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From MinnCentric


Best/Worst/Most Likely: Vikings Win Total

This post was contributed by daanderson20 on his Vikings Journal blog (Hot Vikes Takes) this week. If you would like to try your hand at writing (and getting promoted to the Vikings Journal front page, which is seen by thousands of Vikings fans each day) check out our primer on starting your own blog on Vikings Journal.
Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
The following is based on nothing but my gut. I've seen one Mankato practice and watched three quarters total of the first three preseason games this month. No fancy math equations. No computer simulations. This is pure, unadulterated, hot sports takery. The best, worst, and most likely case scenarios for your 2014 Minnesota Vikings.

Let's break down the long slow march to the middle.

September:
@ St. Louis
New England
@ New Orleans
Atlanta

Best case: I think even the most pie in the sky rube homer fan has a hard time seeing anything more than two wins out of the gates. The best case scenario here is winning at St. Louis and beating Atlanta at home. If you squint....maaaaybe you can see Tom Brady getting old, falling apart, and New England being very beatable in the home opener. I can't see them giving up less than 800 yards passing to Drew Brees.

Worst Case: Losing at St. Louis sets the stage for a long season. New England is still New England and Atlanta returns to their 2012 form. Cassell looks terrible and Bridgewater is the starter by the Atlanta game. This is bad. A nightmarish hellscape.

Most likely: I think they pull out two wins here. St. Louis and Atlanta go down. .500 heading into October is a fine place to be.

October:
@ GB
Detroit
@ Buffalo
@ Tampa Bay

Best case: Three wins seems tough but doable. Buffalo gonna Buffalo, and Tampa could be in total meltdown mode by then. Detroit is always sweepable, but... going to Lambeau? On a weeknight? Pff. Along with the New Orleans game, the most likely L on the schedule.

Worst case: 1-3. Even if everything breaks bad and the Metrodome collapses again, there's a win in there somewhere.

Most likely: Pink uniform month yields two more wins. Hey we're halfway home and right in the middle of the playoff hunt.

November:
Washington
@ Chicago
GB
Carolina

Best case: The toughest game is going to be @ Chicago. The other three are winnable. A blowout over Washington and a split with the Packers gets fans hopes up for the inevitable crash.

Worst case: 0-4, Cassell is out for the season with all of his CLs torn, Bridgewater looks bad, fans actually chant for Christian Ponder.

Most likely: 1-3. I think they beat Washington and struggle in the other three games. 5-7 just as everyone starts their holiday shopping.

December:
New York Jets
@ Detroit
@ Miami
Chicago

Best case: 3-1. NYJ and Miami are always beatable. You can talk me into beating Det or Chi, but not both.

Worst case: 1-3. I think the Jets stink. Jets always stink.

Most likely: 2-2.

Let's face it. This is probably around a .500 team. Unless Leslie Frazier was the main reason the defense was so terrible last year, they are going to give up some points. My guess is the defense finishes slightly below middle of the pack, the offense is near the top 10, and they struggle to get to 8 wins. Give Zimmer a few years to get the guys he wants in place and I bet he has a top 10 defense, but that's a huge leap to make in the first year. If all of the above best case scenarios hit, it's a 12 win team with a first round bye in the playoffs. Does anyone see that happening? With Cassell? Or a rookie at QB? My worst cases add up to a two win season and I think that is more likely than a 12 win one.

God I hope I'm wrong. There isn't enough alcohol on the planet for a two win season.



-----


I'd like to thank my No Juice Podcast co-host Parker for giving me a forum to put every stupid thought I have about the Vikings on the record.

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13 Comments

John Bonnes
Aug 27 2014 08:45 AM

Ok, I'm game:

 

Sept: 1-3 Suddenly that St. Louis game is a "must win". Ugh.

Oct: 3-1 if they show some resiliency because they'll be 1-4 when Detroit visits.

Nov: 2-2 I'd love to say 3-1, but things would need to go perfectly.

Dec: 3-1 and it's possible they go 4-0. 

 

That comes to 9-7, but a lot depends on everyone not freaking out midway through October. 

daanderson20
Aug 27 2014 09:06 AM

I agree with the freak-out factor. Seems like a lot of places for panic in that schedule.

Parker Hageman
Aug 27 2014 09:32 AM

I think based on my 3.5 quarters of preseason viewing, I am much more impressed with the offensive system than I thought I would be. The defense also seems much improved but that is without facing off against potent passing offenses of Green Bay, Chicago and Detroit.

 

I can see some high-scoring fist-fights. 

With a new coach and completely new offensive and defensive systems I think that anything above a 2-4 start is highly optimistic.  The good news is that the team has enough talent that when things start falling into place they can be really good and will surprise a couple of teams.

