A team accustomed to kneading rivals was easily beaten and did not know how to react. Almost seven months ago, the Minnesota Vikings came as a tough team to be beaten in the NFC final. But the Eagles put the North American team in their place, went to the Super Bowl and won their title. The Vikings were once again almost.
It is a fact that losing to a champion is not some demerit. The way it all happened is that it was the problem. It was not a pretty goal, but the free kick went just wide. The good news is that most of the deciding players follow on the team and are willing to write a different story.
Category: at least conference end
Performance in 2017: 13-3
We said we would have: 8-8 (Case Keenum may have had the season of his life)
Unscientific forecast for 2018: 10-6
Pro Bowl players last season: Adam Thielen, Everson Griffen, Joseph Linval, Anthony Barr, Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph.
The cast is very good. To get an idea, five of those players who went to the 2018 Pro Bowl are on the team. That is, the defense will follow very strong, dining the opponent’s QB and pressing as soon as the snap is made. And for the first time, Kirk Cousins will be surrounded by talent in attack.
The attack is also great, talented and full of options. Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph, Stefon Diggs, Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray would have room on any team. There is no doubt about it. But there is no attack without offensive line, and the Vikings did not invest in that offseason.
There is also no attack without QB. Kirk Cousins is not a consumer dream, but comes from three straight seasons playing all 16 games. The last two QBs of the Vikings (Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford) had a good season and were injured in the sequence. We expect Cousins to stay away from injuries. And he has an offensive coordinator who will do anything to make the QB feel comfortable with the calls.
What Makes Me Smile at the Minnesota Vikings
Undoubtedly, the Minnesota Vikings defense is to fill our eyes. Of the 11 starters, six went to the Pro Bowl last year. Everson Griffen is a monster. Linval Joseph breaks down. Anthony Barr is one of the best linebackers in the league. Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith are the highlights of a secondary feared by the attack adversary.
Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter are a bit below those five, but they are very dedicated and are growing in the team. I think it’s no exaggeration to say that these seven players would have room in any NFL defense.
Trae Waynes (still in evolution) and Andrew Sendejo can be a good complement and until they follow the rhythm of the companions. Sheldon Richardson comes to make a great season after a year in which he expected more of him with the Seahawks. Ben Gedeon is going to his second year in the league, without much responsibility, but with a huge advantage of playing with great athletes. You can watch NFL minnesota vikings live stream free football game from here.
And that attack, taking the offensive line, is to cheer up. New offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who was a champion with the Eagles, comes to turn Cousins into a winner. DeFilippo is a West Coast offense lover who prioritizes the pass, often short, but who can generate many yard gains after the reception, and who opens the defense, creating plenty of room for the game to run. Cousins likes this style and it should work well with Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and Stefon Diggs. A trio of respect.
Not to mention the hunger that Dalvin Cook is, since he played only four matches last season. Latavius Murray can be very effective in the red zone. The Viking races promise to be in less number, but very explosive.
What makes me cry in the Minnesota Vikings
The offensive line seems doomed to collapse. Tony Sparano, offensive line coach, passed away during the offseason, a tremendous thud inside the team. Center Pat Elflein does not seem to have any playing conditions yet, and he knows when he will. The team lost left guard Nick Easton for the entire season after he underwent surgery to correct a herniated disc in the neck. Right guard Mike Remmers injured his left ankle during his fourth training camp at training camp. Joe Berger, unfortunately, retired.
In the ideal scenario, the five line-holders would be Riley Reiff, Tom Compton, Pat Elflein, Mike Remmers and Rashod Hill. Something that will no longer happen, since Elflein is a huge doubt and Remmers is shot. Right tackle Brian O’Neill and right guard Danny Isidora are good reserves, nothing more. The team added center Brett Jones, but the difference from him to Elflein is enormous.
Production, what was that?
I honestly do not know how Rick Spielman (general manager), Mike Zimmer (coach) and Zygmunt “Zygi” Wilf (main owner of the franchise) manage to sleep peacefully after an offseason without hiring on the offensive line. And please, do not even think about quoting Brett Jones.
There was already a mistrust that Elflein might not start the season. Berger had already announced retirement. Did not the trio of commanders see this news? Remmers was injured in the training camp and no one moved to get a replacement.
Miguelito has no doubts that this team arrives at the conference final. The lineup for the Minnesota Vikings’ success is very tenuous, a lot because of that fragile offensive line. Not to mention the team’s endless bad luck in the playoffs. And the kicker position then. Daniel Carlson is the guy once, and the team made trades to pick him up in the fifth round of this year’s draft. After Blair Walsh, the kicker position became a torment.
There is no magic formula. You have to at least win three games within the division to advance to the playoffs. Or win eight of the 10 games out of the division, which is quite tricky, and still hope for the rivals to lose out of the division. And the Northern Division of the NFC is very complicated. Six games of difficult prognosis. As much as I think the Vikings are the best, taking the position of QB, anything can come out when you have a game in Chicago, one in Green Bay and another in Detroit.
Trouble is, the team picks up the Eagles (bad memories), the Patriots, the Seahawks and the Rams out of the house. Quarries that can get the best out of the Minneapolis team, but that can also complicate the season. Four very complicated games. The season begins before the 49ers, a team that arrives excited with Garoppolo, but that has many defects.
However, the season book some matches that seem to be mandatory victories in the face of the difficulty of the table. Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets – live AFC East – they are worse, but they have little to lose. It’s never easy to face Drew Brees’ Saints, and the Cardinals have some stars like Patrick Peterson and David Johnson. However, overall, they do not have as many good parts as the Minnesota Vikings.