If Dalvin Cook can stay healthy after playing in just 15 of 32 games since turning pro, Minnesota will give him every opportunity to become a stud starting running back.
Last year was all about Kirk Cousins. The Minnesota Vikings broke the bank to give the quarterback $84 million guaranteed over three years and everyone hoped he was the missing ingredient that would lead the team to the Super Bowl. Instead, the Vikings went 0-6 against the best teams on their schedule, including a Week 17 loss that kept them out of the playoffs against a Chicago Bears team that had nothing to play for. To be fair, it certainly wasn’t Cousins’ fault. A shoddy offensive line had him scrambling from the pocket constantly, making it very difficult for the attack to develop any kind of consistency. The Vikings finished at 8-7-1 straight up and against the spread.
Minnesota Vikings Acquisitions and Transactions
The Vikes brought in number of new faces to help the o-line. They signing Josh Kline, Dakota Dozier, and Shamar Stephen, and also drafted centre Garrett Bradbury. Maybe more importantly, Minnesota fired John DeFilippo and hired Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison to fix the line and spark the running game. Kubiak might end up being the best move this team has made in a while. With Dalvin Cook two years removed from his nasty knee injury and a renewed focus on the running game, the Vikings feel like they can be a contender again this season.
Minnesota Vikings 2019 NFL Schedule
The NFC North is going to be battle from the opening snap of the season and there are a number of nasty matchups outside of the division for the Vikings, too. They go on the road for games against the Chiefs, Cowboys, Seahawks, and Chargers. Chances are they’ll need to win a couple of those tough tilts and hold their own against NFC North rivals to stay in the playoff picture.
Week 1 Sun., Sept. 8 – Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Week 2 Sun., Sept. 15 – Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Week 3 Sun., Sept. 22 – Oakland Raiders vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Week 4 Sun., Sept. 29 – Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 5 Sun., Oct. 6 – Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Week 6 Sun., Oct. 13 – Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Week 7 Sun., Oct. 20 – Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Week 8 Thurs., Oct. 24 – Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m. ET on FOX/NFL Network (Thursday Night Football)
Week 9 Sun., Nov. 3 – Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Week 10 Sun., Nov. 10 – Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC (Sunday Night Football)
Week 11 Sun., Nov. 17 – Denver Broncos vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 12 BYE
Week 13 Mon., Dec. 2 – Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN (Monday Night Football)
Week 14 Sun., Dec. 8 – Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings , 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Week 15 Sun., Dec. 15 – Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC (Sunday Night Football)
Week 16 Mon., Dec. 23 – Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN (Monday Night Football)
Week 17 Sun., Dec. 29 – Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Minnesota Vikings NFL Betting and Odds
Oddsmakers have the Vikings at -175 to miss the playoffs again with a regular season win total over/under of 9.5 (under -143). The truth of the matter is that this club could easily win double-digit games and take the NFC North crown (+210), or drive this season into the ditch just like they did last year. A lot will depend on how successful Kubiak is in reworking this offensive line. If Cook can stay healthy after playing in just 15 of 32 games since turning pro, Minnesota will give him every opportunity to become a stud starting running back. Cook has all the tools to do just that and if does, that will go a long way in helping Cousins connect with elite wideouts Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Each of those receivers could fly by 1,000 receiving yards if they can stay healthy.
On defence, Minnesota will miss Sheldon Richardson, who signed with the Cleveland Browns, but this unit that ranked among the top 10 in most categories last year remains largely unchanged. The Vikings were fourth overall in total defence, third in passing yards allowed and ninth in points allowed. Minnesota still owns one of the nastiest defences around but will need to start forcing more turnovers to help an offence that wants to lean on the running game. Last year the Vikings had 20 takeaways and 20 giveaways.
Minnesota Vikings Prediction
The Vikings come into this season with a lot to prove. If they can’t get back to the post-season now, management may need to make some serious moves. This is a very experienced group and the nucleus of the team has been together for a while, so the Vikes certainly aren’t lacking experience. If everything falls just right, they could win the division with Cook emerging as a star in the backfield and two elite wide receivers stretching the field. Then again, if the o-line struggles to mesh early, the entire offence will be held back again. Prediction: The Minnesota Vikings go 10-6 and head back to the post-season, but can’t advance to the NFC Championship game.