2011 NFL Predictions: Minnesota Vikings
As I did in my last article, I will predict and breakdown this season of football for the Minnesota Vikings. I am a Vikings fan, but by no means does that mean I will be predicting them to go 16-0. This will be an unbiased and in-depth breakdown and prediction.
Returning stars Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Percy Harvin, E.J. Henderson and Kevin Williams will certainly keep the team competitive and interesting.
Sept. 11: Minnesota @ San Diego
To start off the season, the Minnesota Vikings will travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers. This is a very hard game to predict, but it can still be broken down. The Vikings will need to rely on their stars to break through and control the Chargers.
I have no concern with the Vikings offense in this one. The Chargers haven't exactly had the best defense in recent years so I think Adrian Peterson and Donovan McNabb can handle their side of the ball. My concern comes on the defense. The Vikings lack a premier safety, and with the loss of defensive tackle Pat Williams, they may be easier to run against.
I will put my faith in Cedric Griffin, since he is returning from injuries, that he and Antoine Winfield can take care of the secondary while E.J. Henderson and Chad Greenway stuff the run game.
Vikings win a tough opening game 21-17.
Sept. 18: Tampa Bay @ Minnesota
The home opener for the Vikings features an up-and-coming Buccaneers team that may break through this year. Of course, they could also fall flat on their face. It is hard to tell if a team that was good one year will be able to repeat that success the next. This makes my job of predicting that much harder.
With the Vikings coming off of a big win on the road against San Diego, they will be fired up and ready to play the Buccaneers. I think Adrian Peterson has a big game and lifts the Vikings to a nice victory.
Vikings win 28-14.
Sept. 25: Detroit @ Minnesota
The rival Detroit Lions come into town to take on the Vikings in a good matchup. If the Vikings want to make this year different from last year then they need to win these rivalry games.
Matthew Stafford will be good and ready to play against the Vikings, along with receiver Calvin Johnson. If the Viking secondary can contain their passing attack then the Vikings will win. If Stafford and company go up and down the field then the Vikings will lose.
I will give the Vikings and edge. They win 24-20.
Don't be surprised if the Lions pull this one out.
Oct 2: Minnesota @ Kansas City
After games against quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers, the Chiefs have enough game tape to know what to do against the Vikings. In Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs beat the Vikings 24-17.
Oct 9: Arizona @ Minnesota
The Cardinals will be coming into this game looking to take over where the Chiefs left off and torch the Vikings secondary. The only problem is veteran Jared Allen will step up and get tons of pressure on Kevin Kolb.
Vikings rebound and pick up a win, 24-10.
Jared Allen gets 2.5 sacks and the defense shuts down Kolb and Fitzgerald.
Oct 16: Minnesota @ Chicago
Another rival team and this game is on Sunday Night Football. The Vikings and Bears will both be coming in with good records and will be wanting to prove they are the real deal on national television.
With the game being at Chicago, I have the Bears winning 17-10.
Oct 23: Green Bay @ Minnesota
After losing to the Bears, the Packers roll in and pour salt in the wounds of the Vikings. Short and simple, the Vikings will not be able to stop the Packers offense.
Packers win 31-17.
Oct 30: Minnesota @ Carolina
So the Vikings lose to their rivals, the Chicago Bears, and then get whipped against the Green Bay Packers. Carolina is in the wrong place and at the wrong time in this one.
Vikings win big 38-10.
Jared Allen records two sacks while Adrian Peterson scores three rushing touchdowns and goes over 200 yards rushing.
The Vikings are off in Week 9. Their record currently stands at 5-3.
Nov 14: Minnesota @ Green Bay
The Vikings will be fresh off of the bye week and will be looking to exact revenge agianst their hated rivals in Green Bay. If the first meeting between these two was at Green Bay and this one was at Minnesota then I would have the Vikings picking up a win here.
I can't see the Packers losing at home. Packers win a close one, 24-21.
Nov 20: Oakland @ Minnesota
The Oakland Raiders come into a heartbroken and beaten Minnesota looking to clean house. The veteran Vikings players rally and keep spirits up in the locker room.
Vikings win 21-14.
Nov 27: Minnesota @ Atlanta
The Vikings will come in with a defense that has been suspect to the passing game. The Falcons have Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Julio Jones. The Falcons don't lose at home, either.
That's three strikes and the Vikings are out in this one, 27-10.
Dec 4: Denver @ Minnesota
Dec. 12: Minnesota @ Detroit
The Lions will want to prove they are better than the Vikings this season. The Lions will be tougher, but I can't see the Vikings losing to the Lions.
Vikings win 20-17.
Dec. 18: New Orleans @ Minnesota
Another story of revenge for the Vikings. They want to destroy the Saints for crushing their Super Bowl dreams of a year prior. I would give the Vikings the edge if it wasn't for their safeties. It is too much of a stretch for me to believe that Husain Abdullah, while good and getting better, can stop Drew Brees.
Other Vikings safeties include Eric Frampton, Ryan Hill, Chris Adingupu, Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Stanford. That group doesn't exactly scream shutdown defense.
New Orleans wins 31-21.
Dec. 24: Minnesota @ Washington
Donovan McNabb returns to face his old team, the Redskins. With the Vikings still in the Wild-Card hunt and the Redskins not even knowing the playoffs exist, the Vikings will pick up the win.
Vikings win 24-10.
John Beck meet Jared Allen.
Jan. 1: Chicago @ Minnesota
Each team is still alive in the NFC Wild Card race. The Vikings want to beat their rival Bears and get into the playoffs. The Bears want to beat their rivals again and get into the playoffs. Something's got to give in this one.
Vikings beat Chicago in overtime 27-24.
The NFC Playoff picture will look like this:
No.1 Green Bay (13-3)
No.2 Philadelphia (13-3)
No.3 Atlanta (12-4)
No.4 St.Louis (9-7)
No.5 New Orleans (11-5)
No.6 Dallas (10-6)
The Vikings will finish as 9-7 and just miss the cut. If Dallas struggles this season (which is very possible) then maybe the Vikings can make it into the playoffs. It will be close either way.
The Vikings finish at 9-7 and miss the playoffs. Seeing that their secondary is not up to par with the passing attacks of the NFL, the Vikings pick up two new safeties in the draft and or free agency and fix their problems.