Minnesota Vikings News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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4/10/14: Defensive lineman Jared Allen became one of the best at his position during his six years in Minnesota. There was a time when the Vikings, with Allen, had one of the best front fours in the game. Vikings' fans are passionate about their team and players, so not only was it bad that Allen was released, it was a cardinal sin when he signed with the rival Chicago Bears. That means that Allen will return to Minnesota at least once a season while he is with Chicago. For his part, Allen respects the team and especially the fans, but fully expects to be booed when he returns.
3/27/14: If you think back just a few years ago, you may remember that the Minnesota Vikings had a very good team which boasted one of the strongest front four in the league. At the time (2010), the defensive line had Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, and Ray Edwards. Things have changed. Ray Edwards left for Atlanta and big money. He washed out. Pat Williams retired, while his StarCaps case was still pending. Jared Allen was allowed to leave a few weeks ago, and looks like he may sign with Seattle. Now Kevin Williams looks like he is out of Minnesota as well. He probably will be looking for a new job soon, but has no offers yet.
3/20/14: The Vikings seemed to have made it their priority to keep their own in this free agency period. To date, they have re-signed QB Matt Cassel, wide receiver Jerome Simpson, offensive lineman Joe Berger and guard Charlie Johnson. Johnson is the latest and has only missed one game in the last three years. Still out there is veteran defensive lineman Jared Allen. There was speculation that the Packers were interested, but they signed Julius Peppers. Allen is only 31, but has hinted at retiring if he cannot find the right deal for him. Considering what the Vikings have done so far, he may be back in Minnesota.
3/13/14: No one really knows who will be playing QB for the Vikings come September. Conventional logic dictates that it will not be Christian Ponder, the former first round pick who got the team to the playoffs in the 2012 season. New head coach Mike Zimmer says that the team would like to have Matt Cassel back if Cassel wants to come back. And then there the free agent option. Star running back Adrian Peterson says that the team instantly would be a playoff team if Michael Vick was the starting QB. Of course, the Vikings have a high draft pick this year, and may try to get a QB that way.
3/6/14: With Mark Davis saying that the city of Oakland is on their last chance, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke buying up a lot of land in L.A., and the Buffalo Bills rejecting the idea of a new stadium in Buffalo and preferring to renovate their own stadium, there is always speculation of a handful of teams moving to Southern California. Minnesota was one of those teams until they were able to agree on building a new stadium for the Vikings. The old Metrodome is now gone and the new stadium will not be ready for two more years, so the Vikings will play at U-Minnesota in 2014 and 2015. Which means playing outdoors.
2/27/14: When a father hires his son, there can always be questions about if said son is deserving of the job or if he got it because of the relationship. That type of question was posed to new Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, whose son Adam is the linebackers coach for the Vikings. The elder Zimmer praised his son and referred to the reports he has received from players who rave about Adam. Sometimes it works out and sometimes not. There is generally a negative feeling about sons in the league until they prove themselves. See, for example, Kyle Shanahan and Brian Schottenheimer as examples.
2/20/14: There is a good chance that the Vikings faithful have not seen the last of QB Christian Ponder. Ponder was a first round pick a few years ago, and was a bit of stretch (some may say a panic move) when he was drafted so highly. He did QB the team to the playoffs in 2012, but that team was entirely carried on Adrian Peterson's monster year. Matt Cassel is now a free agent and may get a shot as a starter elsewhere. The Vikings are expected to pick a QB with the 8th overall pick in May, but Ponder may still be around to provide some competition and as a quality backup for the 2014 season.
2/13/14: If the QBs Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel (and to a lesser extent, Josh Freeman) were not already on notice, they are now. New offensive coordinator Norv Turner publicly stated that the team is in the market for a new young quarterback. That implies that they will draft one, and probably in the first round. Freeman seems like he is out the door already. The question for the Vikings is if they keep either/or Ponder or Cassel. Ponder led them to the playoffs two years ago, but Cassel was much better in 2013. But it looks like if either are kept, they will be backups next season.
2/6/14: The Vikings got past their final major roadblock for building a new stadium last week, as a financial case was essentially dismissed. That paves the way for the state and city to sell bonds to finance the construction of a new stadium. The Vikings will play the next two seasons outdoors at the University of Minnesota, similar to what the Chicago Bears did when Soldier Field was renovated a few years back (they played at the University of Illinois). It seems obvious to many fans that Minnesota should play outdoors and use the cold weather to their advantage. Of course, they may have never been outside in Minnesota for four hours in December before.
1/30/14: Mike Zimmer is now installed as the new head coach in Minnesota, replacing Leslie Frazier. Frazier is now in Tampa as part of Lovie Smith's new staff, serving as the defensive coordinator. Zimmer has hired Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson as part of the offensive staff. The role has yet to be made public, but he may be the offensive coordinator or, at least, work closely on the game planning. Wilson seemed to be in line for the Steelers' OC job two years ago until a house fire left him in the hospital with severe burns. Todd Haley got the job, but that does not seem to be a good match after a couple of years.
1/23/14: Congratulations to Mike Zimmer. Zimmer was a key architect of the Cincinnati Bengals defense for the last several year, making them one of the best units in the league. After far too long of a wait, he finally has the chance to be the head coach. The Vikings have a lot of issues, and it starts with the QB position. Christian Ponder is not the answer today - he should have been on the bench for a couple of years to learn the trade. The Vikings could try to trade up (perhaps to number two with the Rams) and reset the franchise.
1/16/14: Like every other NFL team hiring a new coach this offseason (or ever), the Vikings got the 'right guy'. Minnesota offered the job to long time defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. Zimmer has spent the past six years building up the Cincinnati Bengal defense into one of the best units in the NFL. He previously coached the defenses for Atlanta and Dallas. It will be the first time Zimmer has been the head coach of a team. The Vikings are also looking at Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner for the same position, and presumably a new quarterback.
