Expectations for a Vikings Super Bowl have perhaps never been higher. The schedule may be tough, the conference may be loaded, but the roster simply seems too good to fail. Of course that is a dangerous sentiment with this franchise.
Today, the FPC Vikings staff makes their predictions for the 2018 Season.
The Vikings play in arguably the toughest division in the league and have road matchups against the Rams, Eagles and Patriots in 2018. They will likely be favored to lose in each of those games. In addition to those difficult matchups, the Vikings will play the Saints at home on Sunday Night Football and have their six divisional games. I expect the Packers, Lions and Bears all to be solid teams this year. Expecting another loss or two from those games seems rational. The tough schedule aside, I still expect Minnesota to win the division at 11-5 and have them heading in to the playoffs as the second seed behind the Saints. Once in the playoffs, I think the Vikings win their Divisional Round matchup before falling to Drew Brees and the Saints in yet another road NFC Championship game. I’ll happily be proven wrong.
I have the Vikings finishing the season with a 12-4 record and their second-straight division title (third in four years). For the second straight year, they’ll be the number two seed, this time behind the Rams (easier projected schedule and weaker division gives them a leg up to win the top seed).
Despite that, I believe Minnesota will be the last team in the NFC standing when all is said and done. They and the Eagles have the most complete rosters in the league, but the Vikings change at quarterback will be the difference between last season’s and this season’s ending. Kirk Cousins, even with his flaws, is simply a better and more consistent quarterback than Case Keenum was or is likely to ever be. Cousins can make the type of throws that his immediate predecessor couldn’t make. Even if the passing game is “slow” to get going early in the season, the defense and running game will provide more than enough protection and stability to keep Minnesota winning games. As long as the Vikings stay healthy and play up to their talent level, the end of this season will culminate with them hoisting their first Lombardi trophy at the end of Super Bowl LIII.
The Minnesota Vikings are prepared to win the Super Bowl this season. And next season, and the season after. We could be on the cusp of glorious moments in Vikings history. Or not. We all know our history. Tether your hopes.
Before NFL seasons, soothsayers make predictions on how teams will do. All teams suffer serious injuries during the season; there is no point in qualifying my prediction. Core players are going to miss time.
The Packers have a new defensive coordinator and old Aaron Rodgers. The latter is more important to Green Bay. The Lions have a new coach in Matt Patricia and the Bears have a new coach in Matt Nagy. Have fun; new coaches rarely succeed in this league. The Bears spent money on receivers and traded for Khalil Mack. So what?
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Minnesota will go 12-4 this year and repeat as NFC North champions for the third time in four years. The Packers are chirping about how the Vikings have it coming to them this year because brittle-boned Rodgers couldn’t make it through a quarter against Minnesota in 2017. The Vikings have beaten Green Bay four out of the last five meetings and will sweep them this year.
The Vikings will lose to at the Rams, at New England, at Seattle and at Detroit. Everything else smells like victory.
They will win the Super Bowl. Or not.
Years of uncertainty and question marks and limitless hope squashed by heartbreak have led up to this season. Minnesota is built to win and win now. They have the quarterback they wanted. They bolstered a defense that was already league best. A glut of offensive weapons are at their finger tips. The expectations are through the roof as the Vikings enter the 2018 season with arguably the best roster in all of football. It is Super Bowl or bust, and they look ready as ever to break the title fast.
Fans of this team know better than to let excitement grow to uncontrollable levels. The inexplicably excruciating outcomes are vast and the moments of pure ecstasy are few and far between.
That said, the Vikings are going to be good. Really, really good. The problem is that so is the division they play in. So is the top of the conference. As a result, expecting a Super Bowl win for any NFC team this year is a tough ask, at least for me. As such, I will not definitively point to Minnesota to win it all, and I probably will not pick them in my official FPC predictions. However, I believe they will win the division at 11-5, have one of the three best records in the NFC and make a good playoff run. Will it end in a Super Bowl? I’m inclined to think no. But that certainly does not exclude them from being one of a handful of teams that look most capable of taking home the Lombardi Trophy.
– Madison Parkhill writes for Full Press Coverage and covers the Vikings. Follow him @MadPark44.
– Clayton Brooks writes for Full Press Coverage and covers the Vikings. Follow him @ClaytonRBrooks2.
– Roger Dier writes for Full Press Coverage and covers the Vikings. Follow him @Dierstraits1.
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