and score a TD to win.

        That’s not on Ponder, that’s on the defense. And don’t give me “well, they were TIRED because of Ponder’s 3rd-down percentage,” considering Ponder’s 3rd-down percentage was higher than Cassel’s.

  • holymomentumbatman#84

    All have excellent points here. I have been a purple-bleeding fanatic since the 60′s, and NO ONE wants to see the Vikings become champions more than I do. When I scan and register what Vikings’ ownership and management have accomplished, (merely in this off season and draft) with their player and coaching moves, I see a team DESTINED to become champions VERY SOON. Either Nate Davis has been smoking way too much out of his happy sack, or he is yet another turd bay troll. Taking into account the Viking’s head coach, his background and his new mission, the tragic circumstances that befell our defense last year, who the new OC is, and how he can completely transform an offense;10-6 or better this year, and either a wild card or division champions. So there. Na-na-na-na-na. I said it. Now all of you skeptics and trolls can start your hatin’. SKOL VIKINGS!!!

    • Tommy Tyler

      10 and 6 sounds about right to me. they could have easily had a better year last year with that bad defense…a couple breaks and they might have been 8and 8. so, i see big gains ahead.

  • Jake

    It sounds like the USA Today “author” who wrote that piece knows as much about football and the Vikings as Zinski.

  • Daniel Laxen

    The team is in transition and could be any sort this year. The fact that AP mis still on the squad, no matter what the pundits will have you believe, makes this team a factor in every game, if and it’s a big if, the Vikings can stretch the field and beat that single high safety that the will continue to face. That means if the QB can be consistent and make some decent throws they will be involved offensively. The question mark will still be on the defensive side of thball where they were atrociaous last season vs. the pass and nearly as bad vs. the run…Suffice to say that the Vikings wil be somewhere between 5 and 9 wins. Win a couplke close games and who knows? Not a playoff team as yet on paper, but 2 years ago they made the playoffs with Ponder under center…I expect to see Bridgewater sooner rather than later as this year progresses…

  • MikeH123

    3-13 sounds about right – @ St. Louis L, vs New England L, @ New Orleans L, vs Atlanta L, @Green Bay L,
    vsDetroit W, @Buffalo L, @Tampa Bay L, vsWashington W, @Chicago L, vsGreen Bay L, vsCarolina L, vsNYJ W, @Detroit L, @Miami L, and vsChicago L.

    I don’t see the Vikings winning more than 6 games. They desperately need a QB/WR that can stretch the field for AD on offense, and a MLB on D. Maybe they can get someone like WR Amari Cooper and LB Perriman in next years draft.

    • HeWhoKnowsAll

      We’ll win 3 games in our division alone. I promise you. The Bears aren’t great, and the Lions are terrible until proven otherwise.

  • HeWhoKnowsAll

    The only kind of teams that win only 3 or so games, are dysfunctional ones. That being said, the Vikes were dysfunctional last year: their premiere offensive player was dealing with injuries, they had defensive line, DB and linebacker issues, their moron OC didn’t play their most dynamic WR more than ten plays a game until late in the season, Christian Ponder regressed, the Josh Freeman era, Erin Henderson, giving up the most points in the league and having one of the worst secondaries… I could go on. Either way, that was about as dysfunctional of a year as I have seen since the sex boat, or even worse, the last Favre year, and we still won 5 games. So, three games, when we’ve improved every position on both sides of the ball and brought in a coaching staff that means business is a pretty ludicrous projection.

  • louie peterson

    Obviously, the idiot that wrote this article didn’t factor in the fact that the Vikings have been operating under the guidance of a completely brain dead head coach for the past 4 years…Ironically, the Vikings have been one of the best teams in the NFL for the past 5 years (since 2009) yet their record reflects otherwise…Although, most people don’t realize it, the Vikings are indeed the best team in the NFC North, probably by a long shot. Now that they have a head coach with a functioning brain, people will be shocked at how well they do this year, everybody with the exception of myself that is….

  • Billy Schwandt

    I think the Vikings are on the right track with great Ownership who will do what it takes to win. The best GM in the business and a great couching staff. 7 first rounder’s in the last 3 years and filling almost all the spots that need to be filled. With the tuff teams on paper to start with and the new couches and players could be a rough start. But as they play together and get use to playing together they should in prove. With having Anthony Barr with which we have never had a LB like this and McKinnon at RB which we have also never had should make us something special. It might not happen this year just look to see improvement as the year goes on. Then next year I believe the Vikings will be ready to make their move with another camp and draft

    As for the defense with the 3 LB with speed Barr, Watts and Hodges could be very interesting how they are used. Also the NASCR package on the D-line. The secondary with Exam, Smith, Captain and Roydes. Then if Matti can stay healthy as MLB with Cole as a back up or those 2 in the middle with a 3-4 defense.

    On Offence with Teddy, AP McKinnon, Patterson, Jennings, Wright, Rudolph and with the O-line we should be in great shape

  • Bob T

    I can’t wait to see a positive post from Mike H123.I have been a Viking fan since “68″. I watch a lot of FA and draft choice films and if vegas has the Vikes as a 6 game winner this year, I will take the over. SKOL VIKINGS. Hope everyone knows what that means.

  • Finfineman

    Lets say he is right for discussion sake. Wonder then if the Vikings would regret taking Bridgewater when there are two better QBs next year.

    • Tyler

      If that happens, think of the trade value we’d have there.

  • Allen Anderson

    for this yr I would take 500 and signs of good things to come

  • robb

    I wouldn’t sell the Vikings short of 10 games because as awful as the D and the team as a whole was last season, we all know they barely lost 5 games that would have put them in contention. Those few seconds, those few inches they will get back with Zimmer and Turner and a re-vamped team that has added some difference makers to go along with the ones they have. This will be a great year with Cassel having a resurgence to his 2 season 10+ win form under Turner’s guidance and play schemes that stretch the field. Turner has made practically everyone he’s touched gold and Cassel has enough talent to be no exception..

    • holymomentumbatman#84

      You couldn’t be more on the money, Robb. There’s another article here at The Viking Age about TCF Bank being ready for the Vikings’ 2014 season. In a typical “long-winded”, (that’s just comment there