The Minnesota Vikings are looking to improve on a (8-8) 2018 regular season campaign, where they were unable to make the playoffs down the stretch. This offense was not working with OC John Defilippo calling the shots for QB Kirk Cousins who was signed to a massive contract in the offseason. There were a number of offseason moves made to try to sure up that side of the ball, starting with the hiring of Gary Kubiak, a championship coach who knows how to win with a pocket passing QB i.e. Peyton Manning. The drafting of center Garret Bradbury should help sure up the line to help protect QB Kirk Cousins who needs time in the pocket to be successful. Having a healthy RB in Dalvin Cook will also help matters as he is one of the most explosive weapons in the league when right. This offense has the weapons to improve on a 20th ranked total yards offense to go along with a defense that has remained in the top 5 in the league. This season kicks off at home against the high flying Atlanta Falcons.
Week 1 vs Atlanta Falcons
QB Kirk Cousins will come into this season with a lot to prove after the below average year he had in the prior year. Luckily this defense returns all of its key contributors as they should be able to get pressure on QB Matt Ryan and force them to run the ball. Also this Falcons defense was not very good in 2018 allowing points in bunches which I do not see improving. Give me the Vikings to start off with a win.
Week 2 at Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers struggled in 2018 as Aaron Rodgers did not seem right and he was getting absolutely no help on offense. I believe new head coach Matt LaFleur will allow Rodgers to have the autonomy he needs to be successfully putting his team in the right positions. I see Rodgers and this new look offense to throw this Vikings defense off of their game on the road. Give me the Pack.
Week 3 vs Oakland Raiders
Although the Raiders have retooled through the draft and have acquired possibly the best WR in the game in Antonio Brown, the Vikings defense is just too talented. The Vikings will be able to get pressure on Carr who takes too many risks and force enough mistakes for a home win. Give me the Vikes at home.
Week 4 at Chicago Bears
It is hard to win at Soldier Field to begin with let alone against one of the best defenses in the league in the Chicago Bears, led by Khalil Mack. I see this Vikings offensive line cracking in this one as it is unable to buy enough time for Cousins to move the ball down the field. Give me the Bears at home for the win.
Week 5 at New York Giants
Although this is a road game, this Giants team has nowhere near the talent of the Vikings. Eli Manning will barely be able to get the ball snapped to him before he is on the turf. Give me the better offensive and defensive team in this one in the Vikings.
Week 6 vs Philadelphia Eagles
In a rematch of the 2017-2018 NFC Championship game, I see the tables turned in this one. I think the Vikings defense is more talented than the Eagles and I think they will be able to keep this game close down the stretch. In very close games I always lean to the home team, where I think QB Kirk Cousins delivers the goods for a win.
Week 7 at Detroit Lions
The Minnesota Vikings will win this game alone on their defense. This Lions teams lacks offensive weapons to be able to move the ball down the field and the Vikings have one of the top run defenses in the league. Give me the Vikings to win on the road.
Week 8 vs Washington Redskins
This Redskins defense will come into this season not knowing how their QB position is going to play out between Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins. With either a turnover prone or rookie QB leading the charge against a top 5 defense in the Vikings, I have to go the Vikings way, especially at home.
Week 9 at Kansas City Chiefs
This Vikings defense will be able to put immense pressure on QB Patrick Mahomes and their #1 ranked points per game and total yards offense. I see this young Vikings defensive core able to force Mahomes into tricky situations and do enough to allow this offense to exploit a below average Chiefs defense.
Week 10 at Dallas Cowboys
This will be a tough matchup for the Dallas Cowboys as this will be a ground and pound affair where this defense will force the Cowboys to throw the ball. QB Dak Prescott will not have much time to get rid of the ball as I believe the Vikings better defense will prevail and the lead to win in Arlington.
Week 11 vs Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are a team that looks to build off of a QB in Joe Flacco who was replaced by QB Lamar Jackson in Baltimore. This trade did not help this team much as they just swapped one turnover prone quarterback for another. I see this Vikings defense giving them fits at home and Kirk Cousins able to exploit this defense for a win.
Week 12 Bye
Week 13 at Seattle Seahawks
This will be a tough test for this team as they have to travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks and the 12th man. The impact of Seattle’s fan base is real and I think Russell Wilson and company will ride that momentum to make enough plays to force a shootout. Problem is that this Vikings offense isn’t built for that; give me the Seahawks.
Week 14 vs Detroit Lions
I see this as a repeat of their week 7 matchup as the Vikings roll.
Week 15 at Los Angeles Chargers
I see this traveling to the West coast being a problem especially since Phillip Rivers and company whom I see making the playoffs as well. I think this Chargers offense will be able to stretch the field and turn this one into a shootout where Kirk Cousins will keep it close, but he isn’t close to the gunslinger Rivers is. Give me the Bolts.
Week 16 vs Green Bay Packers
I think Mike Zimmer and company will be able to build off of their week 2 early matchup and know where they can exploit this Packers offense. I see the better defense prevailing in this one as I see Rodgers having no time in the pocket to improvise.
Week 17 vs Chicago Bears
This will be a tough one but in a game fighting for playoff positioning I lean towards the home team. I think this Vikings defense will be able to offset the explosiveness of the Bears defense and allow QB Kirk Cousins to show why he was worth so much heading into last season. Give me the Vikes in a squeaker.
This line seems low to me as this team had 8 wins last year and you can only expect the play of QB Kirk Cousins to improve having a new offensive coordinator that fits his style. I think as long as RB Dalvin Cook and company remain healthy this team will have zero issues of hitting the over.