With NFL teams preparing for their first preseason game, the Minnesota Vikings are anxious to see how their new wide outs will fit in and help the team in their passing attack, as they averaged just 171.9 yards through the air.
Since the Brett Favre days, the once promising trio of receivers that included Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe are all gone. Instead of possessing a veteran group to help young quarterback Christian Ponder develop into an elite passer, he had to pass to receivers that were either inexperienced or hurt all the time.
Harvin, who has been an electrifying player on the field for the Vikings and one of the most explosive players in the NFL, experienced multiple injuries including killer migraines that kept him on the bench more than catching passes on the field.
With Harvin gone to the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings are hoping that their revamped receiving corps can help turn the 31st passing offense in 2012 into a much more productive unit in complementing one of the best runners in the NFL today.
As the Vikings prepare to play their first preseason game this Friday against a Houston Texans team that ranked 16th in passing defense in 2012, it will be a good way to measure the potential of a very talented, yet young receiving unit that will need to succeed if the Vikings hope to stay with teams that can score points in a hurry.
The Vikings added the veteran receiver Greg Jennings, who played previously for their hated rivals the Green Bay Packers. In his career, Jennings has been one of the best receivers in the NFL with excellent speed and good hands as well as a knack for making big plays after he catches the ball.
In the 2013 NFL Draft, the Vikings acquired the talented 6-foot-2 Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round. Patterson is still very raw but has the potential to be an immediate impact in the passing game and will be competing for the other starting receiver position across from Jennings.
In 2012, after Harvin missed several games due to injuries, tight end Kyle Rudolph emerged as Ponder’s favorite target and the Vikings’ top receiver. He reeled in 53 catches for 493 yards and hauled in nine touchdowns.
During the 2013 NFL preseason, Vikings’ fans and the coaching staff are hoping that this is a beginning to a new passing era that can help kick start the Vikings into a promising future.
While the Vikings already possess one of the most dangerous running backs in Adrian Peterson, if their new “Big 3″ receivers can put it all together, they will have a season where we just might see Ponder blossom as he is finally surrounded with talent at the skill positions.
Having Jennings will be a huge help in leading their young, talented receivers, as long as he can learn to just shut up and play football.
As the Texans will be entering the Mall of America Field, the Vikings are hoping to limit the they shopping spree and see what their new receivers’ price tag is worth on the market.