Former Vikings receiver says 2018 team will win less than last season

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) Minnesota Vikings mascot Viktor the Viking
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) Minnesota Vikings mascot Viktor the Viking /

Former Minnesota Vikings receiver Nate Burleson doesn’t believe his old team will win as many games in 2018 as they did in 2017.

Hard to believe, but the 2017 Minnesota Vikings finished last year with the second-most regular season wins (13) in the history of the franchise. Only the 1998 Vikings won more games (15) than last year’s team.

A number of their starters from last season are scheduled to return in 2018 and Minnesota went out added two talented free-agents this offseason in quarterback Kirk Cousins and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. So the Vikings should win even more games next season, right?

Not so fast says former Minnesota wide receiver Nate Burleson.

During a recent segment on the NFL Network show Good Morning Football, Burleson was asked if he thought the 2018 Vikings would finish with more, less, or the same amount of wins as last season’s team. The former Minnesota receiver believes having a new quarterback under center in 2018 could make it hard for the Vikings to repeat last season’s success.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

"“Nothing against Kirk Cousins, but I do feel like the chemistry is going to be something they have to work on. Now, they can fix that this offseason. They can fix that in the preseason. But there was something about what Case Keenum was doing with that offense that you can’t easily replace. So I’m saying less.”"

It’s a fair thought to have. But Cousins is not just some ordinary signal caller looking for his first great NFL season.

Minnesota’s new quarterback is coming off of three straight years of throwing for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns. Only Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, and Drew Brees have more total passing yards than Cousins since 2015.

Keenum’s success with the Vikings in 2017 had a lot to do with the play-calling of offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. If anything, Burleson should have pointed out that Minnesota’s adjustment to John DeFilippo running the offense in 2018 could be what prevents them from repeating last season’s success.

Next: Projecting the Vikings' final 2018 roster (Post-draft)

It certainly should not be a struggle for the Vikings to replace a one-year wonder with a quarterback who has actually put up impressive numbers on a consistent basis.