The Vikings are coming off a 13-3 season, with a new quarterback, new offensive coordinator and another Pro Bowl player on their defensive line — but they’re far from a sure thing to take the next step and win the NFC. A look at four big questions for the 2018 team:
Offensive line health could be a concern — again
Two years after injuries on the line derailed a 5-0 start, the Vikings have health concerns again, with Pat Elflein recovering from offseason surgery and Nick Easton done for the year.
Will the new offense click?
The Vikings got their man in former Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo, who helped steer them to Cousins in free agency. They are betting on the pair to sustain success for an offense that finished 10th in the league a year ago.
Defense needs to keep it up
The Vikings had the NFL’s best third-down defense since 1991 a year ago, allowing opponents to convert just 25.2 percent of the time. Even though the group should be strong, its conversion rate from a year ago might not be sustainable.
Rookie kicker has a big job
Daniel Carlson — the Vikings’ fifth-round pick out of Auburn — helped usher Kai Forbath out the door. If the Vikings need a 53-yarder from Carlson in the division playoffs — like they got from Forbath in January — will the rookie deliver?