5 reasons why the Vikings could exceed expectations in 2020

(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Dru Samia /

Improved offensive line play

Last year, the Vikings offensive line was very erratic. During some games, they looked pretty good and were able to give Kirk Cousins plenty of time in the pocket while also opening holes for Davlin Cook in the running game.

Other times, they looked quite the opposite, as Cousins was scrambling for his life and Cook was having to avoid tacklers in the backfield.

Minnesota will have to hope that Dru Samia is an upgrade at right guard over Josh Kline and they will have to pray that either Pat Elflein is better in 2020 or hope a young player like Oli Udoh can convert to guard and be an upgrade.

There is another way this line can improve. If Ezra Cleveland can come in and earn the starting left tackle job, that could result in the Vikings moving Riley Reiff to left guard. While Reiff’s play is in decline, he could still be an asset to Minnesota on the inside and he would at least be an upgrade over Elflein.

With Cleveland at left tackle, Reiff at left guard, Garrett Bradbury at center, Samia at right guard, and Brian O’Neill manning the right tackle spot, this offensive line could be light years better than what it was a season ago.

An improved line made up of the fivesome mentioned above would give Cousins plenty of time to scan the field and it would open up holes in the running game, no matter what the talent level of the defensive line across from them is. This would help the Vikings compete against the best teams in the league and even win the tough games that they often lose.