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.