ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

2017 NFL Season Preview- Minnesota Vikings

Updated on July 25, 2017

2016 Review

After starting the year 5-0, Minnesota fell off the earth to finish at .500 and miss the playoffs.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater missed the entire season after dislocating his knee and tearing multiple ligaments 12 days before the opener. The team traded for Sam Bradford who set an NFL record for season completion percentage at 71.6% in a short yardage passing game. Running back Adrian Peterson missed 13 games because a torn meniscus and was ineffective for the other three. Tight end Kyle Rudolph had his best season with 83 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. The entire wide receiver corps was a big disappointment. Stefon Diggs has to potential to be electric, but struggled to stay healthy late in the year. Adam Thielen has the potential to be the number two receiver for awhile after joining the team on a rookie tryout three years ago. The offensive line was a legendary failure. The Vikings used seven different offensive line combinations, including five left tackles. As it stands, left guard Alex Boone is the only safe player on the line.

For the first time since 1977, Minnesota started the same four defensive linemen in every game. Backup defensive end Danielle Hunter lead the team with 12.5 sacks and could replace an aging Brian Robison. Outside linebacker Chad Greenway played his final season after 11 years and two Pro Bowl appearances. Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr are young, three down linebackers who make a great pair in nickel situations. The secondary was solid for most of the year but players at key spots are getting older.

Kicker Kai Forbath restored a sense on confidence in the special teams after the team was forced to cut Blair Walsh. Return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson lead the league in kick return average for an NFL record third time.

The team produced six Pro Bowlers in defensive end Everson Griffen, defensive tackle Linval Joseph, outside linebacker Anthony Barr, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, safety Harrison Smith, and return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson. Griffen made his second straight Pro Bowl after registering eight sacks. Joseph made his first Pro Bowl and has developed into one of the more versatile defensive tackles in the game. Barr was criticized for coasting late in the year but still made his second straight trip. Rhodes had five picks on the year and proved he was good enough to cover number one receivers. "Hitman Harry" remains a top flight safety and proved he can do it all.

The rookie class was a big disappointment in 2016. Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was hampered by foot injuries and only made one catch on the year. Cornerback Mackensie Alexander regressed from the preseason while learning the NFL was tougher than he thought. Linebacker Kentrell Brothers played primarily special teams and could replace Greenway next season. German wide receiver Moritz Bohringer spent all year on the practice squad and proved that he should not have been drafted.

2016 Rankings

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Opponent Passing Yards
Opponent Rushing Yards
Total Offense
Total Defense
239.8 ypg
75.3 ypg
208 ypg
106.9 ypg
315.1 ypg
314.9 ypg
NFL Rank- 18th
NFL Rank- Last
NFL Rank- 3rd
NFL Rank- 20th
NFL Rank- 28th
NFL Rank- 3rd

2017 Offseason

Going 8-8 and missing the playoffs was just half the trouble for head coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer underwent emergency eye surgery on November 30, forcing him to miss the Vikings' Thursday Night game against the Cowboys. Special teams coach Mike Priefer served as interim coach for the game. Over the offseason, Zimmer was reported to have a total of eight surgeries to repair a detached retina in his right eye.

On July 14, 2017, newly signed receiver Michael Floyd was suspended for the first four games of the 2017 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

Notable Additions- QB Case Keenum, RB Latavius Murray, RB Bishop Sankey, WR Michael Floyd, T Riley Reiff, T Reid Fragel, DE Datone Jones, DT Will Sutton,

Notable Departures- QB Shaun Hill, RB Adrian Peterson, RB Matt Asiata, WR Charles Johnson, WR/RS Cordarrelle Patterson, TE Rhett Ellison, T Matt Khalil, T Andre Smith, LB Chad Greenway, CB Captain Munnerlyn

Vikings 2016 Highlights

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

2017 NFL Draft

Minnesota did not have a pick until the second round as they traded this year's first round pick to Philadelphia to acquire Sam Bradford. With no first round selection, the Vikings have to be smart to fill key holes at running back, offensive tackle, and guard.

Adrian Peterson is now in New Orleans and its probably for the best. The team needs to get younger legs with versatility as their back of the future.

The Vikings used a total of eight linemen between the two tackles spots. They need talent, depth, and durability on both ends of the line.

Alex Boone isn't spectacular but he is serviceable. Brandon Fusco had another bad year and also suffered two concussions.

On day two of the draft, Minnesota drafted Florida State running back Dalvin Cook with their second round pick. Cook was praised for his ability to break tackles, but has an issue with ball security.

The Vikings also notably drafted Ohio State center Pat Elflein in the third round and Virginia Tech tight end Bucky Hodges in the sixth. Elflein was the quickest center prospect in the draft and has all the abilities to play center or guard, but tends to get lazy with his fundamentals. Hodges has a rare combination of size, strength, and athleticism team's dream of in tight ends, but was rarely asked to block in Virginia Tech's offense.

Dalvin Cook Highlights

What to Expect

With the additions to the offensive line made in the offseason, Minnesota should return to their 2015 form.

Sam Bradford is more than capable of leading the offense with Teddy Bridgewater's season still in doubt. Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook have the potential to be a dynamic running back duo. Murray is the classic between the tackles runner and Cook has the ability to get outside and be a receiver out of the backfield. With Michael Floyd suspended the first four games, Laquon Treadwell has to step up and prove he was worthy of being a first round pick. Kyle Rudolph should continue to grow as he has developed a nice connection with Bradford. Signing Riley Reiff and Reid Fragel gives the team some stability at tackle bad Pat Elflein can play guard or take over at center for an aging Joe Berger.

Barring any major injuries, the defense should remain one of the best in the league. Will Sutton should replace an often injured Sharrif Floyd and Brian Robison may lose his starting job to the younger Danielle Hunter. With Chad Greenway retired, Kentrell Brothers looks to take the reigns and along with Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr, could form one of the top young linebacker corps in the league. The team hopes Trae Waynes can replace a soon to be 39 year old Terrance Newman at right cornerback and that Mackensie Alexander can take over for Captain Munnerlyn at nickel corner.

Between the depth on defense and overall talent level of the team, Minnesota looks to have enough bodies to reclaim the NFC North throne.

Best record they can hope for: 11-5

Vikings 2017 Season

How will the Vikings fair this season?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      11 months ago from Oklahoma

      Sure would like to see Bradford have a playoff run.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)