1/9/14: Like division rival Detroit, the Vikings are searching for their next head coach. Leslie Frazier was fired immediately following the regular season. He has already landed on his feet and will be the defensive coordinator in Tampa under Lovie Smith. The team is saying all the typical things but does not have an elite coach lined up. They interviewed Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles on Monday. They also interviewed former Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton on Tuesday. Arizona has one of the better defenses in the league, and both men are well respected for their work in the league.
1/2/14: The Vikings surprised no one this season (unlike in 2012 where they inexplicably made the playoffs), and that held true on Black Monday when the team fired head coach Leslie Frazier. The team fell to 5-10-1 in 2013 and never got their quarterback situation straightened out. Making matters worse was that the team burned $3 million by signing Josh Freeman in mid-season, and he only played in one game. The coaching search has already started and the Vikings are reportedly interested in Todd Bowles - defensive coordinator for Arizona. Whoever is the next coach must prepare for the cold as the team will spend the next two seasons playing at U-Minnesota in the outdoors.
12/26/13: With the latest loss - a 42-14 rout to the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals (at home, no less) - the coaching hot seat keeps getting warmer for Leslie Frazier. The Vikings surprised everyone last season with a playoff appearance that was largely powered by star running back Adrian Peterson. They have not had the same good fortune this season and will end up having a pretty high draft pick come April. The real questions are who will coach the team next season and who will be quarterback. In the meantime, the Vikings play out the string with their final game hosting the Lions this Sunday.
12/19/13: In the most surprising game of Week 15, the struggling Minnesota Vikings brought it all together and upset the NFC East leading Philadelphia Eagles. To be fair, the Eagles put up yards and points, but the Vikings scored more. Matt Cassel got the call at QB for the game and threw 382 yards and two TDs. WR Greg Jennings had his best game in years with 163 yards and a score. The performance may have secured Cassel a job for next season. The Vikings (4-9-1) face off against the Bengals (9-5) in Cincinnati this coming Sunday.
12/12/13: In a year of tough losses, this may have been the toughest. The Vikings faced the Baltimore Ravens in a blizzard and lost 29-26 on a last second Ravens touchdown. Worse, star running back Adrian Peterson was knocked out of the game in the first half with a foot injury. The injury is being termed a sprained and there is no word if Peterson will miss any more time. QB Matt Cassel threw fro 245 yards and two touchdowns in the snow, which is actually fairly impressive. The loss dropped the Vikings to 3-9-1 on the year. Minnesota returns to the comfy dome this Sunday to host the 8-5 Philadelphia Eagles.
12/5/13: The Vikings have not had a whole lot of success this season, so the few wins they do get are even sweeter. Matt Cassel got another start at QB, and was serviceable while going 20-33 for 243 yards and a TD. But this game was won as most games against Chicago are won - on the ground. The Bears atrocious run defense ruined their chances of winning again as Adrian Peterson logged 211 yards and rookie Coradell Patterson had two rushes for 27 yards and a score. The Vikings are still in last in the NFC North at 3-8-1 and head to 6-6 Baltimore this Sunday.
11/28/13: Minnesota lacks any real chance to make the playoffs, but they are still playing out the string and hoping to find their quarterback. Christian Ponder continues to get the starts while both Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman sit on the bench. Ponder battled the Green Bay Packers to a draw last Sunday, throwing for 233 yards and a touchdown. Adrian Peterson had a monster game with 146 yards rushing and a touchdown. The 26-26 tie hurt the Packers more than it helped the Vikings. Minnesota has the chance to continue playing spoiler with the Bears coming to town this Sunday.
11/21/13: The Vikings sit at 2-8 after their 41-20 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Minnesota was never expected to win the game, but recent play gave some hope that they may be competitive. However, the offense was inept again, and it really seems that no one wants to be the starting QB. Christian Ponder went 13-22 for only 129 yards and one touchdown on the day, to go along with two interceptions.. He was benched for Matt Cassel, who was not much better at 5-13 for 78 yards and a TD and one INT. The Vikings have a week to figure out who will be under center before heading to Green Bay (5-5) this Sunday.
11/14/13: Minnesota earned their second win of the season last Thursday by holding off Washington at home. Christian Ponder got the nod to start at QB on the short week. He was 17 of 21 for 174 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in just under three quarters of work. He left the game with a dislocated shoulder but may be back next week. In a very telling move, Matt Cassell replaced Ponder and not new acquisition Josh Freeman. More importantly, the Vikings earned a much needed win, which was even more pressing considering the last second loss to the Cowboys the week before. The Vikings (2-7) head to Seattle (8-1) this Sunday.
11/7/13: Every loss is tough in the NFL, but some losses are tougher than others. The Vikings played well enough to win on Sunday, but fell to a last second touchdown to the Dallas Cowboys 27-23. The Vikings run defense was outstanding as Cowboys ran only a handful of times and only twice in the second half. Christian Ponder was the QB du Jour and put up Christian Ponder numbers: 23 of 37 for 236 yards and a touchdown. Hardly spectacular, but was good enough to earn another start in the Thursday Night Game against Washington (3-6)
10/31/13: The season just keeps getting longer for the Vikings as they suffered another loss last week. This time, it was a 44-31 loss to division rival Green Bay on the Sunday Night Game. Christian Ponder got the start at QB and was again ineffective. He threw for only 145 yards and no touchdowns. He got the call because new QB Josh Freeman suffered a concussion in his debut the previous week. The Vikings' season is out of control with a 1-6 record. However, it will be interesting to watch the development of WR Coradell Patterson and other young players. Minnesota travels to Dallas (4-4) this Sunday.
