The Vikings Will Need to Earn It
At this point, a lot of folks are overlooking the Vikings. Truth be told, I can’t blame them. Minnesota is coming off two lacklustre years and their roster looks pretty similar to previous versions. Until Minnesota shows they’re better than humdrum, people will underestimate them.
One area of the team that looks to be a strength is the skill positions. The recent piece on The Athletic from Ted Nguyen doesn’t include Minnesota in the top 10 skill groups in the NFL. The comments suggest that most folks disagree with putting teams like Pittsburgh, Seattle, Miami, and Philadelphia ahead of Minnesota. Now, the point here isn’t to be critical of Nguyen. He’s a sharp football mind, someone who regularly puts out top-quality football analysis. I think he missed the mark on this one, but let’s not be overly critical.
Instead, we ought to simply acknowledge that Minnesota hasn’t done an awful lot to demand respect. Putting together a 12-5 record alongside a top 10 offense and defense in 2022 will force the broader conversation around Minnesota change, especially if these things come with playoff success.
The skill players are an impressive bunch. Having them live up their full potential will certainly go a long way in putting this team in a more favorable position.
The Vikings defense allowed 25.1 points per game against last season. The first overall team was the Bills at 17 points per game. Can Ed Donatell get Minnesota in the low twenties or, perhaps, the high teens? His injury-riddled Broncos finished last season allowing an average of 18.9 points per game. Obviously, the circumstances are different, but it’s noteworthy that the defense Donatell was working with last season wasn’t as talented as the one Minnesota has heading into 2022.
At times, Vikings fans can get frustrated when they feel their team isn’t getting the respect it deserves. I understand the frustration, but respect needs to be earned. Minnesota has the capacity to be a strong team. Actually being a strong team is what will force the conversation to start changing.
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