Vikings in position to replicate and go one step further than 2017

(Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Minnesota Vikings have built their team for 2021 like they did in 2017. How well can this year’s team do?

In 2017, the Minnesota Vikings went to the NFC Championship. They achieved this without a notable quarterback, in fact, the guy under center was a journeyman who has spent the majority of his career as a backup. That 2017 Vikings team was predicated on elite defense and a good run game to create as many third-down and short situations as possible.

This past offseason, Minnesota spent a lot of resources on the defensive side of the ball. In 2021, even with the 26th ranked offensive line, the Vikings had one of the most explosive offenses in the league, ranking third in big passing plays and second in big rushing plays. Minnesota also ranked seventh in total touchdowns and fourth in total yards.

Unlike previous seasons under head coach Mike Zimmer, the offense was what kept the Vikings alive and competitive. The 2021 Minnesota defense is one of the best units in the entire league, not only from a talent perspective but in terms of depth also.

How is this year’s Minnesota Vikings team similar to their 2017 team?

The Vikings have nine starters on defense this year who were either injured or weren’t on the team in the final game of last season. That is a completely new team on that side of the ball. They brought in veterans for the defensive secondary and now boast a strong defensive line.

Minnesota was extremely unlucky with injuries last season, and if they can remain healthy, no team will look forward to playing against them in 2021. There is talent on both sides of the ball and the Vikings should be able to compete with any team on their schedule.

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Assuming the offense picks up where they left off, and the defense makes tremendous improvements, you can expect the Vikings to make a deep run into the postseason this year.