Minnesota Vikings News
11-23-15: A home loss against the Green Bay Packers was disappointing for the Minnesota Vikings, but they still have the same win-loss record with their second matchup coming later this season. With their five-game win streak snapped, the Vikings play the Atlanta Falcons on the road this Sunday.
11-16-15: The under-the-radar Minnesota Vikings have reeled off five straight wins and are now the leaders of the NFC North division. Adrian Peterson rushed for over 200 yards on the ground in a win over the Oakland Raiders as they prepare for a divisional game against the Green Bay Packers at home.
11-9-15: The Minnesota Vikings extended their winning streak to four, but had a scary moment when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had to leave the game after appearing to be knocked out cold. With their quarterback’s health in question, the Vikings prepare for a road game against the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.
10-20-15: The Minnesota Vikings took advantage of playing against an undermanned Kansas City Chiefs team last Sunday and gave their home fans a 16-10 victory. Winners of three of their last four, the Vikings have back-to-back division road games against the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.
9-29-15: Adrian Peterson declared that he’s “back” in a statement performance this past weekend, as he ran all over the visiting Chargers in a 31-14 Vikings win. Peterson looked like his old self, rushing for 126 yards and two scores in the easy win. Minnesota’s defense was quite arguably the story in this one, though, as they swarmed Philip Rivers all day, racking up four sacks and two turnovers. The Vikes also shut down San Diego’s running backs, as Melvin Gordon gained just 51 yards on 14 carries and shifty scat-back Danny Woodhead was held to just 43 total yards. Minnesota marches into week four at a solid 2-1 and will try to get to 3-1 when they go head to head with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
9-22-15: The Adrian Peterson of old returned in week two, as the Minnesota Vikings rode their star running back for 29 carries and 134 rushing yards in a 26-16 win over the hated Detroit Lions. Peterson shook off some more rust after a forgettable week one performance, overcoming a fumble and adding two catches for 58 more yards through the air. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was much better than he was a week ago, as he completed 77% of his passes and scored twice to help Minny get to 1-1. It was a big win for the Vikes, who became just the second NFC North team to notch a win on the young 2015 season. The Vikings will try to keep pace behind the Green Bay Packers in week three, when they go head to head with the San Diego Chargers.
9-15-15: For all the hype leading into the 2015 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings gave quite the deflating effort in a 20-3 road loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Running back Adrian Peterson was largely ineffective in his return from a year-long absence, as he finished with just 31 rushing yards on 10 carries. Minnesota wasn’t much better through the air, as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was all over the place with his throws early on and ended up taking a whopping five sacks, while also tossing a pick. The Vikings had most of their issues on the defensive side of the ball, however, where Niners running back Carlos Hyde had his way en route to 168 rushing yards and two scores. Minnesota will aim for better showings across the board in week two, when they’ll battle NFC North rivals, the Detroit Lions.
9-8-15: Adrian Peterson has his sights on his long-awaited return, as he’ll hit the field on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers for the first time in almost an entire year. The Vikings held Peterson out for the entire preseason to keep him fresh, and after appearing in just one game in 2014 due to an off-field scandal, he could storm out of the gates with a massive chip on his shoulder. That’s bad news for a severely depleted Niners defense, while second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will surely look to enjoy a fine outing in Minnesota’s week one road game, as well. The team may be forced to try to get the win a tad under-manned on the offensive line, unfortunately, as center Jonathan Sullivan is dealing with back spasms and is in question to suit up on Monday night.
9-1-15: The Minnesota Vikings continued their stellar play through the 2015 preseason, as they sent the Dallas Cowboys packing with a 28-14 win to stay undefeated (4-0). Teddy Bridgewater looked strong for the fourth game in a row, as he completed all seven of his passes for 76 yards and helped Minnesota to an early field goal. Bridgewater seemed to develop some chemistry with new wide receiver Mike Wallace, who hauled in three balls for 50 yards. Preseason records don’t matter, but the Minnesota offense has accomplished quite a bit in August, despite star running back Adrian Peterson not suiting up once. Peterson likely will remain out again when the Vikes wrap up their preseason on Thursday against the Tennessee Titans.
