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A look at the 2019: Minnesota Vikings

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Published on Apr 23, 2020

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At the end of the season, we offer a review of the season 2019 of the thirty-two teams in the NFL. Today is the turn of the Minnesota Vikings.

Sbam. The San Francisco 49ers have slammed the door in the face of the Vikings in the Divisional playoffs. As it was at the end of the season 2017, when the shock was even more violent in the Championship NFC game against the Philadelphia Eagles. But let's see what happened.

After 2018, well below expectations, the continuation of that very disappointing Championship, and the son of a love that never blossomed between the offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo and head coach Mike Zimmer, 2019 to be the year of the “bounce”. The return to the standard that was expected the first of the year 2018, when Minnesota was in the list of the candidates to the Super Bowl, having added to the package able to tap it the season before the best quarterback available on the market as a free agent: Kirk Cousins.

A group of players who is close to the via substantially intact, even last summer, and allowed to gialloviola a new attempt, although the false step into which they were dismissed did not give more to the Vikings favor of the predictions.

The keys to the attack in the hands of the more conservative, and therefore more close to the thought of Zimmer, Kevin Stefanski; the return of running back Dalvin Cook, after the accident that destroyed the season 2018; the talent of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs; the year in the most “in command” of Kirk Cousins; the unexpected renewal of linebacker Anthony Barr, the choice in the first round of the draft a center, Garrett Bradbury, to shore up the line offensive... The list of reasons that were promising the people gialloviola was rather provided.

And the bounce there was. Minnesota is back down now for the playoffs by closing the season with a record of 10 wins and 6 losses. But they go put the dots that serve on the “i” of “relaunch”. The Vikings were not able to win the division, ended up in the notice board of the Green Bay Packers. And, above all, have not given the impression in the games against the opponents most dangerous, to really have the cards in rule to repeat the ride in 2017.

Of the six defeats, two have come against the Packers, one against the Kansas City Chiefs and one against the Seattle Seahawks. Two, finally, against the Chicago Bears, the last of which was the seventeenth day, of little value, considering the shift of rest offered to the owners, but always in the annals to close the budget intradivisionale with a few honorable 2-4. Well the worst that remedied by the Bears in the fourth week.

The evidence is encouraging, we were, we remember the success against the Atlanta Falcons, the 34-14 on the Oakland Raiders, the comeback against the Denver Broncos after an ugly first half, the away dominated in Los Angeles against the Chargers that fought in Dallas against the Cowboys.

But how many wins were strung against teams that qualified for the playoffs? A: against the Philadelphia Eagles. How many other teams with a positive record were sold? No, although the Chiefs have had to sweat until the last few seconds and with the Seahawks the ranks of Zimmer has attempted a comeback similar to the week before against Denver. Sign that the team yes there was, but the ambitions could not be too amazing once you get to play in January. And so, in fact, it was. The wild card has given us another weekend of joy to the fans of the Vikings, with a new triumph against the New Orleans Saints, and after this the Minneapolis Miracle two years earlier. The triumph faded from the scoppola remedied the following week on San Francisco bay.

To drag the Vikings to the playoffs were the defense and the running game on which to Stefanski and Zimmer have focused heavily. Cook, joined by rookie Alexander Mattison, has proven its value, confirming what good is hinted at in 2018 prior to the accident. It is hoisted in the elite of the league. And the line offensive, not outstanding, has been shown thanks to the graft of Bradbury to express themselves better when it comes to creating space for the running back. Here's from the other side, if you analyze the protection offered to Kirk Cousins, things don't go quite as well. The offensive line has closed the regular season ranked 27 for pass protection. Not good. The aerial attack has been affected by that, and of the diagrams, leading to the fracture with Diggs, which resulted in the trade of the beginning of 2020.

