Forecasting the Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl Chances

In 2015, only a 27 yard field goal stood between the Minnesota Vikings and the team’s first divisional round playoff appearance since 2009. Now, fresh off a draft day in which the purple people eaters bolstered their receiving corps with Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell, some, including this writer, believe the Minnesota Vikings could be a dark horse for hoisting the Lombardi Trophy come February if they Vikings continue what they have built.

Forecasting the Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl Chances

Perhaps the playoff success of the Vikings falls largely on the shoulders of all-pro running back Adrian Peterson, or so we thought. Peterson, who has become one of the most dominant rushers in NFL history since entering the league in 2007, has played well in three of his five appearances. However, only one resulted in victory. In the Vikings only playoff win, Peterson rushed for 63 yards and did not find the end zone. In the other four losses Peterson ran for 349 yards and five touchdowns. While it cannot not be totally assumed that Peterson is a non-factor, his stat line has had little effect on the games outcome. Peterson did claim, though, that that his Vikings will win Super Bowl 51.

Next we can look at Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater enters his third season in the Purple and Gold after posting two lackluster back to back seasons statistically. The Vikings finished 11-5 last season but Bridgewater’s offense didn’t even rank in the top 15, it was on the backs of the 5th ranked defense that kept the purple and gold relevant throughout the season. If the Vikings want to be in the hunt again, Bridgewater must improve on his 14 touchdown and nine interception season.

Bridgewater cannot receive all the criticism as head coach Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner failed to give the quarterback a supporting cast of playmaking receivers. Zimmer brought in Mike Wallace hoping to jump start the passing game and it fell flat on its face. It took until Week 7 for any receiver to emerge and that was rookie Stefon Diggs. Without Diggs, Bridgewater would have barely eclipsed 2,500 yards and thrown only ten touchdowns. Without another big season from Diggs and a breakout rookie campaign from Treadwell, the Vikings are going to be hard pressed to find their way past the first round.

The biggest upside for the Vikings who are in pursuit of their first Lombardi Trophy is the team’s defense. As previously stated, the team┬áranked fifth in the league for least points given up per game. The Vikings dominated the run, only allowing four┬árushing touchdowns during the entire season, best for fourth in the league. The defenses ability to bend but never break was the backbone of this team.

It is crucial for this team going forward that Zimmer and Turner get on the same page offensively or they could face an early exit again. The Vikings have much to build upon offensively, especially for their now third year quarterback in Bridgewater. It is a well-known fact that the Vikings will be able to hold their own on the defensive side of the ball. Now it is time to turn the tables and prove that they can win a shootout. However, being a fair weather Vikings fan, this is unlikely.