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Minnesota Vikings

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GM: Rick Spielman
HC: Leslie Frazier
2011: 3-13 (4th NFC North)
2011 Quick Stats
Offence Defence
Pts
21.3
(19th)
Yds
329.7
(18th)
Pass Yds
184.8
(28th)
Rush Yds
144.9
(4th)
»Full Team Stats



Last Season

The Vikings started the year 0-4 and never recovered as they laboured through the season en route to a 3-13 record. Minnesota finished with the third worst mark in the NFL.

To make matters worse their star running back Adrian Peterson suffered a torn ACL and MCL in the final week of the regular season casting serious doubts on his availability for the upcoming year.

Who's In/Who's Out

Important Additions: WR Jerome Simpson, TE John Carlson, RB Lex Hilliard, FB Jerome Felton, OG Geoff Schwartz, CB Chris Carr

Important Losses: TE Visanthe Shiancoe, TE Jim Kleinsasser, LG Steve Hutchinson, RG Anthony Herrera, MLB E.J. Henderson, CB Cedric Griffin, K Ryan Longwell, RB Lorenzo Booker, CB Asher Allen, S Jarrad Page

Drafted

Pick Player Pos Ht Wt College  
1 (4) Matt Kalil OT 6'7 306 USC OT Matt Kalil
Analysis: With a combination of hardwork and skill, Kalil has a chance to become an elite player at the next level.
1 (29) Harrison Smith S 6'2 213 Notre Dame
Analysis: The Vikings moved back into the first round to get a athletic safety that can lead their secondary and move into the box to help in run defence.
3 (66) Josh Robinson CB 5'10 199 UCF
4 (118) Jarius Wright WR 5'10 182 Arkansas
4 (128) Rhett Ellison FB 6'5 251 USC
4 (134) Greg Childs WR 6'3 219 Arkansas
5 (139) Robert Blanton S 6'1 208 Notre Dame
6 (135) Blair Walsh K 5'9 187 Georgia
7 (210) Audie Cole LB 6'4 246 NC State
7 (219) Trevor Guyton DE 6'3 285 California
» Complete NFL Draft Results

Season Outlook

Reasons To Believe
1. Right On Target - It was only a year ago that Donovan McNabb was lined up under centre for the Vikings. Midway through the season the Vikings turned the offence over to Christian Ponder and the field began to open up. Percy Harvin came on strong in the second half and should continue to perform well in 2012. Aside from Harvin, the Vikings signed Jerome Simpson, who has been a standout in training camp, but will miss the first three games due to a suspension. Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson are also interesting options at tight end, making Minnesota's passing surprisingly potent.

Bouncing Back
Will running back Adrian Peterson be able to return to elite levels at some point this season after recovering from major knee surgery?

2. Attack The Block - Jared Allen remains one of the premiere pass rushers in all of the NFL. In a division that features Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford and Jay Cutler, disrupting the pocket in imperative to winning. Allen is joined by Kevin Williams and Brian Robison to make a formittable defensive front. Allen has 77.5 sacks in the last five seasons, including 22 last year, while Williams and Robison put up 13 combined.

3. Home Improvements - Minnesota inserted third overall pick Matt Kalil as their starting left tackle from the first day of training camp. Steve Hutchinson may have left for Tennessee, but stabilizing the left tackle spot with Kalil helps solidify the line. That moves Charlie Johnson over to left guard, where he is more suited to play. John Sullivan may have been the most impressive member of the Vikings line and was rewarded by the team with a big contract at season's end. Phil Loadholt is a giant human being at right tackle and while he may lack in consistency he makes up for as a mauling run blocker.

Reasons To Doubt
1. Ready To Run? - Peterson is trying to return to the team at record speed after his knee injury late last season. The star back is participating in training camp, but the team prevented defenders from making contact with him early on. Peterson hasn't experienced a setback thus far and while conventional wisdom would lead you to believe Toby Gerhart will handle the majority of the work early in the season, it wouldn't be a complete shock to see Peterson defy the odds and be back to his usual freak self in Week 1.

2. Defensive Backfield - Minnesota was 26th against the pass, something that will need to be remedied heading into a new year. Antoine Winfield will be back in the lineup this season along with Chris Cook on the other side, however Zachary Bowman and Chris Carr are the third and fourth corners on the roster. Green Bay and Detroit will spread the field and Chicago may be able to open things up with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery now in the fold, meaning the Vikings could struggle to defend the pass yet again.

3. Wrong Place, Wrong Time - Welcome to the NFC North with the Packers (15-1), Lions (10-6) and Bears (8-8 - due to injuries to Culter and Forte). There is a chance all three of those clubs make the playoffs this season, with rosters that simply have more talent than Minnesota. It's not easy crawling out of the basement in any division and the Vikings are no exception. They will be hard-pressed to carve out wins inside the NFC North, after going 0-6 against their division opponents in 2011.

What To Expect
The truth behind Peterson is that most backs struggle when they return from severe knee injuries and even though he may be superhuman, Peterson will likely start slow in September. With their best player at half-speed, Minnesota doesn't stand a chance of improving their record by six or seven wins to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. With a franchise left tackle to protect their young quarterback, the Vikings should focus on developing their talent in hopes of taking a step in 2013.


Fantasy


Get ready for the season with the latest from TSN.ca.
Players: QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF | K
Fantasy Schedules: AFC | NFC
2012 Auction Values: Cheat Sheet
Fantasy Depth Charts: Offence


Team Schedule
Week Date vs Week Date vs
1 Sep 9 9 Nov 4
2
Sep 16 10 Nov 11
3 Sep 23 12 Nov 25
4 Sep 30 13 Dec 2
5 Oct 7 14 Dec 9
6 Oct 14 15 Dec 16
7 Oct 21 16 Dec 23
8 Oct 25 17 Dec 30
Bye Week: 11
» Full NFL Schedule

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