The 2019 NFL season is almost here and experts think the Minnesota Vikings aren’t among the league’s elite franchises, but not in the cellar either.
It’s hard to know how a team will fare in the NFL before the games are played. Squads that look like they might not be great can emerge as contenders while others can fail to meet their potential. Somewhere in the middle, the Minnesota Vikings seem to sit.
After missing the playoffs during the 2018 campaign and not making a ton of significant changes other than to the offensive line, the question of whether or not the team did enough to improve upon last season has to be asked.
The experts always have fun checking out each team and putting them into power rankings each week. For Week 1, there isn’t a lot of variance in where most of them put Minnesota. Let’s take a look at where the team supposedly stands for now!
- USA Today – Nate Davis: ” If you weren’t excited about them heading into preseason, maybe now-healthy RB Dalvin Cook‘s 85-yard TD run changed your mind?” Up one spot
- Washington Post – Mark Maske: “Kirk Cousins needs to do more than just post empty numbers in Year 2 in Minnesota.”
- NFL.com – Dan Hanzus: “If the Vikings get improved offensive line play, they have the potential to field a top-five offense this season. Top three if you’re feeling frisky. No. 1 if you’re fearless.” Up one spot
- Sporting News – Vinnie Iyer: “The defense is getting longer in the tooth, but it still has plenty of bite.” Up five spots
- CBS Sports – Pete Prisco: “The defense will be back to its 2017 form, and I am a big believer in Dalvin Cook. But can Kirk Cousins win big games?” Up six spots
- Sports Illustrated MMQB – Consensus: “If the Vikings can return to 2017 form—and snap the regression they saw last year—the team could be a contender in the NFC.”
- Yahoo Sports – Frank Schwab: “If Dalvin Cook doesn’t have a monster season, it’s not because he’ll lack opportunity.” Up two spots
- NBC Sports Chicago – Bryan Perez: “They’re the biggest threat to the Chicago Bears in the NFC North. “
- Bleacher Report – Consensus: “This year’s Minnesota team is essentially the same as that 8-7-1 club that missed the playoffs, but there are a couple differences that could loom large.”
- Detroit Free Press – Dave Birkett: “If the Vikings don’t get off to a hot start, they’re in for a long year.”
As you can see, most experts have the Vikings between rank 12 and 16. That makes them a fringe playoff squad. However, the Washington Post and USA Today see a bit more potential in the purple and gold, even if they are still behind the Chicago Bears in terms of their division opponents and other teams like the Saints and Eagles outside of the NFC North.
Still, this isn’t a bad thing at all. The Minnesota Vikings seem to fare better when they’re an underdog and they can prove people wrong by starting out strong against some tough opponents early on their schedule.