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4 Reasons Why the Minnesota Vikings Are Super Bowl Contenders Before the Draft


 

Aaron Ratliff/April 4th, 2022/ photo Vikings.com

 With a lot more to come during the off season the Minnesota Vikings are making a push to win and contend for a Super Bowl. With a whole new front office and coaching staff, the Vikings are looking for a culture change and to give the fans what they so desperately need, a super bowl. The roster as of right now before the draft is a super bowl caliber squad. Here are 4 reasons why the Minnesota Vikings are Super Bowl contenders even prior to the NFL Draft.

1. Explosive Weapons Everywhere on Offense
Photo from Vikings.com

There is no question that Justin Jefferson is a future 1st team All-Pro Receiver (even though he should have already been one) but there is much more to the Offense than just Jefferson. Although, Jefferson is the key piece of this offense which showed last year. Jefferson put up an astounding 108 catches, 1,616 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. The crazy thing is that he is only 22 years old! With Adam Thielen restructuring his contract to stay in Minnesota it shows he wants to contend for a super bowl. Even though Thielen missed 4 games last year with an left ankle injury, he was super productive prior to the injury. In 13 games, he put up 67 catches, 726 yards and 10 touchdowns. Adding to the star power is Dalvin Cook. Cook has had his injury concerns, but when healthy he is a top tier running back. In just 13 games, Cook ran for 1,159 yards with 6 touchdowns. Cook has shown he's an all purpose back by being a great receiver out of the back field that Kirk Cousins can check down to when there is no other option. With that being said to top off the Offense is Kirk Cousins, who seems to be getting better as he is getting older. Even though the Vikings struggled a lot last year Kirk Cousins was not the problem. He put up 33 touchdowns with 4,221 yards through the air and only had 7 interceptions! He took care of the ball while making clutch drives all last season. 

2. Healthy Defense with More additions
Photo from Vikings.com

With the Offense being so hot last year, the shortcomings came on the defensive side of the ball for the Minnesota Vikings. The defense was full of injuries to star players such as Michael Pierce, Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen (non injury related), and Patrick Peterson. The Vikings defense also could not finish games allowing game winning/tying drives to Jared Goff, Cooper Rush, and Sam Darnold. With that being said though, the Vikings have their star players like Hunter and Peterson returning healthy. Along with the free agent signings of Za'Darius Smith, Jordan Hicks, Harrison Phillips and pairing them with key players such as Harrison Smith, Eric Kendricks, Dalvin Tomlinson and Troy Dye (who played extremely well last year) the defense should feast on future opponents. With a new coaching staff and a 3-4 defense the Vikings will exceed expectations and be a top tier defense with the new additions and players coming back. 

3. Weaker Opposing Quarterbacks
Photo from Vikings.com

There is no question that the Minnesota Vikings Opposing Quarterbacks last year were insanely good. The Vikings in 2021 faced Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfeild, Jared Goff (twice), Sam Darnold, Cooper Rush (would've been Dak Prescott if wasn't for injury, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Aaron Rodgers (twice), Jimmy Garoppolo, Ben Roethlisberger, Justin Fields (twice) and Matthew Stafford. This list includes a handful of elite quarterbacks that the Vikings ended up lining up against and it showed. In 2022, the projected starting quarterbacks are not as good as last years, the quarterbacks include Josh Allen, Justin Fields (twice), Jared Goff (twice), Jalen Hurts, Daniel Jones, Mac Jones, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, Aaron Rodgers (twice), Matt Ryan, Tua Tagovailoa, Carson Wentz, Zach Wilson and Jameis Winston. It is important to note that Aaron Rodgers is missing Davante Adams now, Justin Fields lost Allen Robinson (wasn't used right at all last year yet still a stud), and Dak Prescott lost Amari Cooper. The Vikings have an easier schedule than the previous season with better players, which should lead to a more successful year compared to those prior. 

4. New Coaching Staff, Front Office and Culture
Photo from Vikings.com

A lot of changes were made in the Minnesota Vikings organization this off season. With the firing of Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman the Minnesota Vikings knew they needed a change of culture. That is when Kevin O'Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah came in to help change everything, in which they did. The lone hold over from the coaching staff was receiver favorite Keenan McCardell. The change was needed as the Vikings have failed to meet expectations multiple seasons in a row. O'Connell brings with him winning experience and great offensive mind from his time as Offensive Coordinator under Sean McVay. O'Connell also brings with him a strong bond with Vikings starting quarterback Kirk Cousins from their days together in Washington. O'Connell saw how McVay used Cooper Kupp and plans on doing the same with Justin Jefferson, which will lead to major success. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has a different background than most General Managers. He graduated from Princeton and worked in the finance world before taking over the San Fransisco 49ers in research and development. Then moving on to the Cleveland Browns as the Vice President of Football Operations. Adofo-Mensah is a strong believer in analytics and being smart with money. You will not find him over paying for a player just to have or keep them. He has great communication skills and is someone you can trust to assemble a Super Bowl winning team.




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