Previewing the Minnesota Vikings’ 2020 season and predicting their record, best outcome, and worst outcome.
The Minnesota Vikings finished the 2019 season with a 10-6 regular season record. They pulled off a dramatic upset win against the Saints in the wild card round, but lost to the eventual NFC champion 49ers the next week.
Head coach Mike Zimmer’s roster looks largely different now than it did 2 years ago. It hasn’t been a true rebuild per se, but you could call it a remodel. This was seen during the 2020 draft, when the Vikings picked more players (15) than any other team in the league.
Notable Additions: WR Justin Jefferson, DT Michael Pierce
Notable Losses: WR Stefon Diggs, CB Xavier Rhodes, DE Everson Griffen
Gary Kubiak will take over this year as offensive coordinator after Kevin Stefanski won the head coach job in Cleveland. Kubiak, who is a 4 time Super Bowl champion, brings the experience and winning mentality the Vikings are looking for. He’ll have plenty of weapons to choose from to employ his famous offensive scheme.
One of these weapons is RB Dalvin Cook. The former FSU superstar is a linebacker’s worst nightmare: speed, power, and agility. When healthy, he is without a doubt a top 3 running back in the NFL.
At wide receiver, fan favorite and Minnesota native Adam Thielen will be returning. His longtime partner Stefon Diggs, however, will not. After a lot of drama between Diggs and the team, he was traded to the Bills for 4 draft picks.
The Vikings drafted his replacement, Justin Jefferson, with Buffalo’s first round pick. Jefferson won the national championship with LSU, and easily has the potential to be the best WR in his class.
Throwing to Jefferson and Thielen will be Kirk Cousins who is in the 3rd year of his $84 million contract that he signed in 2018. After a rough first year, Cousins turned things around in year 2 and had the 3rd highest completion percentage in the league. In 2020, Cousins will need to stay consistent and prove he can win big games.
On the defensive side of the ball, Minnesota didn’t have the greatest offseason and the defensive line specifically took some hits. With the loss of Everyone Griffen and Linval Joseph, Danielle Hunter and new signing Michael Pierce will really have to pick up the slack.
Cornerback will be a relatively young position for the Vikings. After the departure of some veterans in the last few years, Mike Hughes, Jeff Gladney, and Holton Hill will be battling for playing time.
On the bright side, Zimmer is spoiled for choice at linebacker and still has the best safety tandem in the league with Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris. Zimmer is known for his incredible defensive mind, so this defense still has a chance to remain top 5 in the NFL.
As it usually is with the Vikings, 2o2o should be a boom-or-bust season. Most likely, the offense will be the talking point of this team. If they click, there’s no reason the Vikings can’t go all the way this year.
Best case: Win Super Bowl LV
Worst Case: Miss the playoffs