The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a season that finally saw them make the playoffs after a few years of putrid football. If Vikings fans are honest with themselves, the success of this team from an offensive standpoint had everything to with Adrian Peterson (AP) and little to do with Christian Ponder.
Had AP not had the career year he did, the Vikings would have found themselves watching the playoffs from their living rooms and not playing it at Lambeau Field.
Even though the Vikings went one and done in the playoffs last season, the team did make great strides. The defense played better and the special teams seemed to make more plays last season.
So how will the Vikes do in 2013? This is a tough one. My prediction could go either way but I choose to go with a positive outlook. Christian Ponder will show great maturity at the quarterback position. He will greatly reduce the number of turnovers and the pressure for AP to produce will be reduced.
Ponder will show an ability to sustain long drives, moving up and down the field while working in tandem with AP and Greg Jennings. That's right, ex-Packers receiver Greg Jennings who was signed in the off-season, will provide Ponder with a new target.
Greg will do his part, providing Ponder with a good go to guy. I hope that Greg will be able to keep his public comments (made to the media) to himself and stick to the job at hand and that's producing on the field.
AP will have another good season. He won't have as good a season as last year but we can’t expect him to follow-up last season with those types of numbers in 2013. AP will finish the season with 1,800+ yards, which will have a great impact on the Vikings offense.
With the Vikings offense moving the ball with success, the defense will be well rested in most games. They will pressure the QB, creating sacks and forcing fumbles and interception.
Jared Allen will have a very good year and will be the guy who leads the charge for a great defense in 2013. Jared will finish the season with 13.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and one interceptions.
I believe the Vikings will make the playoffs, finishing with a regular season record of 10-6. They will win 1 playoff game and then will bow out of it.
OK, so there wasn't much analysis of every position and player and this is an extremely optimistic prediction. but the alternative would have been predicting an 8-8 record with no playoffs and the end of the Ponder era and the beginning of the Matt Cassel era.
Like the Vikings first pre-season game, our Sportmentary's first Vikings game update was a little rusty! LOL.