8-25-15: Teddy Bridgewater enjoyed his third strong showing in a row for the Minnesota Vikings, who topped the visiting Oakland Raiders (20-12) to stay undefeated in preseason play. Bridgewater looked better than ever, as he connected on 10 of 14 tries for 89 yards and a score. Charles Johnson continues to look like Bridgewater’s favorite target in the passing game, as he hauled in the touchdown and put together a nice day with 40 yards on four grabs. Adrian Peterson sat out yet again and left the Vikings with a weak running game, as Jerick McKinnon led the team with a paltry 25 yards (2.1 yards per carry). Peterson could sit out the entire preseason, but his best chance to play could come next week, when the Vikes prepare for their regular season dress rehearsal against the Cowboys in Big D on Saturday night.
8-18-15: Teddy Bridgewater looked just as good in his second preseason outing as he did in his first, as he connected on 7 of 8 passes in a 26-16 Vikings win. Minnesota hosted Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend and never trailed as the defense didn’t make life easy on the rookie passer and the Vikes moved the ball with ease on offense. Cordarrelle Patterson has been slow to develop as he prepares for his third NFL season, but he did shine in the win, as he caught two balls for 29 yards and a touchdown. While things largely went well for Minnesota in their second preseason contest, they did get some bad news with starting right tackle Phil Loadholt going down with a torn Achilles. The injury will send the stud tackle to injured reserve and is expected to thrust rookie T.J. Clemmings into the starting lineup. Clemmings will likely start on the right side when Minnesota gears up for their third preseason game, a Saturday night showdown with the Oakland Raiders.
8-12-15: The Minnesota Vikings dusted off some of the cobwebs on Sunday night, when they took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2015 NFL Hall of Fame game. The two kicked off the 2015 NFL preseason in a lackluster showdown that ended in a 14-3 Minnesota win. Teddy Bridgewater looked poised and in control in limited action, while Adrian Peterson didn’t suit up. The Vikings looked solid overall, as Kyle Rudolph made a healthy return to the field and rookie tight end MyCole Pruitt dazzled with 51 receiving yards and a nice 34-yard score. The Vikes looked strong on defense throughout, as they contained Pittsburgh’s running game and didn’t allow a single touchdown. Rookie cornerback Trae Waynes may have some work to do in coverage, as he got burned on a play after taking an improper angle. Cordarrelle Patterson showed he also still has a ways to go, as he ran poor routes and only secured one reception for six yards.
8-5-15: The early goings of Minnesota’s training camp haven’t yielded a ton of big play connections with new wide receiver Mike Wallace and second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The man dubbed “60 Minutes” looks to still have the jets to burn defenses, but the chemistry between passer and catcher seems to be very much a work in progress. One of the main weaknesses a season ago, Minnesota’s offensive line reportedly continues to struggle in practice. The return of stud rusher Adrian Peterson should naturally help the unit come together, but early signs suggest it could take a while to happen. Splashy wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is another Viking still struggling, as the big play star still can’t put consistent practices together as he tries to get his “groove back”.
7-28-15: The Minnesota Vikings have been in training camp for three days and by all accounts things have progressed as expected. Running back Adrian Peterson has reportedly shown up in “great” shape and is slated for a massive workload. As head coach Mike Zimmer puts it, the 30-year old star rusher will get all the touches he can handle. The case isn’t the same for disappointing wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who continues to “lack consistency”. Zimmer raved of his potential but suggested C-Patt needs to decide between being a big-play threat or a well-rounded receiver. Everything looks good on offense, but the defense will get rolling without cornerback Josh Robinson (pectoral), who was placed on the active/PUP list. The Vikings did a good job locking up a specialist, as kicker Blair Walsh agree to a four-year, $13 million deal.
7-22-15: The Minnesota Vikings have quietly been building a potential playoff contender this summer, as Adrian Peterson returns to the offensive backfield, Kyle Rudolph is back at full strength and Mike Wallace comes over in a trade out of South Beach. That all could help second-year passer Teddy Bridgewater take a major jump and help put the Vikings back on the map. How high the offense rises probably hinges to what the 30-year old Peterson has left after a year away from the game, while Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson also continue to try to carve out roles in the passing game. Minny’s defense looks loaded on paper, as Harrison Smith anchors a suddenly stout secondary that also boasts rookie corner Trae Waynes. The Vikes could be stingier across the board on defense, as Anthony Barr should be even better in his second season and rookie linebacker Eric Kendricks could help round out a much improved linebacking corps.
