I guess I wouldn't be much of a Vikings blogger if I didn't go on the record with some sort of official predictions post for the season ahead. So as I sit here staring at a half-dozen televisions all tuned to NFL pregame shows at SportsData world headquarters on the first Sunday of the NFL season I thought I'd throw out a handful of purple prognostications.
As with most in the media, if I'm on target with more than 60 percent of them I'll likely revisit these at the end of the season. If I swing and miss on most of them (the likelier scenario) I won't be as quick to bring them back up. But at least they'll be out there in print for better or worse.
Let's start with the record. I have the Vikings going 10-6 again this season. Here's how they get there:
Week 1 at Lions – win
Week 2 at Bears – loss
Week 3 vs. Browns – win
Week 4 vs. Steelers – win
Week 5 BYE
Week 6 vs. Panthers – win
Week 7 at Giants – loss
Week 8 vs. Packers – win
Week 9 at Cowboys – loss
Week 10 vs. Redskins – win
Week 11 at Seahawks – loss
Week 12 at Packers – loss
Week 13 vs. Bears – win
Week 14 at Ravens – win
Week 15 vs. Eagles – win
Week 16 at Bengals – loss
Week 17 vs. Lions -- win
The 10 wins will be enough to get them into the postseason again. They'll need to get past that first round of the playoffs to really deem the year a success. Can they do it? Yes, if healthy. Will they? I suppose since this is a predictions column I have to make a call one way or another. I'll say no because I'm guessing they'll be on the road in the first round of the playoffs. Based on my forecast above for road struggles again this year, it would be rather hypocritical of me to predict a win on the road in the postseason. For the sake of Vikings Nation, I hope I'm wrong.
Here are 10 more predictions for the season ahead:
1. Yes, Adrian Peterson WILL rush for 2,500 yards and be named NFL MVP for the second year in a row, edging out Colts quarterback Andrew Luck for the award.
2. Christian Ponder will not start every game for the Vikings this season.
3. Blair Walsh will regress to the mean a little this season following what might have been the best season by a rookie kicker in NFL history.
4. Xavier Rhodes will emerge as the Vikings' best cornerback.
5. Cordarrelle Patterson will be in the starting lineup by October.
6. Construction for the new Vikings stadium will begin on time or with so little delay that it will not matter.
7. Greg Jennings will be just effective enough to top 1,000 yards receiving for the first time since 2010. He'll be the first Vikings 1,000-yard receiver since 2009.
8. Kyle Rudolph will score nine touchdowns for the second season in a row.
9. The Vikings Pro Bowl players will be Peterson, Rudolph, Chad Greenway, Harrison Smith, John Sullivan and Matt Kalil.
10. Leslie Frazier will have his contract extended four years by the Vikings in January.
Okay, go ahead. Rip me apart in the comments section below. But be sure to add a few predictions of your own. That way we can all be on the record.
Bo Mitchell is the Vice President of Content at SportsData