Despite all the negative energy surrounding the Minnesota Vikings, there is still hope for the 2012 season.
In 2011, the Minnesota Vikings had one of their most disappointing seasons in franchise history by going 3-13. The Donovan McNabb experiment failed and the Vikes lost Adrian Peterson to a scary ACL and MCL injury. Many fans wanted newly hired head coach Leslie Frazier to be fired because of the Vikings failures—but there is still hope.
There is no reason to believe that the Vikings can get any worse next year, and here are the five reasons why this will prove to be true.
For having the second worst record in the NFL, behind the Rams and Colts who were tied for the first worst, the Minnesota Vikings have the third pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
The Vikings are expected to draft left tackle Matt Kalil to help protect Christian Ponder and open up the holes in the running game. Regardless of who the Vikes select with this pick, he will definitely be a starter on day one.
Not only do the Vikings hold the third pick in the draft, they also have very high picks in the rest of the rounds. Minnesota’s second-round pick is the 35th overall, which is essentially like a first-round pick—considering the amount of depth this draft class has.
This should give a lot of hope to the Viking faithful because the team will finally load up with high level talent because of their high draft pick status. Expect for the Vikes to address their offensive line with the first pick then make sure to add starters and depth to their receiver corps and secondary.
Christian Ponder is someone Vikings fans and management can hang their hat on.
Ponder stepped in for Donovan McNabb halfway through the 2011 season and he really showed some great signs. Vikings fans have to appreciate what they saw from Ponder. Christian stepped in late in the season and had no true offseason to work with his team. Not only was Ponder a young quarterback with no offseason experience, but he was surrounded by a team with no talent—and an injured Adrian Peterson.
Christian will find himself standing a lot more with the addition of Matt Kalil. The longer Ponder stands, the more time he has to get the ball to his receivers. The Vikings will likely add some new receivers to their thin core to give CP7 options when he steps back for a pass.
Throughout the 2012 season Vikings fans and management will be singing along to the tune of “Oh thank heaven for number seven.”
Although it may seem like the Vikings are thin with weapons, they still have some great players on the offensive side of the ball.
Percy Harvin has proven time and time again that he is one of the most dangerous players on the field with his pass catching skills, and his ability to carry for positive yards on the ground.
Kyle Rudolph is slowly emerging as one of the top tight ends in the league. Rudolph opened everyone’s eyes in the NFL when he made a spectacular catch against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. Vikings fans should expect for more plays like that to come from Rudolph.
Adrian Peterson may be damaged goods right now, but he will come back strong next year as he plans to be ready for Week 1. Regardless of the injury, AP is still the best running back in the league and fans are always out of their seat every time he gets passed an opposing defensive line—which is not a rarity.
The offensive weapons for the Vikings, although not plenty, may be enough to keep hope alive for next season and the future because they are all young and very talented.
The Vikings can still boast about how they have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.
Jared Allen is the best defensive lineman in the NFL and was completely overlooked when the defensive player of the year trophy was handed out last season. With 22 sacks and four forced fumbles, Allen should have been the undisputed winner.
On the other side of Allen is Brian Robison. Robison was great last season and has proven to be a one of the better right ends in the NFL. Last year was the first year in which he started every game, and he definitely made a good impression with Vikings fans.
Kevin Williams is still one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. Although the numbers don’t show it, Williams is the reason why the Vikes were ranked sixth in the NFL in rush defense.
The Vikes have a scary defensive line and opposing offenses need to find a way to protect themselves from this hungry group. There is always reason to have hope when a team is stacked at the defensive line—especially when Jared Allen and Kevin Williams lead it.
Joe Webb is one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL.
Webb has proven that he has great pass catching ability, a great arm, and elite speed. Although Webb is known to play quarterback, he is also able to rush and catch whenever needed. Webb is a special player who will definitely provide necessary services to the Vikings when their offense is stalling. Webb will be the spark plug the Vikings offense desperately needs when everything else seems to be falling apart.
It would be wrong to not be excited about your team when you have Webb lined up somewhere on the field. He will definitely have more of an impact next year because the coaching staff will work with him this offseason and make sure he is a big part of the playbook.
Right now it may seem tough to be a fan of the Vikings, but there is always hope.
With the draft only a month away, the Vikes will put a lot of smiles on the faces of the Viking faithful because they will be the ones who will be given the best draft grade.
Kyle Rudolph will emerge as a top five tight end next year while Christian Ponder will quiet the critics and justify the decision the Vikings made in drafting him.
Adrian Peterson will make a successful return to the NFL and not skip a beat in the Vikings offense. Percy Harvin will still give headaches to opposing defenses while Jared Allen will get in the heads of opposing offenses. Joe Webb will make spectacular plays and prove that he is the most special player in the NFL.
Although the Vikings have not done much in the offseason, expect for some minor moves to be made as in the coming days. The Vikes will add to their receiver corps and fix up their secondary by signing players that have gone under the radar.
Sure a 3-13 record may look bad, but there is always reason to believe in the Minnesota Vikings.