Minnesota Vikings: 2013 Season Preview
The Minnesota Vikings are one of the few teams in the NFLthat has never won a Super Bowl in franchise history. They have been close several times in recent years, including three trips to the NFC Championship game in 1999, 2001 and 2010. Two of those trips resulted in heartbreaking overtime losses, and both times they had a legitimate chance to win in regulation.
They enter training camp coming off a much-improved season from the previous two years. Adrian Peterson had a breakout year coming off a torn ACL and MCL that ended his 2011 season. He led the league in rushing and was named the regular season MVP after helping the Vikings to their first playoff trip since 2009. He barely missed out on the Comeback Player of the Year award to Peyton Manning.
The postseason last year did not provide the Vikings with the same kind of success that the regular season did, as they were eliminated in the Wild Card round by their rival Green Bay Packers.
It is clear that the 28-year-old Peterson can be a premier tailback for several more years based on his work ethic. The Vikings should once again be able to compete in the NFC North and should have an even better chance this year to take the division title from the Packers.
However, what the Vikings need in order to break through in the playoffs and contend for a Super Bowl title is to give Peterson more weapons. Christian Ponder needs to improve into an elite quarterback so that the Vikings do not have to rely solely on their run game.
The acquisition of Super Bowl 45 hero Greg Jennings from the Packers should help with that, as Ponder now has a go-to receiver. With Jennings leaving the Packers, Green Bay will likely be on the down slide as Aaron Rodgers has lost his go-to receiver and their defense will likely be an issue again this season. This should open the door for the Vikings to be at the top of their division for the next several years.
Robert Ambrose is a writer for rantsports.com. You can follow Robert on twitter at @RobertAmbrose4.
Bengals' Nico Johnson Needs to Step Up Big in 2015
Nico Johnson may face the opportunity of a lifetime in 2015: replacing UFA linebacker Rey Maualuga. Is he capable of filling these big shoes? Read More