2021 Season Preview: The winning formula in Minnesota is a dynamic ground attack plus a rugged defense. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done in the NFC North. While Dalvin Cook is a special running back and the defense has improved its pass coverage, a lot of responsibility will fall to veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2021. Can he repeat his Pro Bowl season of 2019? He will have to for the Vikings to challenge the Packers for the division crown.
2020 Season Roundup: A slow start and poor finish prevented the Vikings from making the playoffs. Kirk Cousins threw for over 4,000 yards and 33 touchdowns, but the defense just gave up too many points. The Vikes were fun to watch when they had the ball—in addition to Cousins, Dalvin Cook ran for over 1,500 yards and scored 17 touchdowns, and rookie receiver Justin Jefferson had a monster year with 88 catches and 1,400 yards.
January 3, 2021: Justin Jefferson caught nine passes in the season’s final game to set a new rookie record for receiving yards, with 1,400. The record had belonged to Anquan Boldin with 1,377.
November 11, 2020: Running back Dalvin Cook was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row. He scored 6 touchdowns and had 478 rushing and receiving yards in the two games.
2020 Season Preview: There are a lot of new faces in new places for the Vikings in 2020. That might work against the team early in the season, but if the players come together in the second half, Minnesota could surprise a lot of experts. Kirk Cousins is a solid quarterback and Dalvin Cook is a talented running back. Receiver Adam Thielen is looking forward to a healthy season after struggling with injuries in 2019. Linebacker Eric Kendricks leads the defense.
2019 Season Roundup: The Vikings made the playoffs with a 10–6 record and won a wild overtime battle against the Saints in the Wild Card game. They lost a week later to the Super Bowl-bound 49ers. Kirk Cousins was picked for the Pro Bowl after throwing for 26 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. Running back Dalvin Cook joined him after his first 1,000-yard season. Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, and Harrison Smith led a defense that allowed only 303 points in 16 games, the fifth-best mark in the league.
2019 Season Preview: Kirk Cousins had a good year in his first season with Minnesota, and made stars out of young receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. New players on the offensive line should improve the run- and pass-blocking. The Vikings defense will count again on excellent pass coverage and an improving pass rush.
2018 Season Roundup: The Vikings missed the playoffs on the last day of the season with a loss on their home field to the Bears. Quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen gave Minnesota an awesome passing attack, and the defense played well most of the year. But the team many picked to reach the Super Bowl had a tough schedule and did recover after an early-season tie with the Packers and loss to the Bills.
October 28, 2018:Receiver Adam Thielen became the first player to begin a season with eight 100-yard games in a row. His 74 catches through eight games were the most ever in the first half of a season.
2018 Season Preview: Kirk Cousins takes charge of the Minnesota offense in 2018 and has fans thinking about taking that final step to the Super Bowl. He will be throwing to a pair of rising stars: Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. The Minnesota defense begins the year as the NFC’s best—if pass defenders Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo stay healthy, the Vikes could be tough to beat.
2017 Season Roundup: The Vikings won 13 games behind quarterback Case Keenum, who stepped in for injured passers Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater and threw for 3,500+ yards and 22 touchdowns. Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes, and Harrison Smith led a strong defense. Many experts picked Minnesota to reach the Super Bowl, but the Vikings lost to the Eagles in the NFC title game.
2017 Season Preview: Who is Minnesota’s most talented quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford? The quicker the Vikings answer this question, the better off they will be. Whichever it is, he will thank the team for the new free agents on the offensive line—one of the Vikings’ major weaknesses in a disappointing second half last year.
2016 Season Roundup: The Vikings rolled over their first five opponents in 2016 but lost their star player, Adrian Peterson, in the process. They won just three more times to finish 8–8. Quarterback Sam Bradford turned out to be a pleasant surprise filling in for injured Teddy Bridgewater. He threw 20 touchdown passes and only five interceptions. Minnesota’s most exciting player was receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who starred on special teams. The defense was led by pass defenders Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes, and linemen Linval Jospeh Everson Griffen.
2016 Season Preview: A training camp injury to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater killed any chance of the Vikings repeating as division champs. However, as long as Adrian Peterson stays healthy, Minnesota has a chance to score every time it has the ball. No defense is tougher than the Vikes, thanks to hard-hitting safety Harrison Smith and run-stoppers Linval Joseph and Sharrif Floyd.
2015 Season Preview: Young passer Teddy Bridgewater finished 2014 strong, and figures to improve in 2015. He’ll have Adrian Peterson in the backfield all year long, and the Minnesota defense has some good young players. Can they catch the Packers? Probably not.
January 31, 2015: Teddy Bridgewater was named Pepsi rookie of the Year.
January 31, 2015: DeMarco Murray was named Offensive Player of the Year
September 1, 2014: Although all eyes will be on Adrian Peterson this season, opponents cannot afford to ignore the Vikings’ two super receivers, Kyle Rudolph and Cordarrelle Patterson. Two talented quarterbacks—Matt Cassell and Teddy Bridgewater—will probably battle for the starting job all year.
October 27, 2013: Rookie Cordarelle Patterson fielded the opening kickoff by the Green Bay Packers at the back of the end zone and ran 109 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest kickoff return in NFL history.
September 4, 2013: The Vikings made headlines in the off-season by signing Greg Jennings away from the rival Green Bay Packers. He and Adrian Peterson give Minnesota two lethal weapons. Will young quarterback Christian Ponder make good use of them? The answer will likely determine the team’s final record, because the defense is solid at all 11 spots.
February 2, 2013: Adrian Peterson was named NFL Offensive Player of the year. He ran for 2,109 yards—just 9 short of the all-time record, held by Eric Dickerson. Peterson was also named NFL MVP. The team completed a remarkable turnaround in 2012 with 10 victories. Their great season ended with a playoff loss to the Packers.
December 30, 2012: Adrian Peterson gained 199 yards in a game against the Green Bay Packers to finish the year with 2,097. Only Eric Dickerson (with 2,105 yards in 1984) has gained more in one season. In the same game, kicker Chris Walsh set a new record with his 10th field goal of 50 yards or more. Walsh did not miss a kick from that distance all year.
Summer, 2012: There is nowhere to go but up for the Vikings in 2012, because in 2011 they did not win a single game in their own division. A fast start is key for the team, which faces a difficult schedule in the second half of the year. Minnesota will go as far as fearless and talented Christian Ponder can take them.