Saturday, August 20, 2011

2011 Season Preview: Minnesota Vikings

2010 Record: 6-10

2010 Rankings:
Total Offense - 23
Passing Offense - 26
Rushing Offense - 10
Scoring Offense - 29
Total Defense - 8
Pass Defense - 9
Rush Defense - 9
Scoring Defense - 18


The Vikings streak of bringing in washed up quarterbacks to try to run some semblance of an offense behind a mediocre offensive line continues. This year, it will be Donovan McNabb stepping under center. The Vikings lost their primary receiver Sidney Rice to free agency (Seattle) so will likely lean heavily on all-world RB Adrian Peterson, who is still trying to get over the fumbling issues he has developed. Percy Harvin figures to be the #1 target in the passing game with the departure of Rice. With a better quarterback, I would say TE Visanthe Shiancoe could be a weapon, but I really don't trust the Vikings offensive line to hold back much of anything this year. It's going to be a long year for the guys in purple, and I really wouldn't be surprised to see rookie QB Christian Ponder starting by week 10 or 11. With limited options in the passing game and a porous offensive line, McNabb is going to have to rely on his ability to make plays outside the pocket to move the offense. I fully expect the Vikings this year to mirror the McNabb-led Redskins last year that didn't put up a whole lot of points or yards, but somehow managed to keep games close and win a few more than expected.


The Vikings defense had a solid year last year, but they lost some key pieces in free agency. Honestly, we have no clue what the Vikings were doing in free agency. It's entirely possible Ziggy Wilf was out in Los Angeles looking at stadium locations rather than trying to re-sign players. The Vikings lost DE Ray Edwards, who was their bookend to Jared Allen, LB Ben Leber, CB Frank Walker, and S Madieu Williams. The Vikings also lost stallwart tackle Pat Williams to retirement. The Vikings spent a few draft picks on defense, but it looks as though the replacement starters will be Brian Robison, Remi Ayodele, Erin Henderson, and Eric Frampton. Honestly, I don't know if those guys are football players or the supporting cast of the next James Bond movie. Jared Allen can still be a beast, but considering what the Vikings lost, they're not going to be anywhere close to the top 10 defense they were last year. 


Um....yeah. The Vikings lost a handful of starters on defense, the only real quarterback on their roster, and their star WR. All they really have going for them is Adrian Peterson running behind a shaky offensive line. Percy Harvin can be a playmaker, but one has to wonder if Donovan McNabb has enough left in the tank to endure the same kind of beating Brett Favre took last year behind the Vikings Swiss Cheese-like line.

If the Vikings were a Beer, they would be:

Bud Light Lime

This is a shitty product to start with that someone attempted to improve by dressing it up with a splash of something new. But let's face it; no matter what you put in Bud Light, it's still going to suck. Similarly, no matter who is playing quarterback for Minnesota, it's not going to cover up the other faults this team has.

1 comment:

Pastor Kevin said...

As an AFC team fan, it is understandable how you could miss out on the most significant change in the Vikings from last year to this year -- coaching. Childress was a COMPLETE idiot who tried to force square pegs into round holes. I predicted the sideline blowouts with Farve the day they signed him -- Farve would audible out of a draw to the fullback on 3rd and 7 and Childress would try to pull him. Exactly what happened! I think Leslie Fraser will prove to be much like Tomlin -- a highly competent coach who understands the game and fits the system to the talent on hand, rather than the other way around. Fraser led the Vikings to a 3-3 finish in a year where the team had absolutely nothing to play for. I think he is going to surprise some people by putting together a cohesive and competent team.

McNabb could do well here. He is FAR more mobile than Farve -- which should help lessen the beatings he needs to take. Although the WR corp is iffy, the Vikings have some really good playmakers in their RB and TE positions who should give McNabb adequate options.

Each year the NFL has a surprise team that gets ignored in all the pre-season hype, but ends up in the playoffs. It's not a long shot that this year it will be the Vikings. They have a lot of All-Pro talent, a stable (boring by comparison?!) lockerroom, and perhaps a bit of a chip on their shoulder after last years debacle. Don't be surprised if they make the playoffs at about 10-6.