10/24/13: The Vikings certainly do not look like the team that surprised everyone and made the playoff last season so far. Minnesota started new quarterback Josh Freeman in the Monday Night Game, but it did nothing to help their sputtering offense. Freeman was historically bad, going 20-53 for 190 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception in his Vikings debut. Unofficially, 16 of his 33 incompletions were overthrows. Part of this may be adjusting to new receivers and scheme, but Freeman is an experienced and talented veteran who should be able to adjust better. The Vikings are now 1-5 and face Green Bay 4-2) at Lambeau in this Sunday's night game.
10/17/13: The Vikings made the move to sign QB Josh Freeman as a free agent after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He did not start, but may next week. Matt Cassel got the call even though original starter Christian Ponder was available. Cassel led the team to their only win of the season a few weeks ago. But they needed more than any of these three as Carolina demolished the Vikings 35-10. The Vikings loss drops them to 1-4 on the year. They are in last place in the NFC North but have a good chance for a win in their next game - a Monday Night event at the New York Giants (0-6) in a game that the schedule-makers did not envision having only one win between both teams.
10/10/13: The Vikings returned from London and their reward was a bye week. Matt Cassel was the starting QB in London against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he may have to look for a new job soon. Or maybe Christian Ponder will be out in the cold. Minnesota signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers' QB Josh Freeman to a contract for the remainder of the season. Freeman has struggled under Greg Schiano, but is still a capable QB and a former first round pick. He will likely not start this Sunday against the Panthers (1-4), but may get the nod in the weeks following.
10/3/13: Minnesota won their first game of the season by defeating the winless Pittsburgh Steelers 34-27 in London on Sunday. The NFL probably did not expect both teams to be winless going into the game, but that is exactly what happened. Backup QB Matt Cassel started for injured Christian Ponder and was surprisingly good. He threw for 248 yards, two TDs and no interceptions. Minnesota took a 20-10 halftime lead but nearly squandered it. They were able to force a redzone fumble at the end of the game to seal their first victory. The Vikings have a week off with their bye in Week 5.
9/26/13: The Vikings were on the wrong side of the upset of the week, losing 31-27 to the visiting Cleveland Browns. The Browns were winless going into the game, were starting a previously third string quarterback (Brian Hoyer), and had just traded away their best player in Trent Richardson. But the Browns kept after the Vikings and ended up winning. Vikings QB Christian Ponder ran for two touchdowns, but that was pretty much the highlights for Minnesota. The Vikings now need to regroup and focus on the task at hand as they sit at 0-3 on the season. Next up: The Vikings host winless Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon.
9/19/13: The Vikings are 0-2 this season and not looking anything like the playoff team from a year ago. Twelve months ago, the Vikings shocked the 49ers, a win that propelled them to Adrian Peterson's near record setting season and a post-season birth. In Week 2, the Vikings could not hold on to a late lead against the Chicago Bears, as Jay Cutler threw a late TD to win the game 31-30. The Vikings may be the best 0-2 team in the league, but the NFC North is very difficult. Minnesota stays home this week to host the Cleveland Browns (0-2).
9/12/13: The Vikings got off to the right start. Adrian Peterson took his first carry of the season 70+ yards for a touchdown and an early lead over the rival Lions. But it got tougher from there. Peterson only managed another 15 yards on the ground the rest of the day and the Vikings turned the ball over too many times. Offensive lineman Johnathan Sullivan was injured when Lions' defensive tackle Suh threw a cheapshot block on a turnover. Suh has been fined $100,000 but no suspension. The Vikings have to put the tough start behind them, they now move on to Chicago to face the Bears, who beat the Bengals in their opener.
9/4/13: Despite getting to the playoffs last season, many still doubt Vikings QB Christian Ponder. Ponder is entering his third season, so there is reason to believe the game is slowing down for him. The Vikings, of course, still have the best running back in the league in Adrian Peterson and some new wide receivers in Greg Jennings and Corradelle Patterson. Ponder may be running more this year than in past years. He is actually a pretty athletic guy, but there has not been any reason for him to run so far. The Vikings open the season against NFC North rival Detroit Lions on Sunday.
8/29/13: A year ago most experts scoffed when Vikings QB Christian Ponder said the team was going to the playoffs. There was little reason to believe in the Vikings at the time, but they did manage to make the postseason behind a historic year by running back Adrian Peterson. Fast forward to the current day and most people still do not respect the Vikings. They are, however, upgraded at receiver with Greg Jennings and Coradelle Patterson. The key to the season will be if Ponder can step up and deliver like he did late very last year.
8/22/13: What is the ceiling for star running back Adrian Peterson? Just about every fantasy league in the country has him as the first overall pick after last year's clinic on rushing. He came just nine yards short of the single season record, and that is in a league that favors quarterbacks and wide receivers. Peterson may well eclipse 2,000 yards again, but the pressure is really on QB Christian Ponder to step up. New WRs Greg Jennings and rookie Corradell Patterson should help. Patterson has looked great in the preseason, and may be the best rookie WR this year.
8/15/13: New wide receiver Greg Jennings got some flack for his perceived slight of Aaron Rodgers a few weeks ago, and now he is getting more after saying that the Packers "brainwashed" their players into thinking every other franchise was terrible to play for. All organizations want their employees to believe that they are the best place in the world, so that would not be unusual. In response, some Green Bay area merchants are now giving away old Packer Jennings jerseys. No word yet on if they will torch those that are not claimed by fans without the $70 dollars to buy another jersey.
8/8/13: New Vikings WR and former Green Bay Packer Greg Jennings apologized for comments about Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, sort of. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier spoke to Jennings about his comments towards his former QB. Jennings said he was joking and taking a jab at Rodgers. When asked if he would call and apologize, Jennings said he was apologizing right there and there is no reason to call. To be fair, this seems like a joke that was overblown by the media during the slowest time during the year. And if Rodgers has a real problem, then he should probably learn to lighten up.
