The Minnesota Vikings did not do everything they set out to achieve last season, but they also didn’t completely fall apart, unlike their miserable 2018 season. The Vikings have reasons to be cautiously optimistic about what they can achieve. However, they also know that they have not been to the Super Bowl in 43 years. The Vikings need to end that drought, as a deep playoff run is the measure of success, and nothing less will satisfy this organization. If the Vikings are going to go the distance and liberate themselves from frustration, what do they need to do?… Here is a look at the latest Super Bowl Odds
The Vikings had an active offseason where they swung a trade with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills sent Stefon Diggs packing in exchange for a bunch of picks. The Stefon Diggs-Adam Thielen-Kirk Cousins chemistry in the locker room wasn’t good, so the Vikings felt they had to bust up that combination and try again with a new collection of receivers in support of Thielen, their main man.
Minnesota lost Everson Griffen in free agency to the Dallas Cowboys but acted swiftly to get a big-name pass rusher in return. The Vikings snagged Yannick Ngakoue from the Jacksonville Jaguars in a trade. It will be fascinating to see how the defense performs with Griffen out and Ngakoue in.
NFL sports betting handicappers should note that linebacker Cameron Smith is out for the season due to heart surgery.
The X-factor last year is the same as this year: Cousins. It can’t be anyone else. Yes, the offensive line does need to perform well in order for Cousins to be in position to play his best. But, Cousins is still the bigger key to the Vikings. He made poor decisions in a number of important regular-season games last year, hurting the Vikings’ chances of overtaking the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. Cousins is getting paid superstar-level money, and last year, he didn’t deliver superstar-level results. It is true Cousins played extremely well in a road playoff upset of the New Orleans Saints. That game represented everything the Vikings hoped they would get when they signed Cousins to a mega-deal and re-upped him in the offseason
The key is for that version of Cousins to show up on a regular basis, not occasionally. The typical career pattern has been for Cousins to have a tremendous game one week, and bad one the next. There has been lots of variance among games over the course of a 16-game schedule. If Cousins can eliminate that pattern and become a reliable passer, the Vikings have the defense and the skill players to make a deep run in the NFC.
The Vikings play their six NFC North games, plus four interconference games against the AFC South. There are four games against the NFC South. Add on two at-large games at the Seahawks and at home against the Cowboys. The schedule is rough, but the Vikings ought to be able to go at least 4-2 in their division and 2-2 against the AFC South. The key is if the Vikings can go 3-1 against the NFC South instead of 2-2. If they can do that, they should definitely get a 10-win season and own enough tiebreakers within the NFC to make the playoffs. Go with the over for their regular-season win total in the sportsbook.