5-4-15: Appearing to be mostly set on the offensive side of the ball, Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings worked hard in the 2015 NFL Draft to make an already solid defense even better. It seems to have panned out well on paper, as they landed at least two impact defenders and added some solid depth pieces, elsewhere. Their top two additions are without a doubt stud corner Trae Waynes and inside linebacker Eric Kendricks. Both players were arguably the top options at their respective positions and should compete immediately for a starting role in Zimmer’s defense. Minnesota also wisely added help to their shaky offensive line, when they grabbed the sliding T.J. Clemmings in round four. Clemmings fell a bit due to concerns over a foot issue, but as an arguable first round talent, the Vikings may have gotten an impact player to aid their o-line right away. Minnesota used the rest of the draft to fill in depth spots and if all goes well, could be markedly better in 2015. Take a look at all of their picks from this year’s draft:
Round One - Pick 11: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Round Two - Pick 45: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Round Three - Pick 88: Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU
Round Four - Pick 110: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Round Five - Pick 143: MyCole Pruitt, TE, Southern Illinois
Round Five - Pick 146: Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland
Round Six - Pick 185: Tyrus Thompson, OT, Oklahoma
Round Six - Pick 193: B.J. Dubose, DE, Louisville
Round Seven - Pick 228: Austin Shepard, OT, Alabama
Round Seven - Pick 232: Edmond Robinson, OLB, Newberry
4-9-15: The Minnesota Vikings wasted little time helping out franchise passer Teddy Bridgewater, as they sent a fifth round draft pick to Miami to land playmaking wide receiver, Mike Wallace. Wallace struggled in Miami due to being improperly utilized, but his speed projects well in Norv Turner’s vertical offense. The Vikings remain at a stalemate with stud running back Adrian Peterson, so the re-signing of backup rusher Matt Asiata is key for the depth of the position. Minnesota still has hopes to keep Peterson going into 2015, but if he leaves it appears the team is ready to move on with Jerick McKinnon as their lead back. Minnesota refrained from any other huge splashes in free agency, as second-year head coach Mike Zimmer appears content continuing his rebuild via the draft.
3-9-15: Teddy Bridgewater didn’t get the Minnesota Vikings back to the playoffs in his first year with the team, but he showed major promise and could have the Vikes right back in the playoff conversation in 2015. He’ll need help to do it, and that could come in the form of franchise running back Adrian Peterson, who is slowly leaning toward staying in the purple and gold after missing 15 games due to a child abuse scandal. If Peterson sticks around, the Vikes only need some mild upgrades on the offensive line. The defense has outstanding coaching and plenty of talent already, but some help at linebacker and cornerback could put a rising unit over the top.
12-29-14: Last week, the Vikings waived running back Ben Tate. Then, on Sunday, Matt Asiata
accumulated more than 100 total yards en route to Minnesota’s 13-9 victory over the Chicago Bears. Teddy Bridgewater connected with Adam Thielen for the game’s only touchdown. The Vikings finished the season with a 5-3 record at home, but were unfortunately 7-9 overall.
12-23-14: Teddy Bridgewater completed 19 of his 26 passing attempts for 259 yards and two touchdowns, but the Vikings fell, 37-35. Matt Asiata also scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the loss. The quarterback and running back were a large part of Minnesota’s 18-point fourth quarter, but Jeff Locke’s punt was blocked for the Dolphins’ game-winning safety.
12-17-14: Near the end of the first quarter on Sunday, Matt Asiata finished a 10-play, 84-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Then early in the second quarter, Teddy Bridgewater connected with Greg Jennings on an eight-yard touchdown reception to give the Vikings a 14-0 lead in Detroit. However, Minnesota could not score the rest of the game, as they lost, 16-14.
12-9-14: The Vikings’ red zone defense was very strong, as they prevented the New York Jets from scoring touchdowns each of the five times they made it within Minnesota’s 20-yard line. Then, in overtime, Teddy Bridgewater connected with Jarius Wright on an 87-yard game-winning touchdown pass. Jerick McKinnon, who missed each of the last two contests due to a lower back injury, will miss the rest of his rookie season.
12-3-14: The Vikings’ defense was tremendous on Sunday, as it blocked two Carolina Panther punts and returned them for touchdowns en route to Minnesota’s 31-13 victory. The Vikings scored 28 of their points in the first half, and their other two touchdowns came on Teddy Bridgewater throws. The quarterback completed 15 of his 21 passing attempts for 138 yards.
