I figured I needed a break from the first scoreboard watching I've done in years with the Twins and obsessing about how the Rangers are doing so here's a look at the Vikings for this upcoming season.
Most important players
3. Adrian Peterson
We all know what we're getting from AD. 1,300-1,600 yards, 10 TDs and a lot of defenders run over. Of all the reasons I'm hopeful about this season, Peterson being a part of my life on Sundays is one of the biggest. Best of all, he seems to think he's been slighted in some way. He plays best with something to prove. It can just be our little secret that all the offseason issues were his fault.
2. Matt Kalil
The big offensive tackle had a tremendously disappointing season last year, allowing 13 sacks. If he can rebound that will be huge for Teddy's development. In fact, that can go to the entire offensive line. Rookie out of Pitt T.J. Clemmings will fill in for the injured Phil Loadholt, which is something I'm slightly less concerned about. As I alluded to a few sentences ago, the biggest problem last year was the pass protection. Teddy was sacked 39 times last year in 13 games. Loadholt's a good run blocker and that's about it. He can't pass protect and if I had a nickel for every time he killed a drive with a stupid penalty I'd be a very rich person. Here's to Clemmings taking over after this year.
1. Teddy Bridgewater
I can barely write coherent thought about Teddy because I'm so excited. For the first time in the last ten years, the Vikings have a quarterback of the present and future. He threw for 2919 yards last year with 14 touchdowns and a completion percentage of 64.4. It's only going up from here.
The biggest weakness on D last year for the Vikings was the secondary. And while the abominable Robert Blanton is still in a strong safety, they could potentially have three above average defensive backs in Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and rookie Trae Waynes. Waynes is the X-factor here. He had an uneven preseason, but if he can play up to his potential, combined with a solid line led by Brian Robison and Everson Griffin this can be a dangerous unit.
Best case scenario
Teddy flourishes in his second year, Peterson plays like he usually does, the offensive line holds up and the defense is stingy. Vikes go 11-5 to make the playoffs.
Worst case scenario
Peterson deals with injuries throughout the season, the offensive line doesn't have it and Teddy never has enough time to throw. The defense is decent but continually gives up long drives in the last two minutes of games. They go 6-10 and miss the playoffs again,
I'll go with 10-6, snagging a wildcard before losing in the first round.