8/1/13: Perhaps it is gamesmanship or maybe he really feels this way, but new Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings is saying what he can to get at Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers. He said that Rodgers, while being a great player and person, is overly sensitive to criticism and is not all about a team. Jennings is probably just trying to egg on Rodgers to help the Vikings, but head coach Leslie Frazier does not see it that way. He said that he will talk to Jennings and put an end to the gamesmanship quickly. Maybe he should not do that. If Jennings can get under Rodgers' skin then it could be a competitive advantage going forward.
7/25/13: Of course the biggest question facing the Vikings this year is if Christian Ponder can develop into a franchise quarterback. He showed flashes of brilliance late last season and helped get the team to the playoffs. But he still has something to prove. The other question is if Joe Webb can make the transition from QB to wide receiver. Webb played a few games at QB a few years ago and was surprisingly effective. But the team drafted Ponder and cast his lot with him. The Vikings could use Webb effectively because he is very elusive and the team needs that threat catching the ball.
7/18/13: There are no two ways around it - the Vikings 2012 season was a complete shock. No one figured they could make the playoffs in the NFC North, particularly with a developing QB in Christian Ponder and running back Adrian Peterson was coming off an ACL tear. Ponder did not have a great year, at least not until the end of the season. Peterson had about the best year in history. As great as it was, experts are expecting a drop in win totals this season. But do not tell the Vikings that. They were the only ones who believed in themselves last year.
7/11/13: There is a lot of consternation among the Vikings' faithful of who is going to step up in the passing game. After all, the team cannot hand off to Adrian Peterson 60 times per game. The addition of Greg Jennings should help. Jennings has been injured and was not much of a factor last season for Green Bay Packers. However, he is not that far removed from well over 1,000 yards and a lot of touchdowns. If he is healthy, and all indications so far say he is, then Jennings could be ready for a great comeback season and make life in Minnesota easier for starting QB Christian Ponder.
7/4/13: The Vikings added yet another former Green Bay Packers player, this time signing linebacker Desmond Bishop to $750,000 deal. He is just the latest in a growing line of Vikings players who played for the division rival Packers, including Greg Jennings and Brett Favre. In other news, Adrian Peterson was selected as the best player in all of football. He is deserving of the award - having returned from a torn ACL from December 24, 2011 to not only lead the league in rushing the following season, but come up only nine yards short of the all-time single season rushing record.
6/27/13: It is all smiles around the Vikings camp this year. A big part of that is that the team traded away the always unhappy Percy Harvin. Adrian Peterson answered some questions about Harvin, saying that there were no problems between the disgruntled receiver and the team, but also that it was best that Harvin is gone. It also helps that the team signed Greg Jennings and drafted Coradell Peterson. The question, as always, is if QB Christian Ponder can make the leap to the next level. He needs to be a field general rather than a game manager. At least he can always hand off to the best running back in the game.
6/20/13: Minnesota is looking to become Green Bay West. A few years ago, they signed former Green Bay QB, and future Hall of Famer Brett Favre. Favre wanted to stick it to the Packers and he did. He almost got the team to the Super Bowl - just a last second interception ruined that magical run. This year they have signed Greg Jennings to bolster a young group of wide recievers and help out Christian Ponder. They are also taking a look at former Packer Desmond Bishop. Bishop was released by the Pack due to ongoing injuries and new depth. So if the Packers ever let you go, then you may have a job in Minnesota.
6/13/13: Former Vikings WR Percy Harvin moped around for the past two seasons. Maybe he, as a former Florida Gator, did not like catching passes from Christian Ponder, a former Florida State Seminole. Or maybe he is just a diva. No one really knows. What is known is that the Vikings have to replace his productivity after shipping him off to Seattle for a first round pick. Veteran Greg Jennings, formerly of the rival Packers, is expected to fill that role. People forget that Jennings is still fairly young and is finally healthy. If Ponder continues to improve, then the Vikings could sneak back into the playoffs this year.
6/6/13: New Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings is opening up about his decision to move on to Minnesota instead of resigning with Green Bay. Jennings says that he spoke to former Packer and Vikings QB Brett Favre about a potential move, and Favre gave him the pros and the cons. The cons, apparently, was that the team had below average facilities. The pro was the welcoming nature of the Vikings organization. Jennings said that the fact that he felt like he was wanted was the biggest draw - even if it means catching passes from Christian Ponder instead of Aaron Rodgers.
5/30/13: Well the Vikings were not able to sign another cornerstone from a division foe. In they got Brett Favre (via the New York Jets) and recently pulled in wide receiver Greg Jennings. So it was only natural that the Vikings would try to acquire former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. It just did not work out. Instead, Urlacher chose to retire rather than play in another uniform. Minnesota needs some depth at linebacker, so it would not be surprising if they wait a few months and try to get a veteran after training camp cuts in August.
5/23/13: Just a few years ago, Joe Webb made a couple late season spot starts at QB for an injured Brett Favre - the first time Favre had missed a start in over 200 games. He did well and got a couple of victories. But it has been difficult for him to get on the field the last few years - since the team drafted Christian Ponder in the first round and named him the starter. Webb will have a better chance of getting some playing time now that he is moving to wide receiver - which he played in college. It also gives the Vikings the opportunity to use him on trick plays.
5/16/13: The Vikings are kind of becoming a secondary landing spot for former NFC Central stars. Brett Favre found his way there, and he encouraged Greg Jenning to try it out. Now, former Bears heart and soul Brian Urlacher is considering donning the purple in the near future. Urlacher is said to also be considering the Broncos. Denver probably has a better chance of advancing further in the playoffs than the Vikings, but maybe Urlacher feels he can have more of an impact on Minnesota's defense, plus the chance to punish the Bears two times each year.
