5 Silver Linings From An Otherwise Disappointing Minnesota Vikings Season
5 Silver Linings From A Disappointing Minnesota Vikings Season
After 10 weeks of NFL action, the Minnesota Vikings have a 2-7 record and zero aspirations of playing beyond Week 17. The Vikings’ season can be described by inconsistency and a multitude of questions regarding the starting quarterback position. Even though they have the best running back in the game, an inconsistent and nonthreatening pass attack crippled all hopes of a repeat playoff appearance.
Even with a suitable starting quarterback the Vikings likely would have still ran into trouble outscoring certain teams considering their defense gives up an average of 31 points per game. Injuries have attributed to the disappointing defensive performance this season, but a lack of turnovers is what really doomed this Vikings defense from the start.
The secondary is filled with plenty of first-year starters and players that have minimal experience, but the playing time they’re getting now will be valuable come 2014 when this team is hopefully ready to compete. Despite all the negatives that have popped up and forced the Vikings to their current 2-7 record, there are numerous silver linings from this season so far.
With so many younger players getting snaps this season the team will be stronger going forward, but some areas, on both offense and defense, need to be upgraded with a suitable veteran.
With the areas of need clear, here are the five silver linings from the 2013 season that should give Vikings fans hope going forward.
5. Cordarrelle Patterson Will Be A Superstar
Although he mainly has been used in the return game thus far, Cordarrelle Patterson has shown the explosiveness to be a playmaker and superstar in the future. Patterson has three total touchdowns through nine games, and the most impressive tidbit is that two of those have come off kickoff returns, one of which was an impressive 109 yards. Patterson can easily run through arm tackles and has the breakaway speed many said he possessed. Really Patterson is a bigger and better Percy Harvin, and the Vikings should be ecstatic they have at least one rookie who will turn into a star.
4. Adrian Peterson Wants To Remain A Viking
Leading up to the trade deadline rumors were swirling that the Vikings should and could be trading Adrian Peterson. This disheartened many Vikings fans as All Day has become an idol to many in the area, but thankfully the Vikings held onto their star running back indicating he is in the team’s future plans. While his spot on the roster is guaranteed for the remainder of the 2013 season, Peterson silenced any thoughts of him ending his career elsewhere as he stated earlier this week, “I definitely wouldn’t mind playing here… So, no, (I don’t want to go anywhere else).” Vikings management wouldn’t dare trade the state's favorite football player now, so rejoice in knowing that barring injury, Peterson has a long career ahead of him in Minnesota.
3. Brian Robison Proving Worth Of Contract Extension
The Vikings signed Brian Robison to a four-year, $50 million contract earlier in the season, and so far it appears the Vikings made the right deal. According to Pro Football Focus, which ranks each player on every snap, Robison is the Vikings’ best defensive player by far. The seven-year pro has made himself known in opposing backfields all season as he has recorded 44 QB hurries, the most of any player in the NFL. Although he has only three sacks and five QB hits, Robison makes an impact every game and should be the anchor of the Vikings' pass rush for years to come.
2. Right Side Of O-Line Has Been Incredibly Strong
Although the offensive line struggled early in the year and hindered the success of Peterson running the ball, the right side of the line, made up of Phil Loadholt and Brandon Fusco, has been playing incredibly well in recent weeks. PFF gives Loadholt and Fusco the highest grades of any Vikings offensive linemen, and they rank in the top ten among their position league-wide as well. Center John Sullivan has also stepped up his game since his disappointing Week 4 performance. Overall the line is coming together, but the right side has been dominant and should be utilized more in the run game.
1. 2014 NFL Draft Class Is Loaded With Quarterback Talent
Christian Ponder has been playing better as of late, but he still lacks the consistency that franchises need in their long-term quarterback. That’s why 2013 was the perfect year for the Vikings to stumble and finish with one of the worst records in the NFL. The upcoming 2014 draft is loaded with quarterback talent in the top, middle and bottom of the first round. With five, six, or possibly even more quarterbacks being taken in the first round and the Vikings likely having a top five pick, they should be drafting their franchise quarterback in less than half a year.