SKOL! It’s your turn Vikings fans.
Last year must have felt like the year we saw an NFL team play and win a Superbowl in their own stadium but it just wasn;t meant to be. To digest and reflect on the events of last year, we have drafted in Ryan Williams (@Notbarry1) who was happy to help us with a look at his beloved Minnesota Vikings.
The ‘State of the Franchise’ series continues and this is a good one to sink your teeth into. Let’s do this …
Last Season’s Reflections
Last season was a great season for the Vikings, right up until half time in the Saints playoff game. *Sigh*
The defense was one of the best in the league all season. Teams struggled to throw against Rhodes and a much improved Trae Waynes. The running game was stopped by a top 5 front-7 as well. All-in-all a good year for the Vikings D.
The year started terribly for the offense with Bradford and Cook our starting QB and RB getting injured by Week 4. However, out of the darkness came the makings of a great team. Case Keenum somehow turned out to be one of the free agent pickups of the season and our 3rd string quarterback became one of the best QB’s in the league for the season. The running back issues were solved with a superb combination of Jerick Mckinnon and Latavius Murray too.
For the first few games of the season we were very inconsistent with fantastic wins of the Saints and Bucs being sandwiched between defeats to Pittsburgh and Detroit. The middle of the season is where we found our form and went on an 8-game winning streak. However, a devastating loss away to Carolina ended our hopes of the number one seed and a home run through to the Superbowl.
Then came the playoffs! We went 17-0 up against the Saints and revenge for bounty gate was very much on the cards but then a seconds half masterclass from Michael Thomas who took out both Rhodes and Sendejo whilst the Saints fought back to take the lead. Then it happened with only 10 seconds left … Keenum unleashed a hopeful throw up the side line to Diggs, Williams missed a simple tackle and Diggs ran in for the TD.
I was up over the table and running around my living room celebrating at 2 am – seriously! There were several complaints from neighbours and family members. From the joy of that evening, there was only one way our season could go. From a few hours before kickoff, things didn’t look good, just seeing some of the abuse our fans got just from being in Philly was horrific. But it wasn’t as horrific as what was to come. A humiliating 38-7 loss sent us crashing back down to earth with a bang. And just like that, our season and our hopes of a home Superbowl was over.
Changes During The Offseason
When Kirk Cousins agreed to terms to become the Minnesota Vikings’ new quarterback, he did more than simply conclude the biggest storyline in free agency. He also put his name on a record-setting, paradigm-shifting, tradition-
exploding contract. Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million deal that is fully guaranteed. At the time it made him the highest paid player in football history, but he’s also the first quarterback to sign a multi-year, fully guaranteed deal. Hopefully he can come up big for us when we need him to.
Our draft was good, we used our first round pick on CB Mike Hughes who will add much needed depth to our defence down the stretch. We also got a new kicker in the 5th round who should improve our team if Cousin’s redzone issues transfer from Washington with him. Any kicker should be an improvement on Walsh and Forbath from the past few years. But only time will tell whether or not Carlson will be the man to end our kicking curse.
Predictions For The New Season
Hopefully, we can see an improvement from last year with some key players coming back and a few vital additions. The team is ready for a Superbowl run. However, in the NFC which is loaded with quality teams, it will be difficult but hopefully we can make it.
It’s going to be a fun season anyway and I cant wait for it to start. It’s just a shame they’re not coming back to London again for me to watch. Can it be September already please?!
Editor Notes: Vikings fans, let us know your thoughts and tell us whether you agree with Ryan’s reflections and predictions. Leave a comment or contact us via social media below: