Dec. 13, 2018
Vikings Super Bowl LI: Reality or Fiction?
Some people think I am crazy, but I think the Vikings have a good shot at making the Super Bowl this year. The Minnesota Vikings just beat last year's number one ranked team, and Super Bowl favorite, the Carolina Panthers. Not to mention, they also beat favored Green Bay Packers in week two. My prediction for the Vikings, now that they've gone 3-0 so far, will be 12-4. I have them losing to the Eagles and Packers, as well as losing two games to teams like the Cardinals, Redskins, or the Lions who have always given the Vikings a run for their money.
In my defense, I have written five reasons why I think the Vikings are Super Bowl contenders, as well as a few things they need to work on to make it.
1) Defense. Defense is key for the Vikings, as they have arguably the best defense in the NFL. Their front four are amazing, the linebackers are very good, and their secondary is quite solid.
2) Special Teams. One thing the Vikings excel at is Special Teams. Cordarrelle Patterson is arguably the best kick-returner in the NFL, and Marcus Sherels is a very good punt returner. Now I know some people are quite upset with Blair Walsh, and I understand their concerns. However, when he gets back on track, he will once again be Pro Bowl material.
3) Sam Bradford. A great pickup for the Vikings, Bradford continues to impress me. His start was slow against the Panthers, but once the second half began, he was back to his normal self. The first half was quite bad for the Viking offense, but that was because all their passing plays were going way too deep. The O-line was not protecting Bradford well enough. That's why in the second half, offensive coordinator Norv Turner called shorter, quicker routes for his receivers that opened it up for the offense.
4) Receiving Core. Diggs, Rudolph, C. Johnson, Wright, and even Thielen, are a very good Receiving Core for the Vikings. Diggs seems to have a very good connection with Bradford and is tops in the league for receiving yards.
5) Heart!!! The Vikings are a very close group of guys. No one will out-work them, and no one else has the heart! The injuries of Bridgewater, AP, and Kalil just brings them closer and closer. It seems like the team motto is "Next Man Up".
Even with all of the above, the Vikings still have their work cut out for them as I see it:
1) O-line Blocking. The O-line would have to improve for the Vikings to even think about a Super Bowl. The pass blocking is horrendous at times, pretty much the same as the run blocking. They have the pieces, now all they need is the passion, fire and determination to make a stand and protect the most important part of your offense, Sam Bradford.
2) Establish the running game. The running game is key for the Vikings, for by establishing the run, it will open up the passing game for Bradford. Now that AP is gone it will be a lot harder. Jerick Mckinnon, now the main weapon in the running game, is a much better route runner than AP, and is more versatile.
3) Bradford's health. Health is the main concern for Bradford, as he's had quite a few injury prone seasons. As long as the O-line protects him, all will be fine. If Bradford gets injured, then Shawn Hill will start and the Super Bowl dream will be just that-- a dream.
As you can see, the Vikings have a great shot at the Super Bowl this year. As long as players stay healthy and keep improving day by day, Super Bowl LI is a reality. SKOL Vikings!!!