Written by Rance Gardner
It's here ladies and gentlemen, we've weathered the storm. After 8 LONG months of the craziest $#*÷ most of us have seen in our lifetimes, Vikings football is back! This season will likely be one of the most unpredictable and up and down roller coaster of a season NFL fans have ever experienced. With no preseason, no mini-camps, and an unusual training camp, this Sunday will be the first time we've seen the Vikings take the field since January. So what can we expect for the 2020 season?
The Vikings drafted a league-high 15 players in this year's draft. With no mini camp and no NFL game experience, we will see players like Justin Jefferson, Jeff Gladney, and Cam Dantzler get thrown into the fire against rival Green Bay this weekend. Not only will the young players get their first taste of NFL action, but this will also be their first time experiencing the best rivalry in professional sports. In addition to the rookies, newly acquired star edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue will make his debut in purple. He's slotted to line up on the opposite side of NFL record-setter Danielle Hunter if Hunter is able to play. Danielle hasn't practiced in over 3 weeks and not much is known about his injury. We'll find out more closer to Sunday when the official injury reports for week 1 are released. Both of Minnesota's offensive and defensive coordinators will make their play-calling debuts for the Vikings this weekend too. Gary Kubiak will now have total control of the offense while Andre Patterson and Adam Zimmer will share the responsibility on defense.
Minnesota will face a difficult schedule in 2020 and with limited reps this summer for all the new players, it's extremely tough to predict what this season will look like. The Vikings still have a very talented roster and the additions of the rookies and Ngakoue should make this team a tough matchup for their opponents this year. I believe the Vikings have the best team in the NFC North and will win the division. Beyond that, it's too early to tell if replacing Diggs with Jefferson, Rhodes/Waynes with Gladney/Dantzler, and Griffen with Ngakoue will make the Vikings a super bowl contender. I think Kirk Cousins will continue to improve on his 2019 season where he led the Vikings to a playoff win in New Orleans. I also believe Dalvin Cook, Garrett Bradbury, and Irv Smith jr will as well. The Vikings defense will look a lot different this year from both a personnel standpoint and schematically. Dom Capers being on the staff will give the Vikings defense more unpredictability and give opposing teams different looks. Minnesota has the league's best safety and edge-rushing duo's as well as an elite linebacker group. I expect the Vikings defense to be dominant by mid-season. So get your Vikings horns, your hot dishes, and your favorite beverage ready because Vikings football is here!
Season Record Prediction: 11-5 NFC North Champions.