In their annual preview issue, Sports Illustrated has the Minnesota Vikings finishing atop the NFC North division in 2019 with an 11-5 record.
During the 13 seasons before Mike Zimmer became the team’s head coach, the Minnesota Vikings only won their division twice. Since Zimmer arrived in 2014, the Vikings have finished at the top of their division in two of their five years with him calling the shots.
Despite there being a few rocky seasons, Zimmer has done well during his time in Minnesota with getting the franchise back on track to being competitive week in and week out. Will he be able to help the Vikings rebound from a disappointing campaign in 2018 and earn their way back into the playoffs this season?
At least one notable sports publication believes Minnesota is heading into a successful year.
Sports Illustrated recently released the annual NFL preview issue of their magazine (yes, magazines still exist) and they have the Vikings’ finishing with an 11-5 record and winning the NFC North this season.
They also have Minnesota defeating the rival Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2019 playoffs and then falling to the New Orleans Saints in the second round.
Some believe Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and Zimmer are entering a make or break season this year and the team falling short of the playoffs once again could be what ends their tenures with Minnesota.
If these predictions end up being how the Vikings’ upcoming season actually turns out, one would assume that Zimmer and Spielman would be returning to the team in 2020.
Sports Illustrated’s predictions for Minnesota in 2019 also seems like they would probably result in the team extending Kirk Cousins’ contract during the 2020 offseason.
The Vikings are not known for letting their top players finish out their deals and assuming Cousins performs well this year, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he got an extension from Minnesota after leading them to a division title.
Aside from their thoughts about the Vikings, the best part about Sports Illustrated’s predictions for this season may be the fact that they have the Detroit Lions finishing with a better record than the Chicago Bears.