11-26-14: Teddy Bridgewater threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, Jerick McKinnon was not efficient, as he ran 15 times for 54 yards in the Vikings’ 24-21 loss. Ben Tate, who Minnesota claimed off waivers during the previous week, did not play in the contest.
11-19-14: The Vikings started Sunday’s game on a great note. By the end of the first quarter, they were leading the Bears at Soldier Field, 10-0. Blair Walsh kicked off the scoring with a 50-yard field goal early in the contest, and Rhett Ellison caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater. Unfortunately, Minnesota was outscored, 21-3, the rest of the way.
11-12-14: The Vikings had finally won consecutive games, but they then had to have their bye in Week 10. On the bright side, they got an extra week to prepare for the struggling Chicago Bears. Minnesota will travel to Chicago for Week 11, as Teddy Bridgewater continues to learn the professional quarterback position.
11-6-14: The Vikings moved their record up to 4-5 with a 29-26 victory over the Washington
Redskins on Sunday. Although Robert Griffin III returned to the field for the first time
since Week 2, Matt Asiata was the player who got into the end zone the most in this
contest. He scored three times, including the game-winning score.
10-30-14: The Vikings shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first three quarters, but the
Buccaneers scored 13 straight points to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. However,
Teddy Bridgewater led a nine-play, 61-yard drive to get Blair Walsh a game-tying field
goal as time expired. Then, rookie linebacker Anthony Barr returned a fumble 27 yards
for his first career touchdown to win the game in overtime.
10-21-14: Surprisingly, Teddy Bridgewater did not throw his first career NFL touchdown pass until Week 7. He completed it to Cordarrelle Patterson to give the Vikings a 10-7 lead in the second quarter, and each team then tacked on a field goal before the first half ended. Unfortunately, Minnesota could only muster three points in the second half, as the Vikings lost, 17-16.
10-14-14: Even with Teddy Bridgewater back in the lineup, it was another frustrating week for the Minnesota offense. The quarterback threw three interceptions, and the Vikings’ only score of the game came in the fourth quarter on a 40-yard Blair Walsh field goal. On the bright side, the Vikings defense sacked Matthew Stafford four times.
10-8-14: The Vikings could not stop Aaron Rodgers as the Thursday night game got out of hand very quickly. Christian Ponder’s offense was held scoreless in the first three quarters. The third-string quarterback scored a rushing touchdown, but completed just half of his passing attempts and threw two interceptions. Fortunately for the Vikings, Teddy Bridgewater should be back for Week 6.
10-1-14: Although Teddy Bridgewater was carted off the field due to a left foot injury in the fourth quarter, he led the Vikings to points in all four quarters on Sunday in Minnesota’s 41-28 victory over the visiting Atlanta Falcons. The Vikings now stand at 2-2 on the season, but unfortunately, Bridgewater may not be fully healthy for Thursday’s contest against the Packers in Wisconsin.
9-25-14: The Vikings have not looked good the past couple of weeks. After holding the St. Louis Rams to six points in the opening week of the NFL regular season, Minnesota has put up single-digit point totals in each of its last two contests. The Vikings dropped their Week 3 matchup in New Orleans, 20-9. Matt Cassel left the game with several fractures in his foot, so it looks to be the Teddy Bridgewater show now in Minnesota.
9-17-14: The Vikings have had a difficult last few months, and last week made it worse: Adrian Peterson was indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child. The organization inactivated him for Week 2, and the New England Patriots blew out the Vikings. Then, on Wednesday, they placed Peterson on the exempt list, which prevents him from attending all of the team’s activities. On Monday, Minnesota reinstated suspended special teams coach Mike Priefer, which was one week earlier than expected.
9-10-14: A day before the Vikings’ first game of the regular season, they signed right guard Brandon Fusco to a five-year, $25 million extension. Then, on Sunday, the Vikings scored in every quarter as they destroyed the St. Louis Rams, 34-6. Minnesota held the Rams scoreless in the first half and only allowed two field goals in the final 30 minutes.
9-4-14: Teddy Bridgewater was terrific as he did not throw an interception in his first NFL preseason. He also added five touchdowns, but Matt Cassel will be starting for the Vikings in St. Louis in Week 1. Minnesota will be without receiver Jerome Simpson, who received a three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
8-26-14: Even without Adrian Peterson, the Vikings defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-12, to move their record to a perfect 3-0 this preseason. The first score of the game came from a Matt Cassel 53-yard pass to Cordarrelle Patterson. Although Cassel attempted more passes than Teddy Bridgewater, the rookie threw two third-quarter touchdowns. On Monday, Cassel was announced as the team’s Week 1 starter.
