2009 Minnesota Vikings Season Preview
2009 Minnesota Vikings preview from MadduxSports.com. The NFC North is a division filled with question marks. Expect the NFL odds makers to have trouble setting lines on these teams, using a proven winners NFL picks will provide dividends early and often for the 2009 campaign.
2009 Minnesota Vikings Predictions
By Adam Barone
There’s an awful lot to talk about with the Vikings. They’re probably the most dynamic team in the NFL. Adrian Peterson is arguably the best player in the league, and quarterback Sage Rosenfels and receiver Percy Harvin have been added to the offense to help him. Rosenfels will probably take a seat when Brett Favre shows up, improving the offense even more. Minnesota was a popular Super Bowl pick before last season, but lost in the first round of the playoffs. This is a much better team than last year’s.
Last season Tarvaris Jackson proved what most of us already knew: he’s not good. He had a 45.4 quarterback rating in the playoff game against Philadelphia. Rosenfels was decent as Matt Schaub’s backup in Houston, throwing 21 touchdown passes in his last 10 starts for the Texans. The downside on Rosenfels is his tendency to make untimely turnovers. He’s thrown 22 interceptions and has six fumbles in those 10 starts. Rosenfels and Jackson will compete for the job, unless Brett Favre comes out of retirement again, which we all know he will.
Aside from Peterson, who ran for 1,760 yards last season on 4.8 yards per carry, though he managed just 10 touchdowns, the Vikings have an exciting group of playmakers on their roster. Running back Chester Taylor; receivers Bernard Berrian, Bobby Wade, Sidney Rice and Harvin; and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe would all benefit greatly from having an experienced signal caller running their offense. Wade has led the team in receiving the last two seasons. Harvin, despite his character issues, was one of the top talents in the draft. He has a chance to be an elite playmaker in the NFL.
Matt Birk’s departure to the Baltimore Raven’s via free agency is a significant loss for the Vikings, but they still have Pro Bowl linemen on the left side of their line in Steve Hutchinson and Bryant McKinnie. The rest of the line is unproven, but the quarterback’s ability to make quick decisions and get rid of the ball could be the key to its development.
The Vikings pass defense improved from 32nd to 18th following the addition of Jared Allen before last season. Jared Allen will need to keep up his disruptive ways, while the return of Kenechi Udeze opposite him on the line could take the pass rush to the next level. Pat and Kevin Williams still form an impenetrable wall in the middle of the line, virtually shutting down opposing running games with their fatness.
Chad Greenway’s superb 2008 led the way for an average linebacker corps, as he accumulated 150 tackles and 5.5 sacks. He’ll be important for this defense, as its weakness lies in the second and third tiers. The secondary will need to replace Darren Sharper, but still includes Madieu Williams, Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield.
Kicker Ryan Longwell made 29 of 34 field goals last season, and is back for ’09. Harvin has a good shot at returning both kicks and punts, and could be very dangerous in both roles.
Brett Favre may be exactly what this team needs, as the defense plays with plenty of energy and intensity, and routinely leads the league in defending against the run. Percy Harvin could make the offense close to unstoppable if someone can get him the ball. The Vikings are a top contender for the Lombardi trophy if that happens.