5/9/13: A couple of intriguing items out of Vikings camp this week. First, defensive lineman Jared Allen says that QB Christian Ponder has to step up and take more of a leadership position within the team. Allen is not saying this as a criticism, but more for encouragement. While Allen is on the front lines, the need somebody behind him, literally. Minnesota moved around to get three first round picks, but did not address their middle linebacker position. Erin Henderson is the favorite to get the job, but there will be a competition for it. Also available, former Bears legend Brian Urlacher.
5/2/13: The Vikings draft grades from 'experts' has been all over the board. Some experts love that they were bold and traded around to get three first round selections. Others cite that they gave the New England Patriots too much to move up the 29th pick (to select Tennessee wide receiver Coradarrell Patterson). After the dust settled, the picked Sharrif Floyd (defensive tackle, Florida at No. 23), Xavier Rhodes (cornerback, Florida State at No. 25), and Patterson. In any case, they beefed up their defense and are trying to find a red zone target to help QB Christian Ponder.
4/25/13: The Vikings will have two picks in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday, the 23rd (their own) and the 25th from Seattle. Minnesota was, of course, much better than expected last year, largely due to Adrian Peterson putting the team on his back and Christian Ponder playing very well when he needed to. But the Vikings are a flawed team, so it is expected that they will address those needs this coming weekend. More than anything, they need a game breaking wide receiver – just like the one they traded to Seattle (Percy Harvin). Tavon Austin from West Virginia has been climbing draft boards and is a Harvin clone. Perhaps the Viking will package some picks to move up and take him.
4/18/13: As a bit of a surprise, Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams is taking a major pay cut to stay with the team. Williams restructured his deal. Instead of making $7.5 million next season, he will make $4.9 million and have the chance to be a free agent at the end of next season - unless Williams and the team agree to another new agreement. Williams is a five time first team Pro Bowler, but will be 33 in August. He only had 20 tackles and two sacks last year, but the Vikings are hoping he regains his strength and leadership as they try to climb the NFC North ladder.
4/11/13: Just under a year ago, Vikings QB Christian Ponder said that his goal was the Super Bowl for this team. Most people laughed him off, but the Vikings were resilient. They won enough games to unseed the favored Chicago Bears and earned a trip to the playoffs. That was a short lived trip as Green Bay knocked them out in the first round. But the seed is there. The sum of this team is greater than the parts, and they could once again sneak into the playoffs. They do need a replacement for Percy Harvin, but there are viable candidates available in the draft.
4/4/13: The Vikings are still better than people give them credit for. No one will argue that Christian Ponder is an elite QB. He was probably drafted too high and will continue to make mistakes. But Ponder is one of the smarter players in the game. The Vikings game plan is centered around Adrian Peterson, which allows Ponder the chance to develop (remember, he has only been in the league two years). Let us also not forget that the Vikings made the playoffs last year. And, since Green Bay is allergic to defense, this may the chance Minnesota needs to win the NFC Central this year.
3/28/13: There are two ways to get security as the starting quarterback in the NFL - be better than everyone else by a large margin, or make sure your backup is not a threat (Peyton Manning has a history of doing both). So no one in the Vikings organization was happier probably than Christian Ponder when the team signed former Chiefs QB Matt Cassel to a one year free agent contract to serve as Ponder's backup. Ponder is not elite, and was certainly a reach when he was selected in the first half of the first round, but he is certainly better than Cassel.
3/21/13: At some point, Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers are going to have to kiss and make up. But we are not at that point yet. Favre reportedly advised free agent wide receiver Greg Jennings to sign with the Packers hated rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. Jennings should immediately become the team's number one receiver, especially with the trading of Percy Harvin, and the fact that no one outside of the twin cities can name another WR on the roster. Hopefully, the bad blood between the Packers and Favre will subside. In the meantime, this is good news for the Vikings.
Unfortunately your team did not have make the Super Bowl and we are truly sorry. Next year! But that doesn't mean you can't have a great time at the Super Bowl this year. Check out more info on Super Bowl 2013 tickets over on the SeatGeek Blog.
3/14/13: Minnesota finally got rid of their Percy Harvin headache. Harvin, easily the team's best wide receiver, has complained and moped about the Vikings for well over a year and may have asked for a trade some time ago. The Vikings sent him to the Seattle Seahawks for a first and seventh round pick in April, and a midround pick next year. That is a pretty steep price to pay for Harvin. Minnesota is now reportedly interested in signing former Packers number one WR Greg Jennings. When healthy, Jennings is a top end receiver, and does not come with the immaturity or attitude of Percy Harvin.
3/7/13: Tennessee Titans running back (running backwards?) Chris Johnson appeared on national TV this week and claimed that he will have more yards than Adrian Peterson next season. Peterson responded via Twitter, but took a high road rather than get involved in flame war with CJ2K. He basically said why would he care what Johnson says. Peterson is the reigning MVP and almost broke the single season rushing record in 2012, while Johnson again struggled, with the exception of the 95 yard TD run against the Jets. Just remember: MVPeterson, and not CJ500 when fantasy drafts come around.
2/28/13: Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman repeated tells people that he does not have any intent on trading away wide receiver Percy Harvin. That is not the same thing as saying he will not trade away the disgruntled wide out. So now there is a lot of speculation on what will happen and how much the Vikings can get for Harvin. Harvin has not been happy with the team for a long time now and is entering the final year of his rookie contract. That may well discount his value because teams may believe that he is just a rental looking to make a big payday when he is a free agent. So while many teams may want Harvin, probably few will actively pursue him.
