After finishing the 2011 season with a 3-13 record, there isn't much room for optimism for Minnesota Vikings fans. That shouldn't be the case, however, as the team transitions into 2012.
While the team didn't start off the 2011 season very strong, and probably even finished the season weaker, there were certainly stretches and glimpses of potential for this very young team.
Now that the Vikings have filled their coaching vacancies and have a new general manager, this team can truly start rebuilding in the right direction—and in my opinion, we've already seen rock-bottom.
There were such high expectations for success going into 2011, that now seem quite unrealistic in hindsight. The Vikings started a rookie QB after losing their No. 1 WR, cut their left tackle, and most importantly, were in their first season with a new head coach—so it was pretty unrealistic to expect a ton of success to begin with.
2012 will be different, though—and continuity will be the key. If this team keeps moving in the same direction, collectively they will be much more successful.
Here are seven reasons why Vikings fans should be optimistic heading into 2012.