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Continued: Chip Scoggins: Vikings look like an 8-8 team

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 2, 2014 - 9:21 PM

Yikes.

That’s a tall order for any team, much less one with a new coach, a new system and a young roster.

Oh, and a secondary that still looks remarkably thin in depth and talent.

Trouble spot: The Vikings finished 31st in pass defense last season, allowing 287.2 yards per game, and their secondary remains the No. 1 area of concern. That’s problematic considering the quality of quarterbacks on the docket.

Smith and Munnerlyn are the only guys that we’d classify as “sure things.” Xavier Rhodes showed promise as a rookie, but he started only six games and battled injuries, so he’s still relatively unproven.

After that, who knows?

Zimmer still hasn’t named the starting safety opposite Smith. Their third cornerback, Josh Robinson, missed significant time in camp because of a hamstring injury and hardly distinguished himself as reliable the past two seasons.

And that’s just the starters. It won’t take many injuries to move the needle to panic mode.

Tough division: The NFC West remains the league’s best division overall, but the NFC North ranks as high as any in terms of offense.

The Packers, Bears and Lions all finished in the top eight in total offense last season. Those three teams averaged at least 24 points per game. Can the Vikings keep pace?

Combine all those things, the optimism and the concerns, and we’ll predict a .500 season. Bet at your own risk though.

 

Chip Scoggins • chip.scoggins@startribune.com

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  • The Vikings offense appears to have upgraded with the addition of offensive coordinator Norv Turner and from quarterback stability under Matt Cassel.

  • The secondary has its question marks, including what does the team have in second-year player Xavier Rhodes. He lost much of last season to injury.Head Coach Mike Zimmer talked with #29 Xavier Rhodes. Vikings mini-camp in Winter Park. ] GLEN STUBBE * gstubbe@startribune.com Tuesday June 17, 2014

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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