Minnesota Vikings projected to be the NFC’s top seed in 2018

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Everson Griffen
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Everson Griffen /

Sports Illustrated recently gave their 2018 record predictions for the Minnesota Vikings and the other 31 teams around the NFL.

Not since the 1998 season have the Minnesota Vikings entered the playoffs as the NFC’s top-seeded team. 20 years later, could this be the season it finally happens again for the Vikings?

Well, at least one established sports publication believes this will be the case for Minnesota in 2018.

Sports Illustrated recently projected next season’s records for the Vikings and the 31 other teams that make up the NFL. After winning 13 games during the regular season for the first time in team history last year, Sports Illustrated believes Minnesota will do this again in 2018.

"“MINNESOTA VIKINGS: 13–3The Vikings are about as well-built as any team in the league. Their top-ranked defense from a year ago got even better in the offseason with the addition of Sheldon Richardson and rookie corner Mike Hughes. Following a career year from Case Keenum, the offense got a quarterback in Kirk Cousins who could get them over the hump, and Minnesota returns running back Dalvin Cook from an early-season ACL tear after he dazzled in his debut. The interior of the offensive line may be the only question in Minnesota, which is looking for its third NFC North crown in four years.” Minnesota Vikings The Viking Age 0d - 6 biggest draft steals in Minnesota Vikings history More headlines around FanSided: 1d - Former Vikings first-round pick could reportedly return to NFC North 1d - Bears analyst has extremely embarrassing Kirk Cousins take 1d - 6 Vikings who (maybe) won't make the 53-man roster in 2023 2d - Which teams could be drafting a quarterback next year? 2d - Predicting what the Vikings will do in the 2023 NFL Draft based on 2022 More News at The Viking Age"

They also added that the Vikings’ most pivotal game of the year will come in just the second week of the season when they hit the road to take on the Green Bay Packers. Sports Illustrated believes that this matchup could ultimately decide who wins the NFC North in 2018 despite it being so early in the year.

Minnesota is one of only two teams in the NFL projected to have 13 wins next season as Sports Illustrated has the AFC’s New England Patriots finishing with the same record as the Vikings in 2018.

Expectations are certainly high for Minnesota next season. But they are also not very suprising when looking at the talent from 2017 that is returning this year and the caliber of players the Vikings added to their roster this offseason.

Next: 6 reasons why the Vikings will win Super Bowl LIII

Getting the top seed in the NFC playoffs next year would definitely increase Minnesota’s chances at capturing the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl win. Especially since the Vikings have just one loss in their last 10 home games at U.S. Bank Stadium (including the playoffs).