Hawk’s 2014 NFL Preview: NFC North Edition

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Minnesota Vikings
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Adrian Peterson is probably the best running back in the league. He has held that title for several years now, but he can only do so much by himself. This is the only team in the entire division that has a question mark at quarterback. It’s inconsistent Matt Cassel with the current starting job, and the newly drafted Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville, who hopes that he will someday win the position. Bridgewater doesn’t appear to be quite NFL ready yet. At one point Bridgewater was predicted to be drafted first overall but fell all the way to 32nd. That’s a significant drop, so I assume the scouts saw something in him that they didn’t like.

Greg Jennings was the top target for this team catching 68 balls for 804 yards. A role that second year receiver Cordarrelle Patterson may take over. Patterson was my sleeper pick last year to be rookie of the year. He started the first half of the season slow. You can’t really expect a guy to find his groove when he has 3 different starting quarterback throwing to him when he’s trying to learn the ins and outs of the National Football League. He turned it on in the second half though, both as a receiver and a kick returner, and could be a star in the making.

Defensively the Vikings were dead last in the NFL in points allowed, giving up 30 a game, barely worse then division rival Bears who gave up 29.9. Like the Bears the Vikings spent most of their draft picks on defense. 7 out of 9 picks were defenders, as were 7 of their 8 free agents signed.

It will be a rebuilding year defensively for this team with a lot of youth and new faces. Not good in a division that is probably the strongest offensively in the NFL. Expect another dead last finish in the division for the Vikings again this season.