2/14/13: The Vikings extended head coach Leslie Frazier's contract through the 2014 season. Had Indianapolis not had such an amazing story this past year - with head coach Chuck Pagano battling leukemia, assistant coach Bruce Arians leading the team to a 9-3 record in Pagano's absence, and rookie QB Andrew Luck acting like a veteran field marshal on the way to the playoffs, then Frazier may well have won Coach of the Year honors. After all, the Vikings were expected to win four or five games, but instead won 10 and made the playoffs. The extension is well deserved for one of the good guys in the NFL.
2/7/13: In a highly contested race, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson won the league's Most Valuable Player award over Peyton Manning. In truth, he deserved it. Both had outstanding seasons and Manning won the Comeback Player of the Year Award. However, Peterson single-handedly carried the Vikings to the playoffs. His 2000+ rushing yards took a projected 5 win team to 10 wins. Manning made a playoff team better, but Peterson was more deserving this year against a tougher schedule. Peterson now has his sights on 2,500 yards next season, and he may be able to do in full health.
1/31/13: Adrian Peterson thinks that he will win the Most Valuable Player award for the 2012 season, and publicly said so. All the votes are in, though the winner has not yet been announced. Denver quarterback Peyton Manning is considered the other favorite. Both had major injuries in the 2011 season (Manning: neck; Peterson: ACL), and both returned to elite level in 2012. The edge may go to Peterson because the Vikings were not expected to do much, but his running literally got the team into the playoffs, while the Broncos went to the playoffs the previous year.
1/24/13: The question in Minnesota these days is if Christian Ponder is really the guy who should be quaterbacking the team. Mr. Steele has had two mediocre seasons as the field general in the land of 10,000 lakes, and has not proven himself worthy or unworthy. The only question that is answered is that Joe Webb is not an NFL quarterback at this time. Ponder had arguably the best game of his career against the Packers in Week 17. But he was injured for the playoff game, leaving Vikings coaches and fans to wonder if he is the long-term answer.
1/17/2013: Minnesota's season was surprisingly strong. Not many expected the team to win six games, much less 10 and to make the playoffs. In fact, most experts had the Vikings finishing last in the NFC North. That logic, viewed from August 2012, was hard to argue against. The Packers and Bears were still very strong, and Detroit won 10 games in 2011. But the Vikings answered the bell admirably. And to the victors go the spoils. Four Vikings players were selected to the Pro-Bowl: Adrian Peterson (obviously), kicker Blair Walsh, linebacker Chad Greenway, and fullback Jerome Felton.
1/10/13: Vikings QB Christian Ponder was maligned and ridiculed all season - that is until he was not available. Ponder was a late scratch, forcing the Vikings to play backup Joe Web who had not thrown a pass since the preseason. Ponder had a major contusion on his right triceps and elbow, and was unable to even lift his arm. Without him to keep the Packers defense honest, Green Bay easily subdued the Vikings offense. But the Vikings should be proud. They did make the playoffs despite being generally picked to only win a handful of games.
1/3/13: Many people laughed when Christian Ponder declared, before the season, that the Vikings would make the playoffs. And though it was not pretty by any stretch, the Vikings won 10 games, including their last four, to earn an invitation to the post season. Minnesota battled a Green Bay team that was trying to earn a bye week, finally winning 37-34 on a last second field goal by Blair Walsh. Adrian Peterson ran for 199 yards, finishing only 8 yards shy of equaling Erik Dickerson's single season record. The two teams meet again in the first round this weekend.
12/27/12: Most of the hype going into the Week 16 game against the Texans was running back Adrian Peterson's pursuit of the single season record for most rushing yards (currently held by Erik Dickerson at 2,105). Peterson only managed 86 yards, but more importantly, the Vikings continued their winning ways and kept their playoff hopes alive. The 23-6 road victory surprised many experts, particularly those who forecasted that the Vikings would win only a handful of games this season. A win next week at home against Green Bay will likely get them into the playoffs with a 10-6 record.
12/20/12: The surprising Vikings continue to make a run at the postseason with a convincing 36-22 win in St. Louis over the Rams on Sunday. Unlike other teams with a star running back, the Vikings have learned to rely on Adrian Peterson rather than ask a lower tiered quarterback to carry the team with his arm. Peterson ran for 212 yards, but that included two 50+ yard carries. At any rate, the Vikings have a legitimate shot at a Wild Card spot, and are battling Dallas, Washington, the Giants, and Seattle for the remaining openings. The 8-6 Vikings travel to the 12-2 Texans next Sunday, but the Texans clinched thier division and may start resting players soon.
12/13/12: Even though the Vikings have turned into essentially a one dimensional team - basically run Adrian Peterson left, right, or up the middle, their opponents just cannot stop them. Peterson is having a career year, and is still less than 12 months removed from tearing his ACL. He has a chance to run for 2000 yards this season and is single-handedly keeping the Vikings playoff hopes alive. With 154 yards and two touchdowns, he led Minnesota to a crucial 21-14 win over the Bears. The Vikings now sit at 7-6, and face the surprising St. Louis Rams (6-6-1) in a loser go home matchup this Sunday.
12/6/12: Minnesota let a 14-10 halftime lead evaporate against the Green Bay Packers, finally falling 23-14. Green Bay raced to a 10-0 lead after one quarter before the Vikings rallied in the second. But the Packers proved to be too much in the second half, adding 10 points in the third and another field goal in final frame. The loss was a severe blow to the Vikings playoff chances, and left Green Bay and Chicago tied for the division lead. Minnesota is now 6-6, far better than most expected at the beginning of the season. The Vikings host Chicago this Sunday in a game that could end their playoff hopes.
