The Minnesota Vikings are entering the 2017 NFL season as an underdog in the NFC. They are not given a great chance to regain the NFC North division title, as the Green Bay Packers are once again viewed as one of the teams to beat in the conference. Despite not being hyped up entering the season, the Vikings have high expectations for their 2017 campaign.
Last season, the Vikings ended up with an 8-8 record, which placed them third in the NFC North. It wasn’t the season that they were looking for, but it was a season of change.
After seeing Teddy Bridgewater go down with a gruesome knee injury, Minnesota turned to Sam Bradford to be their starter. Adrian Peterson was expected to take some of the pressure off of the aerial attack, but a season-ending injury limited him to just 37 carries. Bradford handled the season well and is heading into 2017 listed as the Vikings’ starter.
Needless to say, it will be intriguing to see what the NFC North looks like at the end of the season. Green Bay is the clear favorite, with Minnesota and the Detroit Lions being contenders. Chicago is not currently expected to be in the picture, but stranger things have happened.
All of that being said, what bold predictions can be made for the Minnesota Vikings heading into the 2017 NFL season?
Dalvin Cook Will Win Offensive Rookie of the Year
After moving on from Adrian Peterson this offseason, the Vikings were thrilled to snag Florida State star Dalvin Cook in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Cook will be a difference maker for the Vikings as a rookie, and it will translate into major success. Due to that success, Cook will end up winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
Sam Bradford Will Throw for 4,000 Yards, 35-plus Touchdowns
It has been an up-and-down career for Sam Bradford, but he seems to have found a home in Minnesota. Bradford will come through with a massive season, racking up 4,000 yards and 35 or more touchdowns. Minnesota will likely commit to Bradford long-term following that kind of season, which will mean a disappointing end for Bridgewater.
Laquon Treadwell Compiles Over 1,000 Receiving Yards
Sticking with the offensive side of the football, Laquon Treadwell is an intriguing name in Minnesota. He was drafted with the No. 23 overall pick last year and was expected to be a playmaker in 2016. Treadwell didn’t end up making an impact, but will step up in a big way this season with over 1,000 receiving yards.
Minnesota Will Finish 12-4, Win the NFC North Title
At this point in time, finishing ahead of the Packers isn’t something that is talked about much for the Vikings. Green Bay has a lot of talent on paper, but that doesn’t matter to the Vikings. Minnesota will end up finishing the 2017 season with a 12-4 record and will win the NFC North division.
Do you think the Minnesota Vikings will win the NFC North division title? If not, where do you see them ending up? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.
[Featured Image by Andy Clayton-King/AP Images]