Whatever the case, ESPN commentators have made their picks for the NFL season — predicting conference champions, Super Bowl champs and MVPs. If Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is in need of any “bulletin board material” or wants to play the no respect card, he can open this link and have at it.
A total of 42 commentators weighed in. Of them, 16 picked the Packers to reach the Super Bowl and 9 picked them to win it all. Along the way, 11 said they think Aaron Rodgers will win league MVP honors.
The Vikings? Let’s see here. I’m looking. Still looking. The list is alphabetical, and now I’m in the “S” section … still waiting … huh, I’m at the end of every single list. Still nothing.
That’s right: None of the 42 ESPN pundits picked the Vikings to even make it to the Super Bowl. None of them picked a Vikings player to win league MVP honors — one year after Adrian Peterson won the league rushing title and the Vikings won the NFC North.
That said, this makes a certain amount of sense — particularly when you compared the picks to Vegas odds. The Packers have 8-1 odds to win the Super Bowl (tied for second best with the Seahawks and Cardinals, and behind just the Patriots). The Vikings are down at 20-1 odds, tied for 9th-best but far more of long shot.
Most of the commentators went for favorites — with Charles Woodson standing out by picking the Raiders (also 20-1 odds) to win the Super Bowl.
If anything, this cements the outside perception of the Vikings as a possible playoff team but not a Super Bowl contender. It would be interesting to know how much (if at all) opinions changed after the Bridgewater injury, but like so many other things about this season, we’ll never know.
On the bright side, if the Vikings do reach the Super Bowl and Zimmer says, “nobody believed in us,” he will be correct (at least when it comes to ESPN).