A recent 2020 prediction doesn’t have much faith in the Minnesota Vikings.
A year after failing to meet their lofty Super Bowl expectations, the Minnesota Vikings fought their way into the playoffs last season. No one expected the Vikings to do much of anything in the postseason, especially since their first matchup was on the road against the heavily favored New Orleans Saints.
Despite their doubters, Minnesota and Mike Zimmer still went into New Orleans and left the field with a playoff victory. Something that not many felt the Vikings were even capable of.
For 2020, Minnesota has a bunch of their top contributors from last season returning to the locker room including Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks, and Harrison Smith. Oh yeah, and Zimmer is still the guy leading the way.
CBS Sports not buying into the Minnesota Vikings succeeding in 2020
Even with a number of talented players remaining on the Vikings roster this year, there are still some who believe the team will take a few steps backward during the upcoming season.
Recently, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin jumped on the ship that envisions Minnesota performing worse in 2020 than they did last season. Benjamin attempted to explain his reasoning, which appears to center around the Vikings’ playoff history in the 21st century.
"“Since 2001, the Vikings have reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons just once, in 2008-2009. That means it’s been 10 seasons since they last had back-to-back trips to the playoffs. It also means they’ve never gone back-to-back under coach Mike Zimmer, who replaced Leslie Frazier starting with the 2014 season.Call it happenstance or call it an indication that Minnesota is just a different kind of streaky, but the fact is they haven’t been consistent, surefire playoff contenders since the days of Dennis Green, Randall Cunningham and Daunte Culpepper.”"
While historical trends are good to use when it comes to specific players, it’s a little hard to apply them to an entire team considering how much roster turnover there is around the NFL each offseason.
It’s just hard to agree with someone who thinks Minnesota is going to miss the playoffs this year due to the team qualifying for them in 2019.
Did Benjamin also forget that the NFL postseason has now expanded to seven teams per conference? If this rule were in place back in 2018, the Vikings would have actually grabbed a spot in the playoffs. This would have resulted in three-straight postseason berths for Minnesota from 2017 to 2019.
Benjamin does also mention the loss of Stefon Diggs, Dalvin Cook’s health, and some key departures on defense as some things that could result in the Vikings regressing this year. And then he throws in the lack of talent in the NFC North as something that could actually end up with Minnesota winning their division by default.
So, it’s not really too clear if Benjamin believes the Vikings are going to perform poorly in 2020 and still win their division due to the other NFC North teams playing even worse or if he thinks Minnesota will just miss the playoffs entirely. But either way, he’s certainly not on board with the Vikings being a top contender this year.