The Minnesota Vikings did improve in its first year under head coach Mike Zimmer and now the fans are eager to see what happens in year two. QB Teddy Bridgewater became a starter in Week 3 and went 5-4 in his last nine games of the seasons. His improvement as well as that of the Vikings defense will play a big role in how far the Vikings go during the 2015 season. The Vikings will also have RB Adrian Peterson back. Peterson played in the 2014 season opener and then missed the rest of the season serving a suspension while dealing with the legal system and the disciplining of his four-year-old son. Peterson is arguably the NFL’s best running back and could go a long way in helping Bridgewater develop as a quarterback. A strong Vikings running game will take some of the pressure off of Bridgewater and the passing game.
Having both Bridgewater and Peterson back on the field has made sportsbook in Vegas take notice cautiously listing the Minnesota Vikings as +3300 longshots in Super Bowl predictions to win on February 7th, +1800 to win the NFC Conference title and +600 in NFL odds to win the NFC North division. Bridgewater will have wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and the speedy Mike Wallace, obtained in a trade with Miami. Minnesota is also very high on tight end Kyle Rudolph (6-4, 250) who, if he can stay healthy, could blossom into one of the league’s biggest surprises. Zimmer will continue to build the Vikings defense. Minnesota added LB Casey Matthews, S Taylor Mays, and CB Terence Newman in the offseason. The club used its first two picks in the draft to pick up CB Trae Waynes from Michigan State and LB Eric Kendricks from UCLA.
Defensive end Everson Griffin (6-3, 273) returns. He led the team with 12 sacks last season. LB Anthony Barr was a candidate for the league’s Defensive Rookie of the Year until a knee injury sidelined him. Both players were a big part of why Minnesota improved from last in the NFL in scoring defense in 2013 to 11th last year. The Vikings do play in one of the toughest divisions in the league, the 2015 NFC North. They will face both Green Bay (12-4) and Detroit (11-5) twice. The good news is that the only other team that the Vikings play that had a winning record last year is Arizona (11-5). That being said, gamblers have a profitable option when looking at NFL odds for the Minnesota Vikings regular season win total which currently posted in Vegas at 7.5 OVER (-185).
Vikings Update (9/12/15): Minnesota are now +3300 favorites in Super Bowl predictions, +1600 to win the NFC Conference and +425 to win the NFC North.