8-20-14: Adrian Peterson has been held out of both preseason games thus far, and there is a good chance he sits out the rest of the preseason. This is no surprise to Vikings fans, as he has not played in the preseason the last few years. Both Minnesota quarterbacks threw the ball very well in the Vikings’ 30-28 victory against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, and Matt Cassel remains the favorite to start in Week 1.
8-14-14: Teddy Bridgewater will have to play better to take over as the starter in Minnesota after he completed fewer than half of his pass attempts in the Vikings’ 10-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Friday. Early Saturday morning, defensive tackle Linval Joseph was struck in the calf by a stray bullet at a nightclub. He was treated and released from the hospital and returned to camp on Sunday. Also that day, the Vikings hired ex-Texans special teams coordinator Joe Marciano to fill in for Mike Priefer during his three-game ban.
8-5-14: Last week, it was discovered that Adrian Peterson was unhappy with the Vikings at the end of last season, but was bought back in with the hiring of head coach Mike Zimmer. He and his team will take on the visiting Oakland Raiders on Friday, but we will have to see which quarterback performs better. Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater seem to be the frontrunners for the position.
7-30-14: The Minnesota Vikings extended starting tight end Kyle Rudolph on a five-year, $36.5 million deal recently, keeping their tight end in purple and gold through the 2019 NFL season. It’s a big signing for the Vikings, as a healthy Rudolph figures to be quite a weapon in new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s tight end friendly system. Rudolph and the rest of the Vikes don’t know who they’ll be catching passes from yet, however. Matt Cassel is operating as the starter for now, but is splitting first team reps with rookie first rounder, Teddy Bridgewater. Minnesota remains excited about the development of wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. The team intends on keeping him on return duties to maximize his overall impact in his second season.
7-15-14: Kyle Rudolph is aiming to make up for a fairly lost 2013 season, as he enters Norv Turner’s tight end-friendly vertical passing offense. Rudolph has yet to realize his potential in Minnesota, but has flashed brilliance in the past. Reports suggest this could be the year he busts out if the Vikings’ quarterback play can improve. With rookie Teddy Bridgewater potentially winning the starting job, that’s a real possibility. Rudolph isn’t the only Vikings passing weapon looking to bust out, though, as second-year phenom Cordarrelle Patterson has reportedly improved his route-running and is looking to have a vastly increased role in Turner’s vertical system.
6-5-14: The Minnesota Vikings have made it known that they do not plan to rush rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikes moved back into the bottom of the 2014 NFL Draft to land their franchise passer, but with veteran Matt Cassel in tow, will not force Bridgewater into action. With that said, Bridgewater has looked sharp in practice and is already under contract. In the injury fold, offensive tackle Matt Kalil and defensive tackle Linval Joseph both continue to recover from offseason procedures. Both are expected to be ready for camp.
5-19-14: Building off of a stellar draft of a year ago, the Minnesota Vikings entered the 2014 NFL Draft with a new coaching staff and new goals. At the top of the list was a franchise quarterback, as well as an impact defensive player. Let’s see how the Vikes did in their plight for progress:
Round 1. Pick 09 Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
Round 1. Pick 32 Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Round 3. Pick 08 Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon St.
Round 3. Pick 32 Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern
Round 5. Pick 05 David Yankey, G, Stanford
Round 6. Pick 06 Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech
Round 7. Pick 05 Shamar Stephen, DT, Connecticut
Round 7. Pick 08 Brandon Watts, LB, Georgia Tech
Round 7. Pick 10 Jabari Price, CB, North Carolina
Many thought the Vikes would go quarterback early. Instead, they opted to wait and got an elite pass rusher in Anthony Barr. Barr is quite raw, but his athleticism and upside is off the charts. In a Mike Zimmer defense that’s a scary thought for opposing offenses.
After passing on quarterback early, Minnesota traded back into the first round to make Teddy Bridgewater their franchise quarterback with the 32nd overall pick. Bridgewater’s stock nosedived after a shaky Pro Day, but few quarterbacks come as NFL-ready and as balanced as he does. He doesn’t fit Norv Turner’s vertical offense 100% perfectly, but it’s still an offense he can shine in.
