Coming off a playoff berth the year before, the Vikings were hoping to again use Adrian Peterson and defense to power themselves into the playoffs. It didn’t work out, as a 1-7 start served as a brutal reminder that this is now truly a quarterback’s league, and you need a franchise one to win. They have one of those now in Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, and boy will he be a sight for sore eyes. Last season Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel were both bad, and then there was Josh Freeman in a nationally televised game in New York looking as bad as any QB in the league last year. He must’ve been missing guys by 15 yards. But Bridgewater could immediately clean up that mess. He’s got Greg Jennings (804 rec yards) and Jerome Simpson (726 rec yards) as proven commodities, but young Cordarrelle Patterson could also be poised for a breakout. Then there’s the phenomenal Peterson (1,266 yards, 10 TDs), who didn’t have the year he thought he would but remains the NFL’s best, bound to have an even better season in 2014.
Defensively, they effectively swapped DEs with Chicago, losing Jared Allen and picking up Corey Wootton. Obviously Allen has the big name and skill set, but with Wootton the Vikings save money, get younger, and could’ve done much worse. They also snagged Linval Joseph from NY on the D-line. They signed CB Captain Munnerlyn in their biggest defense acquisition. That signing was crucial; the Vikes gave up the most points per game in the league last season and it was mostly because of an incompetent pass defense. They seem to be addressing that through Munnerlyn, the D-line signings, and second-round pick DE Scott Crichton from Oregon State, because they didn’t even draft anyone in the secondary until the sixth round. Regardless of Bridgewater’s performance, the Vikings aren’t going anywhere if they defend they did last year. This will likely decide their legitimacy as a contender. Minnesota will also be up against something else they’ve never had to deal with at home before; freezing weather. They’re at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium for two years while the new stadium is being built. The Vikings have their work cut out for them, but with Bridgewater, Peterson, Jennings, and Patterson, they definitely have reason for optimism too. Get your Minnesota Vikings tickets from Gold Coast Tickets today!