11/29/12: The Vikings' playoff hopes took a serious hit when a Jay Cutler led bears team dominated the Vikes at Soldier Field, winning 28-10. Had the Vikings won, they would have forced a three way tie at 7-4. Instead, the Bears lead at 8-3, Green Bay at 7-4, and Minnesota at 6-5. Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson, and company have one last great shot to boost their postseason status when they travel to Green Bay to play a Packers team that should get wide receiver Greg Jennings back. A win would tie the Packers and keep a wild card spot possible.
11/22/12: The Vikings are not supposed to be here right now. Experts picked them to finish last in the NFC North, and maybe put together four or five wins. But this team is resilient. Adrian Peterson may be the Comeback Player of the Year (except Peyton Manning is in the mix). The team is 6-4, and has an outside shot at a playoff birth this year. Their next two games may decide the season, at Chicago and at Green Bay. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler may still be sidelined with a concussion, and a division win would go a long way toward pushing Minnesota into playoff contention.
11/15/12: Who knew that the Vikings could win a shootout? Playing in the comfortable confines of the Metrodome, quarterback Christian Ponder threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-24 victory over the Lions. But this was really Adrian Peterson's game. The running back had 171 yards rushing and a touchdown, which may have put an end to the Lions' playoff hopes. The Vikings are now a surprising 6-4, and are in the hunt for the division crown or a wild-card spot. The Norsemen get their bye in Week 11, giving them a chance to rest and plan for a game in Chicago in Week 12.
11/8/12: After an unexpectedly strong start, which included a win over NFC powerhouse San Francisco, the Vikings have dropped three of their last four games. The most recent setback was a 30-20 loss at Seattle, to drop to 5-4. The Vikings trail Chicago by two games and Green Bay by one. While Adrian Peterson has been outstanding in his return after a major knee injury, there is a lot of speculation on whether or not Christian Ponder will keep his starting quarterback position. The Vikings host Detroit this week, and the loser is likely out of the Wild Card race.
11/1/12: Sometimes teams have bad days. The Vikings' defense had one of those on Thursday against Tampa, allowing Doug Martin to rush for 135 yards and a touchdown as well as 79 yards receiving and another touchdown. Bucs' quarterback Josh Freeman threw for 3 TDs, as the Vikings fell at home 36-17. Considering that Minnesota was picked to finish dead last in the NFC North, being 5-3 at the halfway mark is quite impressive - even overachieving. But that is little consolation the Vikings faithful, who are enjoying the sweet taste of victory so far this year. Next game is in Seattle against the Seahawks.
10/18/12: The Vikings fell back to earth this past Sunday, allowing Robert Griffin III and the Redskins to rack up 38 points in a 38-26 road loss. Griffin ran for two touchdowns and seemingly had his way with the Vikings defense after the first quarter. Minnesota led 9-0 after fifteen minutes, but could only manage a field goal in the second and third quarters. The Vikings are still at the top of the NFC North at 4-2. Chicago is 4-1, but Minnesota's bye week is not until Week 11. The Norsemen return home to face Arizona, who has lost their last two games, and will start John Skelton at quarterback.
10/4/12: The only blemish on the Vikings season thus far is a week 2 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, leaving Minnesota at 3-1 through September. The Vikings may be the most surprising team in the NFL thus far, and they are doing it with Christian Ponder's arm (and brain), Adrian Peterson's legs, and a tough, tough run defense. The Vikings are currently tied with Chicago Bears atop the NFC North, but the schedule gets harder in the second half. The Vikings have a chance to get some wins agains the Titans and Redskins in the next two weeks, but then comes the equally surprising Cardinals in week 7.
9/23/12 ? The Minnesota Vikings and their second-year quarterback Christian Ponder are taking big steps this season. Their 24-13 victory over the undefeated San Francisco 49ers was clear proof of this. Against what might be the best defense in the NFL, Ponder threw two touchdown passes to his tight end Kyle Rudolph and also rushed for another to lead the Vikings. Ponder completed 60.0% of his passes and threw for 198 yards. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson ran for 86 yards and wide receiver Percy Harvin caught 9 balls for 89 yards to back their emerging young QB. The 49ers rallied from a 17-3 deficit and cut the lead to 17-13 to end the third quarter. But Ponder was able to find his Rudolph in the back of the endzone for a two-yard touchdown pass that extended that Vikings lead 24-13. The win gives the Vikings a 2-1 record on the year.
8/16/12: Perhaps the legions of fantasy football players simply has too much time on their hands, but all of their concern over Andre Johnson now has the start wide receiver labeled as 'fragile'. Its true that Johnson has never caught double digit touchdowns and has missed significant playing time the past couple of years due to injury. However, Johnson is one of the five best WR in the league, and will be relyed upon very heavily this season considering the lack of experience among the receiving corps. Johnson will play in the second preseason game against San Francisco - and it looks like he has something to prove to all the naysayers.
8/2/12: A big part of coaching is managing, and head coach Leslie Frazier had a lot of managing to do. On top of rebuilding a 3-13 team, he has to deal with an unhappy Percy Harvin requesting out of the Twin Cities and his star running back still recovering from a torn ACL. So he should consider the first week of training camp a success. Harvin is in camp and not complaining. Adrian Peterson is on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but is ahead of schedule, and #1 pick Matt Kalil signed and reported on time. The less distractions the better, as the Vikings need all available hands on deck to recover from last season.
7/26/12: Fairly or unfairly, the time has come for QB Christian Ponder to establish himself as a true starter in the league. Ponder was a mid-first round pick in 2011, which was probably a bit of a reach. He stuggled last season as a rookie, though did not have the benefit of an offseason. This year he does have the benefit of left tackle Matt Kalil to protect his blindside, but still must prove that he can play at this level. In other news, the Patriots signed former Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe to a one-year deal. Shiancoe will be behind both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
The Minnesota Vikings bolstered their defensive line on Thursday by signing defensive lineman Jeff Charleston to a one-year deal. The Vikings had one of the top defensive lines in the league last season, and it was one of the few strong points in a mostly disappointing season. Minnesota will try to turn things around this year and they hope that it will start with their strong defense. In other news, former Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb has told sources that there's an "80 to 90 percent chance" that he'll play in the NFL this season, although it will not be with the Vikings.
