The Minnesota Vikings are coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history in 2011, as they went 3-13 and finished fourth in the NFC North. 2012 brings little hope for a major rebound in what is sure to be a tough division, and running back Adrian Peterson’s status is up the air to start the season after his severe knee injury late last season. But there is still plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, spearheaded by defensive end Jared Allen and wide receiver Percy Harvin.
With training camp now under way across the league, preseason predictions will now come fast and furious for every team. With that in mind, here is my look at the 2012 regular season schedule followed by my prediction of the Vikings’ final record.
Week 1- vs. Jacksonville
Week 2- @ Indianapolis
Week 3- vs. San Francisco
Week 4- @ Detroit
Week 5- vs. Tennessee
Week 6- @ Washington
Week 7- vs. Arizona
Week 8- vs. Tampa Bay
Week 9- @ Seattle
Week 10- vs. Detroit
Week 11- Bye
Week 12- @ Chicago
Week 13- @ Green Bay
Week 14- vs. Chicago
Week 15- @ St. Louis
Week 16- @ Houston
Week 17- vs. Green Bay
Record Prediction: 5-11
I think the Vikings willl take advantage of a soft first two games of the season against two of the worst teams the AFC has to offer and enter Week 3 undefeated. Reality looks likely to quickly set in against the 49ers in Week 3, and the next seven games on the schedule after that also look fairly daunting as well with road trips to Washington and Seattle on the docket.
After their Week 11 bye, Minnesota face a tough slate of games including two each against the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears and a tough road game against the Houston Texans, with the only game that looks extremely winnable coming in Week 15 against the St. Louis Rams.
In predicting five wins for the Vikings, I am counting on the them winning at least two games over the stretch from Week 6-Week 9 and theoretically they could find themselves with a chance to win all four of those contests. Any more than that would require winning a game against one of their division rivals, which is looking like a tough bargain.
Other Random Predictions
- Quarterback Christian Ponder will take legitimate steps forward in his second NFL season, proving himself capable of becoming a top tier signal caller
- Peterson will be active for Week 1, but will not top 20 carries in a game until Week 10
- Harvin will top 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career, and be among the league leaders in all-purpose yards
- Allen will again be among the league leaders in sacks, but he will not reach last season’s total of 22
- Head coach Leslie Frazier will not be fired at the end of the season