NFL

Reasons The Minnesota Vikings Won’t Win the Super Bowl

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Before last season, the Minnesota Vikings hadn’t experienced postseason play since 2012. Not only did the Vikings make the playoffs, they did it by dethroning the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.

The Packers have won the NFC North four consecutive seasons, but Minnesota’s elite defense and steady ground game lifted them over the top. The Vikings allowed just 18.9 points per game a season ago, which ranked fifth in the entire league.

Unfortunately, Minnesota was unable to advance in the postseason as kicker Blair Walsh missed the potential game-winning 27-yard field goal as they lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 10-9.

While the Vikings should’ve won that game, it’s still hard to ignore the fact they were unable to get into the end zone once.

Former first round pick Teddy Bridgewater didn’t play bad, but he didn’t play great either, which has been the constant theme of his young career thus far.

In his first and only career playoff game, Bridgewater completed 70 percent of his passes for just 146 yards, while throwing no touchdowns or any interceptions.

For as great as Minnesota is defensively, that can only take you so far in today’s NFL.

As the old saying goes, ‘defense wins championships’, but does it really?

Sure, having a dominant defense is very nice to have, but when your offense is incompetent, it doesn’t mean as much.

Now, Minnesota did average 22.8 points per game, which placed them right in the middle of the pack, but they only scored 30 or more points four times last season, while scoring less than 20 points four times.

What’s even more troubling is Minnesota’s predictability offensively.

Half of the battle is being able to catch your opponent off guard.

I get it, Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the world.

Peterson led the NFL in rushing yards (1,485), rushing yards per game (92.8), carries (328) and he tied for most rushing touchdowns with 11.

Those numbers are all fine and dandy, but it’s a gift and a curse for Minnesota as a team.

When things get tight, defenses will just load the box and dare Bridgewater to beat them through the air and he hasn’t shown the ability to be able to do that on a consistent basis thus far.

In his first two seasons, Bridgewater has only thrown 28 touchdowns (14 each season), while totaling a measly 6,150 yards. To put that into perspective, Drew Brees threw for 4,870 yards last year alone.

To Bridgewater’s defense, the offensive play calling hasn’t unleashed him.

The vast majority of their passing plays are very conservative, not allowing Bridgewater to air it out down the field like we grew accustomed to seeing during his Louisville days.

With that being said, Minnesota is very limited on the perimeter.

The lack of a true number one receiver hinders what Minnesota is able to do, but maybe second year receiver Stefan Diggs can turn into that guy, and everyone is excited about rookie Laquon Treadwell.

During his rookie campaign, Diggs hauled in 52 catches for 720 yards to go along with four touchdowns, but to expect him to ascend to star level this early in his career is a bit of a reach.

Same goes for Treadwell, who hasn’t even played a down at the NFL level yet.

As the 2016 season quickly approaches, expect for Minnesota to have one of the top defenses in the league once again, but their lack of fire power offensively will end up biting them in the end.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.