The Minnesota Vikings breathed a major sigh of relief on Thursday as wide receiver Percy Harvin returned to practice. Earlier in the week, a disgruntled Harvin had remarked to members of the media that he was seeking a trade and that he wasn't happy in the organization, but whatever issues prompted him to make those comments had apparently been resolved by Thursday, as he was back at minicamp practice once again. The Vikings could ill-afford to lose Harvin, as he has been one of the key pieces of their offense over the past few seasons.
5/23/12: Minnesota is making major roster moves in an effort to get younger and better. The biggest cut (soon to come) may be tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who at 32, does not fit into Leslie Frazier's plans. Shiancoe became a fantasy football favorite a few years ago when he teamed up with Brett Favre and became a reception and touchdown machine. The Vikings may even be forced to go with two rookie safeties (1 rounder Harrison Smith and 5th rounder Robert Blanton) because of a tremendous depletion of depth at the position. Vikings fans must be brave here, sometimes you must get worse before you get better.
5/15/12: The Vikings finally won a new stadium - taking them off of the potential teams to move to LA list. The new stadium will be built on the site of the current Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis, and is currently scheduled to take three years to complete. The state legistlature bowed to threats from the team and the NFL that the Vikings could move without a new stadium, though the lawmakers added $50 million to the Vikings contribution (for a total of $477 million of the estimated $1 billion coming from the club). The Vikings will play the next season in the Metrodome, but no word thereafter.
5/3/12: The Minnesota Vikings were rumored to target USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the third overall pick. The Vikings traded down one spot with the Cleveland Browns and for their sacrifice they received the Brown's fourth overall pick, as well as their 4th, 5th, and 7th round selections, and still were able to draft Kalil. Somewhere Jimmy Johnson must be smiling. The Browns targeted Alabama running back Trent Richardson and may have panicked when reports of Tampa trading up surfaced. Kalil was easily rated the top offensive tackle in the draft and will have an immidiate impact on a porous offensive line.
4/25/12: Dispite a questionable quarterback position, an aging defense, and ongoing stadium issues, the Minnesota Vikings can be thankful that they are not the New Orleans Saints right now. The Vikings committed to play another year in the Metrodome even though the lease expired. Draft-wise, Minnesota traded the 3rd overall pick to Cleveland for the 4th pick, and the Browns' picks in the 4th, 5th, and 7th rounds. The Vikings still got their man at #4, USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil to protect quarterback Christian Ponder. Minnesota also traded back into the 1st round with Baltimore, selecting safety Harrison Smith from Notre Dame.
4/17/12: Just a year removed from the NFC Championship Game found the Vikings in last place in the NFC North, struggling with rookie quarterback Christian Ponder. The NFL schedule makers were kinder this year than last, with games against the AFC South, NFC West, Tampa and Washington. Minnesota has one primetime game - Thursday in Week 8 at home against the Bucs. In other news, the Vikings new stadium proposal was rejected by a State House panel, meaning that the government and team continue to be at odds about who will pay what, and may go to a voter referendum.
The Minnesota Vikings have been the best franchise never to have won a Super Bowl. Although this is not an enviable title, it is well deserved. They have made the Playoffs over 60% of their seasons, making four Super Bowls in the 1970s and five NFC Conference Championship Games since. The Minnesota Vikings are also notable for their incredibly loud and exciting home crowd during their home games in the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Get Vikings tickets and experience one of the most electric atmospheres in the NFL.
Minnesota Vikings Tickets - The Players
Brett Favre finally retired. Its time for the Donovan McNabb to step in and get under center. He would act as a Mentory for the other young QBs the Vikings have which include Bomar Rhett, Joe Webb and rookie Christian Ponder. Adrian Peterson is expected to take most of the snaps and should be just as explosive as ever. Toby Gerhart has proven he can run just as hard in the NFL as he did in college and will be an important utility back for the Vikings. Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin return and are in full health. Visanthe Shiancoe looks to have another big year. Jared Allen and the defense expect to bounce back and redeem last season. Its time for the Vikings to make some noise and maybe Donovan could get a ring out of his tenure in Minnesota.
Minnesota Vikings Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Minnesota Vikings First Game 2013
Minnesota Vikings Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 15, 2013 Philadelphia Eagles 30 - 48 Minnesota Vikings Dec 8, 2013 Minnesota Vikings 26 - 29 Baltimore Ravens Dec 1, 2013 Chicago Bears 20 - 23 Minnesota Vikings Nov 24, 2013 Minnesota Vikings 26 - 26 Green Bay Packers Nov 17, 2013 Minnesota Vikings 20 - 41 Seattle Seahawks Nov 3, 2013 Minnesota Vikings 23 - 27 Dallas Cowboys Oct 13, 2013 Carolina Panthers 35 - 10 Minnesota Vikings Sep 22, 2013 Cleveland Browns 31 - 27 Minnesota Vikings Sep 15, 2013 Minnesota Vikings 30 - 31 Chicago Bears Sep 8, 2013 Minnesota Vikings 24 - 34 Detroit Lions Aug 29, 2013 Preseason: Tennessee Titans 23 - 24 Minnesota Vikings Aug 25, 2013 Preseason: Minnesota Vikings 14 - 34 San Francisco 49ers Aug 16, 2013 Preseason: Minnesota Vikings 16 - 20 Buffalo Bills Aug 9, 2013 Preseason: Houston Texans 27 - 13 Minnesota Vikings
Aug 28, 2014 Minnesota Vikings vs Tennessee Titans