2016 Record: 8-8 – 3rd in NFC North
Passing: Sam Bradford – 3,877 yards, 20 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Jerrick McKinnon – 539 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Adam Thielen – 967 yards, 5 TD
Tackles: Eric Kendricks – 109
Sacks: Danielle Hunter – 12.5
Interceptions: Xavier Rhodes – 5
RB Dalvin Cook
RB Latavius Murray
OT Riley Reiff
OT Mike Remmers
RB Matt Asiata
WR Cordarrelle Patterson
LB Chad Greenway
CB Captain Munnerlyn
– Sam Bradford was not only healthy in 2016, but he was very good. A full offseason with the team and an improved team around him could boost him even higher in 2017.
– Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph form a pretty formidable receiving corps. Watch out for Dalvin Cook and Bucky Hodges to get involved too.
– Minnseota’s defense looks to remain elite in 2017. The retirement of longtime linebacker Chad Greenway is tough, but this unit is talented as can be. You can bet they’ll be among the league’s elite defenses this year.
– If Mike Remmers’ performance in preseason game 1 was any indicator, the tackles are still going to be an issue for the Vikings. The line’s ineptitude was the biggest factor in their collapse last season. They have to be able to run, and they have to be able to protect their oft injured QB.
– Latavius Murray’s health is concerning. Minnesota doesn’t need to be running Cook 25-30 times a game and Murray would alleviate that problem and add an intriguing running back tandem into their offense.
Projection: 8-8, 3rd in NFC North.
The Vikings, in my eyes, are just a middle of the road football team until proven otherwise. It doesn’t make much sense to me, their defense is among the league’s best and their air attack really isn’t that bad, but I’m not willing to put them higher than 8-8 until they can prove they are capable of winning post-Norv Turner.
Minnesota could conceivably go 10-6 and even win the division, but I honestly just don’t know what to make of them. On paper they look so talented top to bottom, something is just off.