It’s here. We finally made it. Football is back! For me, the beginning of football season is always bittersweet. I love the Vikings. Each year I cannot wait for the season to begin. I immerse myself in the draft, follow through training camp and the preseason. I dissect and analyze the new pieces and talk myself into this finally being “the year”. Of course, with the Vikings, it never is. It also never will be. Intellectually I know this. But that’s why we love sports. The prospect of undeserved hope in something greater than ourselves. Even with all that said, this is going to be the year, I feel it. Let’s get into our 2020 Minnesota Vikings team preview!
Out The Door
The Vikings lost a number of key pieces this offseason. Most notably on their defense. The entire starting cornerback room is gone. Not great for a team that wants to be known for their defense. This was my biggest concern coming into the season. They lost Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes, and Mackensie Alexander all to free agency. Sure Waynes never lived up to his first round status and Xavier isn’t the same shutdown corner he was in the past but that is still three starters gone.
If this was not a big enough loss, they also no longer have Pro Bowl edge rusher Everson Griffen. Again, he is not playing at the same high level as years past but still a big piece to be without. At least the rest of the D line is intact, right? Nah. They also lost stalwart nose tackle Linval Joseph, the massive and underrated run stopper up the middle.
The offensive losses were a little lighter in numbers but not necessarily in quality. The Vikings traded star wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills as well. He wasn’t happy with the organization so they got what they could for him. A first round pick. Not ideal but I get it, I guess.
The new faces are not nearly as well known as the departures but that does not mean they cannot make an impact. The Vikings supplemented their losses with 15 draft picks. Most notably, wide receiver Justin Jefferson as a Diggs replacement and cornerbacks Jeff Gladney in the first round and Cameron Dantzler in the third. While reports out of training camp have been glowing for these three, they are still rookies, and being thrown into the fire right away is a big ask for a rookie. The Vikings didn’t sign any notable free agents because of cap issues, partially because they gave Kirk Cousins a large extension totaling two years and $66 million. They’ve also been good about locking up their young core to extensions.
Their biggest offseason move was trading a second and later conditional draft pick for Jacksonville Jaguars edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. This was a late offseason addition that is a proven asset to pair with uber star Danielle Hunter. This is something to be excited about.
Let’s be honest. None of this really matters if you have subpar quarterback play and Minnesota extended human zero Kirk Cousins. He is far from terrible but far from great. He just is. I don’t worry about him but I also don’t get excited about him. He is basically a Wendy’s hamburger. Sure it’s fine but it’s no In-n-Out. He’s just a square piece of meat. Yeah, it gets the job done but leaves you wondering, why is it square? Why aren’t you round? Why are you the way that you are? That’s Kirk Cousins.
I have no real concerns about their defense. They currently have the best safety tandem in the league with Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris. Sure, they have absolutely no depth behind them but no one gets hurt in this league. (fuck) Their D-line should be solid with the Jaguar trade and their second level with Hendricks and Barr has been a staple for years. The biggest questions lie with the corners but I choose to buy into the training camp hype.
The offense is down a receiver but their line should be improved. Second year TE Irv Smith Jr is a breakout candidate as well. Plus, they still have Dalvin Cook. He’s a stud.
Season Prediction 10-6
Week 1 Prediction
The first game of the season is at home against the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is a shell of his former self. He no longer scares me. They did nothing to help him in free agency or the draft. Vikings roll 24-13.
- / 2 years ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.