After watching the first Sunday of regular season football of 2017, I’m going to try to predict the outcome of each Minnesota Vikings game of the season. However, before that, let’s go over some of the Vikings changes from last season, when the Vikings were 8-8.
Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook will lead the way in the running game, with the help of Jerick McKinnon. Patterson has been replaced with Rodney Adams and McKinnon returning kicks. They have been doing a nice job of it in the preseason. Stacy Coley also helps replace the loss of Charles Johnson, as well as LaQuon Treadwell stepping up and playing a bigger role in the offense to go alongside Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Bucky Hodges has also been impressive as a second tight end option with Kyle Rudolph.
So with that, week by week predictions for the Minnesota Vikings season:
Week 1, vs. New Orleans Saints: 31-27 Vikings
The Saints generally have a high-powered offense, but the Vikings solid defense, and especially their secondary anchored by Harrison Smith, will be able to keep Drew Brees and the Saints in check. Adrian Peterson’s return to Minnesota will result in a loss for the running back. The offense of the Vikings should have no problem putting up points against the always weak Saints defense.
Week 2, at Pittsburgh Steelers: 21-20 Vikings
This should be a good matchup. The Steelers are a solid football team, but were a blocked punt not happening away from losing to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Antonio Brown is a beast, but the Vikings have the secondary to keep him under control. The Steelers were not too impressive Sunday. This should be a close game, advantage: purple.
Week 3, vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 24-14 Bucs
The Buccaneers have gotten a lot better over the past couple of seasons. Jameis Winston is a very good quarterback and Mike Evans is a nice receiver for him to have. The Vikings offense can’t click every week. I predict this to be an off-week for Minnesota, Bucs take advantage.
Week 4, vs. Detroit Lions: 31-17 Lions
The Lions got off to a slow start this week, but Stafford was very impressive and led a nice comeback. This offense has a lot of power and is very good through the air. I think the Vikings run defense will not be able to fully show off this week and that could lead to troubles.
Week 5, at Chicago Bears: 30-13 Vikings
Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky, whoever the quarterback will be, they’ll have a tough time with the Vikings defense. The Bears defense is decent, but the Vikings offense should be back in shape. The Vikings should have no problem with the Bears at Soldier.
Week 6, vs. Green Bay Packers: 28-10 Packers
The Packers are really good. Their defense was stout against the Seahawks, allowing only three field goals from the leg of none other than Blair Walsh, who, of course, was 3/3 on the day. The Packers have lots of talent and will be a tough team to beat this season.
Week 7, vs. Baltimore Ravens: 20-13 Vikings
The Ravens were good today, but Andy Dalton was also really bad. This will be a good win for the Vikings over a quality Ravens team. Joe Flacco is quietly one of the best quarterbacks in the league. This will be a true test for the Vikings and I think they can come out on top.
Week 8, at Cleveland Browns IN LONDON: 31-7 Vikings
The Vikings are gonna put on a show in London. Deshone Kizer is a good quarterback and the Browns will be able to put some first downs together, but nothing special. The Vikings defense will be in good midseason shape and the offense should be rolling too.
Week 9, BYE
Week 10, at Washington Redskins: 23-20 Vikings
Kirk Cousins and the Redskins are a quality team, but they will make mistakes. The Vikings should be able to take advantage of just enough of these mistakes to come out on top in Washington. Also, Kai Forbath misses his first extra point of the season against his former team.
Week 11, vs. Los Angeles Rams: 27-17 Vikings
Okay, the Colts are bad, especially without Andrew Luck. But, the Rams were the real deal Sunday. They did a lot of good things and put up a lot of points. This game could potentially be trouble for the Vikings. Jared Goff is good, but the lack of solidified playmakers will hurt the Rams. Vikings win streak extends to four.
Week 12, at Detroit Lions: 35-24 Lions
I just do not like the matchup for the Vikings. Lions take both games this season. Matthew Stafford will eat up the secondary of the Vikings and the Vikings won’t be able to answer offensively.
Week 13, at Atlanta Falcons: 24-21 Vikings
The Falcons aren’t quite what they were last year. They played well and got the win today, but need to improve in lots of areas. I think the Vikings offense can get enough done against the Falcons defense to defeat Julio Jones and the Falcons.
Week 14, at Carolina Panthers: 27-14 Panthers
Cam Newton could be a matchup nightmare for the Vikings. Mobile quarterbacks have always had their way with the Vikings. Christian McCaffery and Jonathon Stewart also make for a tough offense to stop if they’re clicking. Luke Kuechly makes offense difficult, I think the Panthers have an advantage in this one.
Week 15, vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 31-10 Vikings
The Vikings bounce back with a big win against the Bengals. The Vikings sweep the AFC North for 4 of their 10 wins. The Bengals defense is not going to be able to hold up and slow down the Vikings enough to prevent them from putting pressure on Dalton and the Bengals early and they’ll never look back.
Week 16, at Green Bay Packers: 28-3 Packers
No chance in Lambeau for the Vikings. This could easily be the ugliest game of the season for the Vikings. The Packers are a Super Bowl caliber team this season and should not trip over the Vikings in week 16.
Week 17, vs. Chicago Bears: 28-24 Vikings
Vikings squeak one out against the Bears and finish 2-4 in the NFC North, despite a 10-6 overall record. The Bears will be decent this season and definitely respectable especially by the end of the season. The Vikings should have what it takes to finish the regular season with a victory.
FINAL RECORD: 10-6