We said, however, of the defence. The Vikings even with the difficulties in between i play cornerback (fifteenth to the yard, and granted the steps per game) and an embankment at the races only discrete (tredicesimi for yards conceded per game, but only three touchdowns), finished the season in fifth place for points granted: the 18.9 per game. The pass rush and the safety were the value added. Danielle Hunter is one of the best defensive ends in the movement and with 14.5 sacks led the group, followed by Everson Griffen (8) and Ifeadi Odenigbo (7): in total, Minnesota has produced 48 tackles on the quarterback, opponents, a constant menace. The fruit were also 17 interceptions, third in the league. More than half are newcomers from safety: 3 Harrison Smith 6 Anthony Harris, the best vintage of his career, although it is not immune from errors. To be highlighted among the positive notes, finally, the season of Dan Bailey. Have a kicker reliable in home of the vikings has been for many years a dream.

The shortcomings of the line offensive we have already said. The QB rating Cousins is still improved (from 99,7 to eur 107.4 – yes you read that right – the top of his career, and fourth in the Nfl). Are slightly decreased touchdowns and yards in search of which affect the race in less played, and diagrams. Has decreased percentage of the complete. However, also fell to the interceptions, only 6. Is a pocket passer and needs to be protected. After two years, the leadership and the Vikings should have understood that. We have already reported how it has not worked out the relationship between Diggs and the team. A pity, because the 14th was a gem unearthed in the fifth round. Him and Thielen are but the moves got of general manager Rick Spielman. Doubts remain, however, on the renewal of Anthony Barr, for certain figures (eur 67.5 million for 5 years, of which 33 million guaranteed) we expect more than that. As we expect more than that from play cornerback Mike Hughes. CB, the best was Mackenzie Alexander, who has played the slot. And also the inside of the line surge is a department on which there will be a need to move forward.

Let's dive then in the future. In the future, with a number of unknowns in Minneapolis. The impression is created that the last year of the contract for Cousins, Zimmer and Spielman was going to be all-in for the Super Bowl was wiped out by a renewal of the quarterback, that will be the face viking until at least 2023. And, above all, by the many departures. The bachelor of Diggs, traded to the Buffalo Bills, giving you a great package of choices, and many of the defenders let go (from Everson Griffen Xavier Rhodes and Takes Waynes, by Mackenzie, Alexander to Linval Joseph) seems to have left open only a crack of the window that was open at the beginning of 2017: when the dream of playing the Super Bowl in the house was cherished till the last. Minnesota has changed still the offensive coordinator, relying on the experience of Gary Kubiak, the son of the Klint will be QB coach. And has also revamped the defensive coordinator, promoting the son of Zimmer, Adam, joined by the co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson and the “supervisor” Dom Capers. Several heads to put agree, with the families Zimmer and Kubiak to pull the strings.

If the all-in is skipped even talk of rebuilding seems far-fetched, considering that the core on which to set the season is always formed by Cousins, Thielen, Cook, Hunter, Kendricks, Barr, Smith. The many choices accumulated to the draft (twelve including two on the first lap) and the tight space wage (which allowed at least to add Michael Pierce of the Ravens to strengthen the center of the defensive line to tight from the loss of Joseph, an engagement that recalls the arrival of the latter from the Giants) would imagine a reconstruction of the gradual return that are competitive in the area of the Super Bowl in the next two-three years to the maximum. But it will actually be possible in the case of a year, no? For Zimmer that 2020 will be the seventh season in gialloviola. Imagine the construction of another six-year cycle with him at the helm is complex if not there will be a result. The most easy to predict a further period of three years with Zimmer and Spielman that would eventually end with the contract of Cousins.

To ensure that the reconstruction that soft to be successful, however, it will be necessary not to miss the moves of 2020. We need to strengthen, absolutely the line of attack, to rebuild from zero the department is to play cornerback, and add depth at wide receiver, the interior of the defensive line and edge. The first round of the next draft almost certainly you will be investing on a play cornerback, while to replace Diggs is not excluded points on a receiver to catch on the second day (the class is very deep) and on the use more massive than the talented tight end caught last year, Irv Smith. More difficult to imagine that among the rookies that need to improve immediately the wall in front of Cousins. Here, then, is that the option to divest Harris (on which was placed the franchise tag) is far from span to air.

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