Last Season -
The Minnesota Vikings did not have a huge 2008 campaign, but when it mattered the most they were able to find confidence in the legs of emerging superstar Adrian Peterson. Peterson led the NFL with 1,760 rushing yards which also led the Vikings to a 10-6 record good enough to win the NFC North. Minnesota was nearly forgotten at the beginning of the season after a sluggish 1-3 start. However along with Peterson, the offense started rolling throughout the 2nd half of the season. Minnesota closed out the year winning 5 of their last 6 football games including big wins over New York and Arizona. The Vikings were among the most dangerous up and coming teams entering the 2009 playoffs, but disappointingly lost to Philadelphia in the opening round. The Vikings defense was faired strong last year as well ranking right outside the top 5 in overall defense allowing 292 yards per game. The Vikings actually held the league’s best rush defense better than Pittsburgh and Baltimore holding opponents to a mere 76 yards per game. Minnesota will look to build more success from their strong offensive and defensive fronts to win another division title in 2009.
Off Season -
Minnesota was another fairly quiet team over the off season. The Vikings acquired Sage Rosenfels from the Houston Texans at quarterback. Rosenfels should be able to challenge Tarvaris Jackson behind center. The Vikings sought after more key players in the NFL Draft. Minnesota drafted the controversial Percy Harvin at the number 22 overall selection. Harvin was a nightmare for defenders in the SEC his senior season displaying blazing speed and playmaking ability that was a big part to the Gators National Title success.
However, there are a lot of concerns for the wide receiver at the next level. Harvin is not very tall and his speed may not shine as much against the NFL defenders. It will be very interesting to see how the former Gator will do early this season and if he can make big plays with the football. The Vikings selected offensive tackle Phillip Loadholt with their 2nd round selection. Loadholt is a huge lineman with excellent strength, but some limited mobility. Loadholt tips the scales at over 330 pounds so he should be able to knock some guys around. The Vikings added some depth on defense with their later picks by taking CB Asher Allen and LB Jasper Brinkley. Brinkley put up big numbers as a junior before tearing an MCL in his senior campaign. Allen is a decent defender with above average speed. These two guys will not likely see immediate playing time, but could be worked in the rotation amongst the talented defensive group in Minnesota.
2009 Preview -
One major area of focus heading into the 2009 season is the rumors surrounding legendary quarterback Brett Farve. Farve has been reported to be in negotiations with the Vikings and has been giving a deadline for July 27th if he is to accept his position to the team. We expect Farve to make the move, and that could be big for the Vikings. Love or hate Farve for his retiring tactics, he is greatly needed in Minnesota as there have been troubles behind center for years. Farve could give a much needed boost to the passing attack and they already have an elite running game. The defense will be very strong again and that could be all the pieces the Vikings need to make a run at the NFC Championship.
2009 Prediction -
We expect Brett Farve to take the job at quarterback in Minnesota. Farve should be able to come in and make an impact on the offense. However, we question if the Vikings will be able to play good all season. The schedule is very manageable in the open weeks, but definitely gets tougher in the latter part of the season. In the end, Minnesota will be in the midst of intriguing 3 way battle in the NFC North. We expect Minnesota to start off strong, but with Farve there are legitimate concerns if he can keep from fading towards the end of the year. Despite who is behind center, Vikings fall short in 2009.
Pick - 2nd NFC North (10-6 overall) - BangTheBook.com your Football betting resource and free nfl picks site.