The Minnesota Vikings are looking to rebound after a year where they struggled to find consistency on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. With statistically one of the worst defenses in the NFL and an annoying quarterback carousel, this team was hard to watch at times last year.
However, after some key free agent additions and a very interesting draft class, things could be looking up for the Minnesota Vikings in 2014.
Minnesota didn’t hesitate to spend money this offseason. They spent some good money bringing in one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL when they signed Linval Joseph from the New York Giants to a 5 year deal and locked up former Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn for 3 years.
They did lose a couple key players though. Most notably, veterans Jared Allen and Kevin Williams have moved on. Minnesota is hoping that second year player Sharrif Floyd can fill the hole at defensive tackle that Williams left and that Everson Griffen is ready to step into a starting role at defensive end.
Some of the rookies in this year’s draft class could prove to be investments that pay off immediately. Linebacker Anthony Barr was selected #9 overall and already looks to be an every down linebacker. He has shown some great pass rush ability and has done surprisingly well in pass coverage.
Despite how well Barr has played, all eyes are on rookie first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater. Although Bridgewater may not start this year, he has a veteran in Matt Cassel to learn from until he is ready to take over the job. That may be this year, it may not…but Teddy Bridgewater is still the future of the Vikings at quarterback.
Other rookies that could make a huge impression in their first year are running back Jerick McKinnon and pass rushing specialist Scott Crichton.
Minnesota Vikings 2014 Regular Season Schedule
|1||Sep 07||MIN @ STL||Edward Jones Dome||1:00 PM|
|2||Sep 14||NE @ MIN||TCF Bank Stadium||1:00 PM|
|3||Sep 21||MIN @ NO||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||1:00 PM|
|4||Sep 28||ATL @ MIN||TCF Bank Stadium||4:25 PM|
|5||Oct 02||MIN @ GB||Lambeau Field||8:25 PM|
|6||Oct 12||DET @ MIN||TCF Bank Stadium||1:00 PM|
|7||Oct 19||MIN @ BUF||Ralph Wilson Stadium||1:00 PM|
|8||Oct 26||MIN @ TB||Raymond James Stadium||1:00 PM|
|9||Nov 02||WAS @ MIN||TCF Bank Stadium||1:00 PM|
|11||Nov 16||MIN @ CHI||Soldier Field||1:00 PM|
|12||Nov 23||GB @ MIN||TCF Bank Stadium||1:00 PM|
|13||Nov 30||CAR @ MIN||TCF Bank Stadium||1:00 PM|
|14||Dec 07||NYJ @ MIN||TCF Bank Stadium||1:00 PM|
|15||Dec 14||MIN @ DET||Ford Field||1:00 PM|
|16||Dec 21||MIN @ MIA||Sun Life Stadium||1:00 PM|
|17||Dec 28||CHI @ MIN||TCF Bank Stadium||1:00 PM|
This is one of the most brutal schedules in the NFL in my opinion. A pessimist could look at this schedule and see a maximum of 3 wins while an optimist could see as many as 10. The success of this team will depend on many factors, including how fast the team can learn the new schemes, how fast the rookies can come along, how well the team can adapt to home games outdoors, and much more.
One thing that is always for certain is that you can never count out a team with Adrian Peterson on it. He should be the team MVP and focus of the offense one again this year. Personally, I think this is a team that won’t give away as many games defensively as last year and will end up with a slightly better record. My guess is 7-9.
To check out the season previews for the Minnesota Vikings division opponents, click on the team image below: