The Minnesota Vikings finished with a 7-9 record last year, which is an improvement over the 5-10-1 mark they had in 2013. This is a team headed in the right direction. This year their win total is set at 7.5 with heavy juice to the Over (-180). Vegas odds have the Vikings listed at +700 to win the NFC North, +2500 to win the NFC Title and +5000 to win the Superbowl. A preview of the Vikings along with their 2015 Schedule are below.
Last year the Minnesota offense ranked 20th in scoring, at 20.3 ppg, while also ranking 27th in total yards (315.5 ypg), 28th in passing (202.8 ypg) and 14th in rushing (112.8 ypg). Minnesota was a below average offensive team last year, but they did lose 2 QBs along the way, plus they were missing their star running back as well. Now Teddy Bridgewater has a year under his belt, Adrian Peterson is back and they have added WR Mike Wallace in the offseason. With Norv turner calling the shots on this offense it should be much improved this year. Last year Teddy Bridgewater was thrust into playing and he improved as the season went on, which should have him ready for this season. Teddy was 6-6 as a starter last year and had four 4th quarter comebacks, plus hit 67% of his passes which is a Vikings record. He Can only get better this year and will be happy to have a ground game to take some of the pressure off. Yup that's right AP is back and the Vikes are hoping that he has the same comeback that he had had following his ACL injury in 2012. He is the healthiest he has been in several years and he will be running behind an OL line that is improved and much healthier than they were last year. They are also deeper along the line with the drafting of 3 offensive tackles. The Biggest acquisition the Vikings made in the offense season was WR Mike Wallace, who will give Bridgewater a bonafide threat down field. Charles Johnson missed the first 4 games last year, but still had 475 yards receiving on 31 catches, which 5th round pick Steffon Diggs and last year's starting WR Darius Wright give this group solid depth.
Defensively the Vikings ranked 11th in points allowed (21.4 ppg), 14th in yards allowed (344.7 ypg), 7th vs the pass (223.2 ypg) and 25th vs the run (121.4 ypg). The defense went from last in the league in points allowed in 2013 to 11th last year and they may be even better this year. The DL did have it's issues vs the run last year, but it they should be much better this year. Everson Griffien had a career high 12 sacks last year, while Brian Robinson also had a very good year rushing the QB, plus Shariff Floyd had 46 QB hurries last year and Backup Tom Johnson had 6.5 sacks. DE Danielle Hunter was grabbed in the 3rd round and will add depth to an already deep DL. The LB Corps was very good last year and got even better with the drafting of Eric Kendricks in the 2nd round. He will team with fellow Ex-UCLA LB Anthony Barr, who has great speed and can cover both TEs and RBs. Chad Greenway is back for his 10th season and should be the 3rd starting LB, while Casey Mathews, Gerald Hodges and Brandon Watts give this team some very solid depth. The Vikes were 17th vs the pass last year and could be even better this year as everyone returns from last year's group, plus they added safety Taylor Mays, CB Terrance Newman through free agency and then used their first round pick on Trae Waynes from Michigan State. He will be paired with Xaiver Rhodes at CB and that tandem will be once of the best set of CB's in the NFC.
The Vikings are on the right track and are starting to get the kind of pieces that they need to be a threat in the NFC. Last year the offense went through some turmoil, especially at RB and the OL, but Peterson is back and the OL is much healthier, plus have added OT TJ Clemmings in the 4th round of the draft. Teddy now has a year under his belt at QB and has a homerun threat at WR with the addition of Mike Wallace through free agency. This will be a much improved offense this year and you can bet that OC Norv Turner is looking forward to have all his pieces this year. The Defense that finished last year 11th in points allowed has a shot at finishing in the top 5 this year. This is an aggressive defense that gets after the QB with regularity, but it should also be a bit more stout vs the run this year. Another plus is that there is solid depth at every level of the defense. The Vikings win total is set at 7.5 and i see them going over that with at least 9 wins this year and would not at all be surprised to see them notch 10 wins. This is a much improved team.
Info Gathered From Pro Football Weekly & Athlon Sports
2015 Minnesota Vikings Schedule
Sept. 14 at San Francisco 49ers (Mon), 10:20
Sept. 20 Detroit Lions, 1
Sept. 27 San Diego Chargers, 1
Oct. 4 at Denver Broncos, 4:25
Oct. 11 BYE
Oct. 18 Kansas City Chiefs, 1
Oct. 25 at Detroit Lions, 1
Nov. 1 at Chicago Bears, 1
Nov. 8 St. Louis Rams, 1
Nov. 15 at Oakland Raiders, 4:05
Nov. 22 Green Bay Packers, 1
Nov. 29 at Atlanta Falcons, 1
Dec. 6 Seattle Seahawks, 1
Dec. 10 at Arizona Cardinals (Thu), 8:25
Dec. 20 Chicago Bears, 1
Dec. 27 New York Giants, 1
Jan. 3 at Green Bay Packers, 1
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