Elsewhere, Minnesota landed another athletic pass rusher in Oregon State’s Scott Crichton, while they also beefed up their offensive line depth with a gem in David Yankey in round five.
5-9-14: The Minnesota Vikings might have had one of the best drafts of all - for the second year in a row. Knowing they needed to land an impact defensive player, Minnesota spent it’s 8th overall selection on electric pass rusher Anthony Barr, who possesses the size and upside to be used on the line or as a linebacker. Minnesota also was lacking a franchise quarterback, too, so they made sure they didn’t end day one without one, as they traded back into the bottom of round one to land Louisville passer, Teddy Bridgewater. In just two moves, the Vikings set them up for a fantastic draft by nailing down two keys needs. Going forward, they’ll want to focus mostly on defense as they try to balance out their roster.
4-28-14: The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly been open about the fact that they don’t want to spend their #8 overall draft pick on a quarterback. We can only take them for their word, but that could easily be a smokescreen leading into the 2014 NFL Draft. All we know for sure is that they need to draft a franchise passer at some point. Whether that means reaching for a guy like Derek Carr in round one or crossing their fingers someone like Zach Mettenberger makes it to them in round two remains to be determined. With a passer not the likely pick to get things going, Minnesota figures to address the defensive side of the ball. Rookie head coach Mike Zimmer is a defensive guy, after all, while the Vikes have issues at corner, linebacker and on the defensive line. C.J. Mosley would be a big reach this early, but he fills a need and would be a fantastic get, while Anthony Barr has the athleticism to help the Vikings in a number of ways if they make him their first pick.
4-18-14: The Minnesota Vikings have four preseason games on their schedule in 2014, starting with the beatable Oakland Raiders at home in week one. Fans can expect star running back Adrian Peterson to sit this one out, while Minny’s normal starters should be rather limited. Peterson could sit out week two (and possibly the entire preseason), but either way the Vikings starters should look to get more comfortable as the weeks progress. That won’t exactly be the easiest of tasks in the second week, though, as a tough Arizona Cardinals defense comes to town. Minny faces another tough defense in a week three road game, as they head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs before concluding August with a second road game against the Tennessee Titans.
4-7-14: Realizing that star running back Adrian Peterson is slowly exiting his prime, the Minnesota Vikings wisely aimed to revamp their defense in an effort to get the Vikes back in playoff contention for 2014. On paper, it looks good to this point, as Linval Joseph was brought in to lock down the run, while Corey Wooten was brought in to help the re-signed Everson Griffen give the pass-rush a boost. Minnesota didn’t stop there, as they addressed a poor secondary by bringing in Captain Munnerlyn from the Panthers, as well as Derek Cox. The Vikes did say goodbye to the beloved Jared Allen, but otherwise had a very productive offseason. They will be on the look for a franchise passer and some help at linebacker early in the 2014 NFL Draft.
3-21-14: If Minnesota Vikings fans were wondering what their franchise’s course of action would be in 2014, they needn’t look much further than their first signing in free agency: quarterback Matt Cassel. Cassel had initially opted out of his contract with the team in search for more money and a guarantee to compete to start. The Vikings gave him both after a solid showing as the team’s spot starter in 2013. Minnesota did lose some help on offense, however, as Toby Gerhart, Adrian Peterson’s top backup at the running back position, fled to Jacksonville for a chance to start. Minnesota also let aging defensive end Jared Allen walk in free agency, but the Vikings still found a way to get better on defense, as they shored up their secondary by adding cornerbacks Captain Munnerlyn and Derek Cox, while also beefing up their defensive line by re-signing Everson Griffin and Fred Evans, as well as former Giants defensive tackle, Linval Joseph.
12-31-13: The Vikings drafted Cordarrelle Patterson to be a building block for the future in their offense. He had already shown glimpses of his potential earlier in the season, and once again flashed his elite talents in week 17, scoring twice to help the Vikings upend the visiting Detroit Lions, 14-13.
12-24-13: Adrian Peterson returned from a foot sprain after sitting out the previous week, but his 45 rushing yards wasn’t enough to keep up with a red-hot Andy Dalton as the Vikings lost to the Bengals in Cincinnati, 42-14. Dalton was on fire in this one, as he tossed four scores while handing Minnesota their 10th defeat of 2013.
