NFC North 2015 Preview – Minnesota Vikings

This week in my NFC North preview of the Minnesota Vikings.

I’m weary of this team for the 2015 NFL season.

Last season, they were on the cusp of being a great time. The season record was 7-9, but they had some close games that could have gone the other way. When you see the Vikings on your schedule, you don’t get to automatically put it in the win category.

 

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2014 Vikings record

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last season had some new beginnings for the Vikings. It was the first under head coach Mike Zimmer. In fact, it was coach Zimmer’s fist season ever as a head coach. There obviously is a big learning curve heading into a head coaching position, so the 2015 season might be the time Zimmer starts to shine. Prior to that he was the defensive coach for the Bengals from 2008-2013.

Last season was also rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s first season. He did fairly well, especially with all the quarterback reshuffling over there. Remember Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Bridgewater were all fighting for the starting position. Ponder lost out to a fight between Cassel and Bridgewater with Bridgewater ultimately becoming the man in Minnesota.

 

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Teddy Bridgewater 2014 stats

 

Now, with Bridgewater as the clear starting quarterback going into the 2015 season, he will get all of training camp and all first team reps. It should be interesting to see how he progresses. His back up is veteran Shaun Hill.

Adrian Peterson is the biggest game changer for the Minnesota Vikings for the 2015 season. He only played one game for the Vikes in 2014 due to child abuse charges that were ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor for beating his 4-year-old with a switch. Peterson sparked public outcry and a national debate on how America views child abuse, and how cultural history plays a role.

The Vikings 7-9 record was due in part to losing the workhorse of the team. The team was centered around Adrian Peterson and the loss of him as their running back was detrimental. They did not make great adjustments. Peterson is one of only several running backs in history to break the 2000 yard mark in a single season. Of course the team is built around him.

There was a bunch of rumors in the offseason that Peterson would go to Houston or the Cowboys because Peterson didn’t want to play for Minnesota anymore. However, those rumors, while they may have been true, did not pan out. AP now has a 3 year contract with the Vikings and may finish his career there.

Greg Jennings was let go from the Vikings, which is interesting to me because as a Green Bay fan, it’s always interesting to see how wide receivers flourish under Mike McCarthy and seemingly do terrible once in another organization (think James Jones). It looks like the Vikings will be staying with Cordarrelle Patterson, Charles Johnson, and Jarius Wright.

Other Vikings departures

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So who did the Vikings pick up in the draft?

First round they picked up Trae Waynes, a corner back. Second round was Eric Kendricks, an inside linebacker. Third round they picked up Hunter, a defensive end, and Clemmings, and outside tackle.

Okay.

I get the corner back. The Vikings have some serious enemy wide receivers to contend with in regards to Calvin Johnson of the Lions and Nelson of the Packers. Not a bad move.

As for defense, the Vikings picked up someone that will inevitably be mentioned twice a year when the Packers play the Vikings. Casey Matthews, brother of Green Bay Packers star linebacker, Clay Matthews III, was a free agent and thus picked up. His previous team was the Eagles. I’m not sure his stats are so impressive.

Here is the current 2015 Minnesota Vikings roster as of today.

We shall see how the rest plays out.

As for coaching, I already mentioned Zimmer. The defensive coordinator is George Edwards. The offensive coordinator is Norv Turner.

On a side note, coaching on the Vikings seems to be a family affair. Zimmer’s son, Adam, is the linebackers coach. Scott Turner, son of Norv Turner, is the quarterbacks coach. Hmmm.

Here is the 2015 Minnesota Vikings schedule

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Good luck to the Green Bay Packers against these Minnesota Vikings. It’s definitely not going to be easy to win against them this year.

 

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