Looking back on the Vikings' season, the outcome was painfully predictable. Pretty much every preseason concern proved valid.

Worried about the offensive line? Leaky blocking was a theme in several key losses.

Wondering if Kirk Cousins could elevate his play beyond being a statistical stalwart? We're still waiting for his first signature win in purple over a top team.

Thinking that a rookie kicker might be trouble? Daniel Carlson's three misses in Green Bay turned a win into a tie, the margin that kept the Vikings from the playoffs.

And most of all: Concerned that the Vikings wouldn't live up to expectations? Super Bowl or bust was certainly the latter.

At least Mike Zimmer's squad managed to go 8-7-1 after a conference title game appearance. That's more than Brad Childress (2010) and Dennis Green (2001) could say. Both were fired before those losing seasons ended.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.