The Vikings went out and added quite a bit to their already dominate team. The Vikes are hoping to gel and ride into the Superbowl.
NFC NORTH DIVISION WINNERS: +125 (Bovada)
NFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: +650 (Bovada)
SUPER BOWL 53 CHAMPIONS: +1200 (Bovada)
Team Win Total: O/U 10 (Westgate)
Week 1 vs. San Francisco (-4.5) Week 9 vs. Detroit (-7)
Week 2 @ Green Bay (+2.5) Week 10 BYE WEEK
Week 3 vs. Buffalo (-10) Week 11 @ Chicago (-3)
Week 4 @ Los Angeles (Rams) (+3) Week 12 vs. Green Bay (-3)
Week 5 @ Philadelphia (+3.5) Week 13 @ New England (+4.5)
Week 6 vs. Arizona (-10.5) Week 14 @ Seattle (-2)
Week 7 @ New York (Jets) (-4) Week 15 vs. Miami (-10)
Week 8 vs. New Orleans (-4) Week 16 @ Detroit (-6.5)
Week 17 vs. Chicago (N/A)
Trips to Philly, Seattle and New England will all be tough test for the Vikings. They only play two games back to back at home in weeks 8 and 9 before they head into the bye week. The real test will be the first five games. They need to go 4-1 in that stretch to keep pace with the Packers in the division.
Key Team Additions and Subtractions
Additions – QB Kirk Cousins, Qb Trevor Siemian, WR Kendall Wright, LG Tom Compton, and DT Sheldon Richardson
Subtractions – QB Case Keenum, QB Sam Bradford, QB Teddy Bridgewater, RB Jerrick McKinnon, and WR Jarius Wright
Draft – CB Mike Hughes, T Brian O’Neill, DE Jalyn Holmes, TE Tyler Conklin, K Daniel Carlson, G Colby Gossett, DE Ade Aruna, and LB Devante Downs
Case Keenum took over after injuries to Bridgewater and Bradford happened. He stepped in nicely and propelled the offense. He finished with with the seventh best passer rating and second best QBR. Now they will replace him with Kirk Cousins who finished outside the top ten in both those categories. Cousins has a much better arm and played with almost no weapons in Washington. He could be an MVP candidate with the options around him.
Dalvin Cook looked like the real deal before his season ending injury. If healthy he can be on of the better backs in the league. Latavius Murray is an exprienced back that can help hit the short yardage and give defenses a different look.
Stefon Diggs made one of the most memorable plays in recent football postseason memory. In 14 regular season games he averages 60 yards per game and totaled 8 touchdowns. Adam Thielen ended the season as a Second Team All Pro with 79 ypg and 4 touchdowns. Adding an experienced wideout in Kendall Wright will also help the other two get decent looks. On top of that, the Vikes have one of the better Red Zone threats in Kyle Rudolph who had a career high in tough downs with eight.
Minnesota’s line was pretty rough throughout the year. Pat Elflein made the All Rookie Team. The line didn’t improve much but Kirk is a better quarterback than Keenum and with his weapons wont need as much time as Keenum.
Danielle Hunter, Linval Joseph, Sheldon Richardson and Everson Griffen is arguably the best line in the league. Griffen made the All Pro Second Team while Hunter was a monster from the other side. Linval Joseph is great at getting up the field and applying pressure on the centers and guards. Pairing him with Richardson who is still young and not far removed from a eight sack season, this line will be a nightmare for any offensive line.
This linebacking core is also one of the better units. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks are two of the best at their positions. They will need to stay healthy and hope that Ben Gedeon can match their level of play.
The Vikings boast a pari of First Team All Pro’s in Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith. On top of those two Andrew Sendejo and Trae Waynes are also some of the better players at their respected position. There depth continues with rookie Mike Hughes and third year pro Mackensie Alexander are still young and in a great position to learn with Terrance Newman being the savvy vet in the mix.
Daniel Carlson was drafted to compete with Kai Forbath for the kicking job. Mike Hughes and Marcus Sherels will assume the return roles. While Ryan Quigley will continue to be a consistent punter for the Vikes.
The Vikings dumped all their quarterbacks and picked up a better one in Cousins. Added a healthy Cook to the mix and brought in Richardson to plug in on the d-line. This team was better than the Eagles last year and was embraced. Watch out league the Vikings are arguably the most talented and complete team.
NFC North Champions/Superbowl Champions
This team is above average at every position outside of their line and weak side linebacker. Kirk Cousins is finally surrounded by the best weapons he’s ever had and getting the respect from his team. The defensive line is almost unarguable for any team. This team seems like a lock to win the division and at least hedge into the second round of playoffs.
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