The Minnesota Vikings are in unfamiliar territory. As they enter the 2012 season, not much is expected of them, at least by most experts. Christian Ponder is entering his second year, AP has yet to join the team in regular practice, and the offensive line is completely revamped. On the defensive side things are a bit more stable, but there will still be plenty of new faces to check out in areas like the secondary. So what does all of this mean? It means that not many people think that Minnesota is going to be very good. However, people in the land of 10,000 lakes do expect more. The Vikings and their fans are used to winning and going to the playoffs, even if they have yet to win a Super Bowl. Zygi Wilf, the Viking’s owner, even went as far as saying he expects the Vikes to win their division. The first step was Friday night in San Francisco.
The Vikings lost to the 49ers 17-6, but everyone pretty much agrees that the NFL Preseason is not about final scores, but rather what positive developments a team can take from the game. Offensively, Minnesota had some things to be encouraged about. Toby Gerhart ran strong in place of Adrian Peterson. Ponder, while he didn’t post good numbers(4-9, 80 yds), did make some nice throws, including a 52-yd completion to second year wide-out Stephen Burton. Minnesota scored twice with their first unit, albeit field goals.
The defensive side of the ball is where Minnesota struggled. They gave up a touchdown drive to Ales Smith, then watched San Fran’s back-up QB, Colin Kaepernick, run for a 78-yd TD. The Vikings defense did not look very sharp.
What does all of this mean? Absolutely nothing. The Vikes are a work in progress. The expectations for this team are not sky-high, but they will be competitive. What Minnesota really needs is a good solid year from Ponder, and somebody new to make an impact on offense. Of course, that’s what the preseason is for, to try to find some new blood.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).