12-17-13: The Vikings had to be perfect if they wanted to top the visiting Philadelphia Eagles without Adrian Peterson in week 15. They were pretty much exactly that. Matt Cassel and Matt Asiata combined for six total scores and the Minnesota offense piled on 48 points in a massive 48-30 win at home.
12-10-13: Minnesota lost Adrian Peterson early and eventually lost the game in a thrilling back-and-forth battle with the Ravens in Baltimore. Peterson exited with just 13 rushing yards thanks to a sprained foot and wasn’t even at the stadium as Matt Cassel, Toby Gerhart and Cordarrelle Patterson teamed up for a 20-point fourth quarter binge in the Vikes’ close 29-26 road defeat.
12-3-13: The Vikings were down 20-10 and had lost starting quarterback Christian Ponder to a concussion, but they wouldn’t be denied. Matt Cassel rallied the offense and leaned on Adrian Peterson, who piled on 211 rushing yards to help Minnesota steal a 23-20 overtime win at home.
11-26-13: Minnesota aimed to play spoiler in week 12, with their 2013 season all bust lost and mere pride on the line. With a terrific 23-7 start on the road against the Packers, they were on the right track. Matt Flynn subbed in for an ineffective Scott Tolzien to force overtime, however, while neither team could finish the job in overtime, resulting in a 26-26 tie.
11-19-13: The Vikings hung tight with the Seahawks as long as they could. For a while in the first half, it looked like they might make a game of it. Then Christian Ponder played like Christian Ponder. Ponder threw two picks, including one for a touchdown and the Minnesota offense couldn’t overcome their mistakes in a tough 41-20 loss on the road to the Seattle Seahawks.
11-12-13: Week 10 was kind to the Vikings, who hosted the equally desperate Washington Redskins on Thursday Night Football and found a way to squeak out a 34-27 win. Adrian Peterson scored twice and Christian Ponder played a huge hand in Minnesota’s offensive success, but it took a fourth and goal stand late in this one by the defense to earn the Vikings their second win of 2013.
Christian Ponder defied logic with a solid performance on the road in week nine, as he scored two touchdowns (one rushing) and had the Vikings in the lead until the final moments. Minnesota couldn’t stop Dallas when it counted, however, as Tony Romo led an unlikely 90-yard scoring drive to take this one, 27-23.
10-30-13: Adrian Peterson was mostly bottled up and the switch back to Christian Ponder made no difference for Minnesota’s passing games as the Vikings fell to the Green Bay Packers, 44-31. The Vikings put up some late scores, but this one was never in doubt as Minnesota was simply ineffective in every facet of the game as they dropped to 1-6 on the year.
10-22-13: In what could very likely go down as the ugliest football game of the 2013 season, the Vikings failed to score a single offensive point in an embarrassing 23-7 road loss to the New York Giants. Newly added quarterback Josh Freeman made his Minnesota debut in this one and struggled throughout, completing just over 37% of a whopping 53 pass attempts with no touchdowns and an interception. The Vikings’ only score came on a punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, as Adrian Peterson (28 rushing yards) and the Minnesota offense was completely stifled in the road loss.
10-15-13: Adrian Peterson had a heavy heart just days after saying good-bye to his infant son, who died trafically. Unfortunately, he and the Minnesota Vikings couldn’t ease the pain in week six, as Peterson was relatively held in check with just 62 rushing yards in a blowout loss to the visiting Carolina Panthers, 35-10. Cam Newton proved to be more than just a little too much, as he scored four touchdowns and had Carolina up 35-3 before Minnesota finally found the end-zone with a Kyle Rudolph touchdown catch.
In a battle of desperate 0-3 teams, Minnesota was the “home” team in London in week four, and waged war with starting quarterback Christian Ponder sidelined with an injury. Backup quarterback Matt Cassel stepped up in a big way, throwing for nearly 250 passing yards and two touchdowns, while most importantly avoiding any turnovers. Greg Jennings finally woke up from a three game coma, as well, bringing one of his receptions 70 yards to the house and adding another score late in the game to help keep the Vikings up. Running Back Adrian Peterson also returned to a dominant state, putting up his best rushing day of the year (140 yards), as well as two scores on the ground to help the struggling Vikings get in the win column and enter their week five bye week with a 1-3 mark.
