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32 Teams in 32 Days: Minnesota Vikings

Holly Peterson / Special to the Pioneer Press

What to Expect

Last season, the Vikings started out hot but fizzled out in the 2nd half of the season, a bit of a disappointment. After an undefeated start to the season, things gradually became worse after their undefeated run had come to an end. This team went from NFC North Champions to missing the playoffs in just one season. Expect a team that looks to be fighting for a playoff spot.

The Offense

Adrian Peterson is now on the Saints, and to address the need at RB, the Vikings went ahead and pulled the trigger on drafting Dalvin Cook. The consistency at the QB situation isn’t exactly figured out just yet, and the same goes for the offensive line. Can Dalvin Cook be just what the Vikings need at RB?


The Defense

This defense started the season hot, but the it wasn’t sustained that well. They fell off a bit down the stretch. Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith appear to be holding their own in the secondary, and I don’t see any major issues with defensive line. Can the defense get back to how it started last season?


Best Case Scenario: 10-6


Worst Case Scenario: 6-10


Schedule walk through


Week 1: vs. Saints

Dalvin Cook has an extremely impressive debut at home, rushes for over 100 yards.

W 31-28 Vikings (1-0)


Week 2: @ Steelers

The defense struggles to limit this offense on the road. Antonio Brown has a field day.

L 34-20 Steelers (1-1)


Week 3: vs. Buccaneers

The Vikings come back home after a disappointing loss, and upset the Bucs. Jameis Winston throws 2 interceptions.

W 20-17 Vikings (2-1)


Week 4: vs. Lions

This game is tight from the start, but Detroit pulls through after Dalvin Cook has his 1st career fumble.

L 20-14 Lions (2-2)


Week 5: @ Bears

The Vikings let this game slip against the Bears, just like it did last season. The defense struggles to close the game.

L 24-17 Bears (2-3)


Week 6: vs. Packers

For the third week in a row, the defense struggles to close the game. The losing streak continues.

L 31-21 Packers (2-4)


Week 7: vs. Ravens

The Vikings come back home and get the job done. Stefon Diggs has 2 touchdown receptions.

W 31-24 Vikings (3-4)


Week 8: @ Browns

The defense forces the Browns into 3 turnovers.

W 31-20 Vikings (4-4)


Week 9: Bye Week


Week 10: @ Redskins

The Vikings’ defense pressures Kirk Cousins into a key interception late in the 4th quarter.

W 20-17 Vikings (5-4)


Week 11: vs. Rams

Back home, the Vikings get it done with ease against the Rams.

W 27-10 Vikings (6-4)


Week 12: @ Lions

Thanksgiving Day again against the Lions. This year, it isn’t a big interception by Darius Slay, but by Glover Quin.

L 24-20 Lions (6-5)


Week 13: @ Falcons

The defense struggles in the 2nd half. Julio Jones has a field day.

L 31-17 Falcons (6-6)


Week 14: @ Panthers

The defense roughs up Cam Newton and limits Kelvin Benjamin.

W 21-17 Vikings (7-6)


Week 15: vs. Bengals

A.J. Green is limited, and Dalvin Cook carries the offense.

W 27-21 Vikings (8-6)


Week 16: @ Packers

Season on the line, the Vikings barely let it slip away, as the defense collapses on Rodgers’ game-winning drive.

L 24-20 Packers (8-7)


Week 17: vs. Bears

Back home, but the Vikings are still shaken up after what happened at Lambeau.

L 27-14 Bears (8-8)


Bold Prediction

Dalvin Cook steps in immediately as the workhorse back and is pretty efficient as a rookie.


Surprise Star: Dalvin Cook

He becomes the new buzz on this team and opens up the offense a bit more.


Final Record Prediction: 8-8


The Verdict

Expect the Vikings to be competing for a playoff spot. It’s going to come down to their divisional games. Can they avoid some of the sweeps like last season? Let’s find out.


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