Minnesota Vikings: Are the Vikes Far Away from Competing in the NFC North?

Nicholas GoedelContributor IIMarch 26, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 24: Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings is helped off the field after being injured in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on December 24, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

It feels like just yesterday when Brett Favre was leading the Minnesota Vikings on a magical run in 2009. It only seemed fitting that it would end up with a victory parade in downtown Minneapolis with Favre, the once hated rival of Minnesota, now being doused with confetti and be hailed as a Minnesota sports legend.

Then again, it never ends with fairy tale ending in Minnesota. Instead of the parade, Favre threw the football across his body and into the hands of Tracey Porter. Ever since that moment, the Vikings have never been the same. Now for two years straight, the Vikings have missed the playoffs.

How much longer will it be until the Vikes get the taste of that playoff champagne? Not long Viking fans, not long indeed.

The Vikings have a lot of holes to fill, and I mean a lot. No secondary, no real "deep" threat at wide receiver and its offensive line could not block a guy if their lives depended on it.

The only good thing going for the Vikes is they have one of the best running backs in Adrian Peterson (hoping he comes back the same) and the scariest defensive lineman rocking the mullet in the game, Jared Allen. We Viking fans also have a versatile threat in Percy Harvin; yet, the biggest position on the team is quarterback and, quite frankly, I am not to thrilled about Christian Ponder. I feel we reached for him last year in the draft, and he greatly underperformed last season. But hey, the Vikes made their pick and now they have to live with their decision.

Lets get back to the question: Are the Vikings far away from competing in the NFC North? The answer is no.

I know we are rebuilding and won't make a run this year. However, it only takes a year of rebuilding to make a run in the NFL. Look at the Packers, for example. They rebuilt one year after Favre left and then made a Super Bowl run. It can surely happen. Especially now would be great for the Vikes because they are at a crossroads in their stadium hunt and Leslie Frazier's job could be on the line if they go 6-10 again this year.

This year we need to draft Matt Kalil. It is not a sexy pick, but it will keep Ponder upright and give Peterson a big guy to run behind. Next is to lock up Allen forever. After that, if they keep drafting right, my prediction is that the Vikings will be again competing in the NFC North in the 2013-14 year.

Because I see the Chicago Bears falling off the map soon, the Packers will be good behind the arm of Rodgers. The Detroit Lions could be contending team, but have you ever heard the words contending and Detroit in the same sentence? Didn't think so.

Hang in there, Viking fans, this year will be bumpy. But we will be back on the up swing; plus, if you ever get sad, just think back to 2009 and what a year that was. Before you know it, the Vikings will be back contending.