9-19-13: The Vikings fell to the Bears last weekend 31-30. Offensively, Minnesota was backed by star running back Adrian Peterson’s first 100-yard rushing day of the year, as well as an opening kickoff return for a touchdown by rookie wide receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson. As tough as the Vikings played the Bears for the majority of this contest, it was Bears’ QB Jay Cutler’s heroics that were the story here in the 31-30 victory at home for Chicago. Next week, the Vikings look to rebound when they host the Browns.
9-10-13: Adrian Peterson got Minnesota’s week one matchup in Detroit started off with a bang, taking his first offensive touch 78 yards to the house for a touchdown. While he likely had Vikings fans and fantasy football fans alike thinking about a 300-yard rushing day, he trailed off from that point on, rushing for just 15 more yards on his final 17 carries. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings were able to hold star wide receiver Calvin Johnson in check, but their demise came by the hands of versatile running back Reggie Bush, who piled on 191 total yards and a score, helping the Lions to a 34-24 win in his debut with the team. The Vikings head to Chicago in week 2 to take on the Bears.
9-4-13: With the regular season just days away, here's a list of the Minnesota Vikings final roster cuts: TE Colin Anderson, DT Christian Ballard, RB Joe Banyard, S Brandan Bishop, OG Travis Bond, WR Stephen Burton, DT Everett Dawkins, S Darris Eubanks, CB Bobby Felder, TE Chase Ford, OT Brandon Keith, DT Anthony McCloud, LB Tyrone McKenzie, OT Kevin Murphy, DT Spencer Nealy, DE D'Aundre Reed, WR Rodney Smith, WR Adam Thielen, RB Collins Ukwu.
8-20-13: Adrian Peterson was out and resting his knee again this weekend as the Vikings dropped their second preseason game, losing to the Bills 20-16. Chris Ponder was just 5 of 12 on passes for 53 yards, while McLeod Bethel-Thompson completed 10 of 17 passes for 107 yards and a TD. Next week, the Vikings travels to San Francisco to take on the 49ers.
8-11-13: The Vikings dropped their preseason opener 27-13 to the Texans. Chris Ponder threw just 2 passes for 15 yards and an interception. Matt Cassel took the bulk of the snap at QB and was 12 of 19 for 212 yards, a TD and an interception.
7-10-13: Adrian Peterson leads the charge for the Vikings again in 2013, but Minnesota’s success won’t stop with him. With defenses surely keying in on the running game more than ever, there will be a lot of pressure on quarterback Christian Ponder to perform. Luckily the Vikings added sure-handed receiver Greg Jennings, and also grabbed the talented Cordarrelle Patterson in this year’s draft. With a stout defense that got better in the middle with the addition of Desmond Bishop, the Vikings stand a chance at back to back playoff appearances if Ponder and the offense can take their game up another level.
6-12-13: Minnesota had a dream season in 2012, as Adrian Peterson bounce backed from a nightmarish knee injury to be the driving force behind an unlikely playoff appearance. Not only did Peterson come just nine yards shy of the single-season rushing record, but his gaudy stats meant even more because they helped lead to wins. While the Vikings came up short in their lone playoff game in 2012 due to a Christian Ponder injury, they now have momentum heading into 2013. If Ponder can progress and Peterson can bring even 75% of what he had last season, the Vikings could once again make some serious noise in the NFC North.
2013 Vikings Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 23: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Round 1, Pick 25 (from Seattle): Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Round 1, Pick 29 (from New England): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Round 4, Pick 23: Gerald Hodges, LB, Penn State
Round 5, Pick 22: Jeff Locke, P, UCLA
Round 6, Pick 28 (from Denver through Philadelphia and Tampa Bay): Jeff Baca, OG, UCLA
Round 7, Pick 7 (from Arizona): Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State
Round 7, Pick 8 (from Buffalo through Seattle): Travis Bond, OG, North Carolina
Round 7, Pick 23 (from New England and Tampa Bay): Everett Dawkins, DT, Florida State
12-4-12: At 6-6, the Vikings have a small chance to get into the playoffs but it will take almost a perfect record from here on out. Two straight losses against division foes didn’t help their cause but they have a chance to pick up the pieces this week when they host the Chicago Bears. Superstar RB Adrien Peterson is having a fantastic year, leading the NFL in rushing yards with over 1400. With four games remaining we very well could end up with over 2000 yards on the year. He also has 8 touchdowns.