 

September: 1-3 (If we win more than 1 it will be a surprise)

October: 2-2 (Could go 3-1 if the defense is really improved)

November: 2-2 (I don't see a win against the Pack or Bears in the regular season)

December: 3-1 (Could go 4-0 but I think we will be waiting till 2015 for the playoffs)

En-WaaaaaYYYY
Aug 27 2014 09:54 AM

I think a 12 win season is more likely than 2 wins.

 

Id say best case is 13-3 with losses at GB, Saints, and Bears.

 

One thing is clear this team is going to hit QBs like crazy.  Even if it means blitzing out of control.  We have the type of guys on the back end that will at least be able to hold up temporarily to cover a quick pass by the Q.

 

The days of getting shredded in the Tampa 2 are over.  

 

Once teams stack the box it will be Patterson and Jennings quick slant all day TDs.

 

Here is how i see the season realistically playing out.

 

@STL - WIN - defense might pitch a shutout.

vsPats - WIN - Peterson goes off

@Saints - LOSS -  Barr crushes Brees and he isnt the same for the rest of the year

vsFalcons - WIN - Cassel gets NFC plater of the week in a shootout

@Packers - LOSS - Dont be shocked if Vikes pull this one off

vsLions - WIN - Peterson goes off and Stafford goes off on a cart

@Bills - WIN - Ill be at this game.  Rudolph catches 2 TDs.

@Bucs - WIN - Team goes to 6-2 and establishes itself as a contender

vs Redskins - WIN - Defense creates 5 turnovers and a TD. 

@Bears - LOSS - Always too bad losing off a bye but Soldier field is tough

vsPackers - WIN - 200+ yards for Peterson in a back on track victory

vsPanthers - LOSS - Offense struggles and Panthers get a much need road win

vsJets - WIN - No problem Vikes bounce back in all phases

@Lions - LOSS - Megatron out duels Peterson.

@Dolphins - WIN - Team moves to 10-5 and locks up a playoff spot

vsBears - WIN - One more show stopper from AP and division is claimed.

 

Here we have an 11-5 squad.  Life is good.

Nick Nelson
Aug 27 2014 09:57 AM

Yeah, the brtual early schedule is going to be interesting. They're likely to take some tough losses on so their resiliency will really be tested. I say 8-8.

I would say 7-9--or maybe 8-8 if all goes well. I am excited to see the shackles come off this offense and am growing in anticipation of the defense. The offense has plenty of playmakers and an offensive line that was very good two seasons ago. I think the new coordinator makes a big difference there. On defense, the personnel has been upgraded somewhat and the attitude and schemes are different. A better defense and quarterback play last season and this team is 8-8 in 2013. They could be better than that in 2014. But I will say 7-9 and hope for 9-7.

-on paper- What is unfortunate about the schedule isn't just that it is front heavy with a brutal 4 game stretch starting with New England... It's also relatively soft to finish. Imagine a scenario where we are 4-8, how valuable is it to win those last 4 games? I'd be lying if I said we can't win 10, but that will take a very healthy club. What's great about the schedule? We get to see some really good football!

Sept (2-2) Gotta beat St.Louis to start!!!!!--i think if they get through this stretch 2-2 confidence meter is where it needs to be heading into October

Oct (3-1) Damn you Green Bay!!!!!

Nov (2-2)MAYBE 3-1---MUST BEAT Wash/Carolina 

Dec (2-2) Would LOVE 3-1 with playoff spot on line against Chicago last game of the year.  9-7...considering last year should be considered a succesful year...who knows maybe we catch lightning in a bottle and hit 10-6.  Make a few more plays last year on D and we are 8-8.  GO VIKES!!!!!

What does "Freaking out" mean in this scenario? Going from Cassel to Bridgewater? Or, trading Adrian Peterson for a 7th round pick? 

 

Worst case - 4-12

Most likely case - 7-9

Best case - 9-7.

daanderson20
Aug 28 2014 10:31 AM

I was talking about freaking out from a fan standpoint. "Zimmer should be fired today." "Put in Bridgewater" (this is 100% happening the second they lose 2 in a row). "They need to tank for the #1 pick now." The typical KFAN Fan Line kind of freak out.

As far as the organization freaking out? Can't see them making any drastic changes, other than the transition to Bridgewater. And that is just a matter of when, not if.

nicksaviking
Aug 28 2014 11:51 AM

I'd say this team could do no better than 16-0 in the regular season.  Worst case scenario, 0-16 (0-17 if things break right and they make it to Wild Card weekend.) 

 

Who knows, we see good teams turn up bad and bad teams turn up good each year, but this is the NFL, my money is that the record will be somewhere in the middle of those figures, like 11-5 or maybe 5-11.

diehardtwinsfan
Aug 28 2014 01:05 PM

I think worst case is a 6 win team.  Most likely 9-7.  Best case they win 12. 


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