38-7. It’s the only thing we have heard from opposing fans all off season. That night in Philadelphia did not look like the 13-3 Viking’s team we were accustomed to seeing. At the end of the night, we look defeated, tired, and embarrassed. All of this coming off the heels of arguably the best play in franchise history, and one of the best plays to ever happen during an NFL game. The Minneapolis Miracle. The Vikings brought us so much joy and excitement that night, to only give us another major heartbreak. As Viking’s fans, we know letdowns are somewhat expected. We currently lead the NFL in a category we wish we were no part of. NFL playoff games without a Super Bowl Victory. We have played 49 playoff games, and haven’t made it over the hump yet. I know some people will say this is immature, or silly, but this year feels different. This year could be special.
Free Agent Signings/Key Extensions
The Vikings had an amazing off season, filled with big name signings. They also locked up many of their key players that were already on the roster. Rick Spielman and company have made this one of the best rosters in the entire league.
Obviously, the signing of Kirk Cousins was the biggest this off season. He is very good quarterback, who has had three straight 4,000 yard passing seasons. Also, this is by far the best supporting cast he has ever had around him. Kirk could be in for a big year.
Next, the Vikings signed Sheldon Richardson. For many teams, this would be their biggest signing of the off season. But with Minnesota signing Cousins, this pick was a little bit of an afterthought. Don’t get me wrong, Richardson is primed for a huge season next to Linval Joseph. This is their most talented middle duo since the Williams brothers. Opposing running backs are going to have trouble finding holes in this stacked front four.
From there, things seemed to quiet down a little bit. But there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this team improved drastically. Reminder: The Vikings were 13-3 last year, and improved by a good margin.
On August 19th, the Cincinnati Bengals released veteran safety George Iloka. In the back of mind, I thought maybe, just maybe, the Vikings could somehow sign Iloka. I never expected that thought to become a reality. The following week, the Vikings did just that, and signed the 28 year old for six pack of ramen noodles. Slick Rick did it again. The Vikings already had a very solid safety duo in all pro Harrison Smith and veteran Andrew Sendejo, but Zimmer is always looking for more pieces on defense. This could potentially be a huge pick up for Minnesota as Iloka has the versatility to play either safety or a hybrid type linebacker. I am so excited to see what combinations Zimmer and George Edwards use with George Iloka on the field.
The Brett Jones Trade
Brett Jones is an above average interior offensive lineman. Rick Spielman traded for him with a 7th round pick. That is a steal and a half in my opinion. Jones will give the offensive line more flexibility, and will help aid the line while Pat Elflein is recovering from his injuries. The Vikings have made it a priority to better the men up front, and they are doing just that with trades like these. Kirk Cousins should feel quite a bit better behind the line with Brett Jones up front.
This Has To Be The Year
This is one of Minnesota’s most talented rosters ever. I am not overreacting, as every time I think of a key position, it seems filled with a very good player. From top to bottom, this is the best roster in the entire NFL. The fan base is ready for a championship, the organization has done everything in their power to put an elite roster together. The players need to get it done for themselves, for the work they put in, for one of the best coaches in the NFL, Mike Zimmer. This year could be special. Will the stars align? I don’t know. But I’m going to sit back and watch history be made, because if this season turns out to be as truly special as I think it’ll be. A parade will be held in the Twin Cities. In February. SKOL!