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Predicting the Minnesota Vikings 2018 Record

By: Tanishka Mhaskar
April 22nd,  2018

After a brutal loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship, it is safe to say that the Minnesota Vikings were one of the biggest winners in free agency
note: this is just a prediction

The Vikings signed the 'unicorn' of free agency in quarterback Kirk Cousins and made a splash on the defensive side of the ball with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. Due to the brilliant work of GM Rick Spielman, Minnesota has almost no excuses next year. VKNT will take you through a game by game analysis of what to expect for each game and a prediction of the Vikings record. 

Week 1:
vs San Francisco 49ers 
Sunday September 9th, 1 PM EST
Game 1 includes a battle between two of the highest paid quarterbacks, 2 shutdown corners, and the return of former Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon. It should be quite an interesting battle between Adam Thielen and Richard Sherman. But it all comes down to defense and the Vikings defense has only allowed 12.5 points per game at home. A stronger offense, the shutdown defense and the crowd noise will hand Jimmy Garoppolo his first loss as a NFL starter.
Score Prediction: 29-19
Record: 1-0

Week 2:

at Green Bay Packers
Sunday September 16th, 1 PM EST
The two games vs the Packers are highly anticipated and should set the stage for the division title. The Vikes travel to Green Bay early this season to take on a revengeful Aaron Rodgers in an interesting matchup. The Packers defense is quite an improvement from last year with the signing of DT Muhammad Wilkerson and TE Jimmy Graham on the offense. Although the game will be close, Green Bay pulls off the win. 
Score Prediction: 24-23
Record: 1-1

Week 3: 
vs Buffalo Bills 
Sunday September 23rd, 1 PM EST
The Vikings defense take on an offense that was ranked 29th in the league last season and have done almost no huge offensive signings to make themselves better. There is a chance they will face their first rookie QB of the season. Likewise, this should be a breeze at home, with the crowd helping them along. 
Score Prediction: 42- 10
Record: 2-1

Week 4:
at Los Angeles Rams
Thursday September 27th, 8:20 PM EST
The Vikings play their 1st primetime game with QB Kirk Cousins. This one of their first real tests of the season. I can see a win here if they execute and don't turn the ball over. This game is very important because it has a lot at stake when it comes to playoff seeding. Luckily the Vikings have 2 of the top 5 receivers last season in conquested catches. This should be important going against the Rams' newly acquired CBs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. The offensive line will also have to step up this game going against one of the best DLs in the league in Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald. The Vikings have signed OGs Tom Compton and re-signed OG Nick Easton. The draft is coming up early this week to solidify the positions even more but the Vikings fall to the Rams.
Score Prediction: 21-17
Record: 2-2

Week 5:y

at Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday October 7th, 4:20 PM EST
Playing on the road can be tough enough, but playing the Super Bowl champions is even harder. It can be a it easier if you are the Minnesota Vikings, hungry to get revenge on the team that ripped out their dreams of playing a home game in Super Bowl 52. Add on top of that Kirk Cousins, who was division rival of the Eagles. I'm expecting the Vikings to play with some kind of intensity never seen before. They get 10 days between the Rams and the Eagles so they will be well rested and the defense, hungrier. They will win a very hard fought game by a clutch field goal by Kai Forbath. 
Score Prediction: 27-24
Record: 3-2

Week 6:
vs Arizona Cardinals
Sunday October 14th, 1 PM EST
The Vikings head back home after 2 tough weeks on the road. The win and loss should really shape the playoff picture. This week they meet former friend, now foe, QB Sam Bradford. The Cardinals re much improved from last year with the return of RB David Johnson and the addition of S Tyrann Mathieu. After a pair of interceptions by Cousins, the exhausted offense can't get back on their feet and the Vikings defense is tired from the previous weeks. Bradford gets revenge on the Vikings in a tough loss. 
Score Prediction: 27-18
Record: 3-3

Week 7:
at New York Jets
Sunday October 21st, 1 PM EST
As of right now it is hard to say who the starting QB for the Jets will be but I feel like they will give Teddy Bridgewater a chance to get revenge on his old team. Bridgewater will play well but doesn't have the weapons or defense to even stand a chance against the Vikings top 10 offense and defense. 
Score Prediction: 33-14 
Record: 4-3

Week 8: 
vs New Orleans Saints
Sunday October 28th, 8:20 PM EST
This prime time game will be one on everyone's radar. Not only are these 2 teams Super Bowl contenders but the last time they met lead to a historical playoff walk off TD. The Saints certainly want revenge. I'm sure their DBs have worked on timing when it comes to tackling. This will be a hard fought game but the Saints just come in with more fire. Kirk Cousins lights up the offense but the lack of CB depth just burns the Vikings.
Score Prediction: 38-30
Record: 4-4

Week 9: 
vs Detroit Lions
Sunday November 4th, 1 PM EST
The Vikings offense faces a revamped Lions defense at home. The offense has been on fire the last few games and the defense plays up to their usual caliber. The Vikings have their most efficient game of the season and play with no error.
Score Prediction: 24-16
Record: 5-4

Week 10: BYE week

Week 11:
at Chicago Bears
Sunday November 18th, 1 PM EST
The Vikings always have trouble playing at Soldier Field. Maybe it is the wind, or maybe it is the loud fans. Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky has a lot more weapons than last season with the additions of TE Trey Burton and WRs Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. The Bears offense should stand much more of a chance against the best defense in the league but it still wont be enough to pull an upset. 
Score Prediction: 29-24
Record: 6-4

Week 12:
vs Green Bay Packers
Sunday November 25th, 8:20 PM EST
The biggest rivals of the Minnesota Vikings come to town as Rodgers probably still wants more revenge but the Vikes do too now. If they lose this game against the Packers, they will lose the division. This home game is a must win for the Minnesota Vikings. With the crowd backing them up and Kirk Cousins playing better every week the Vikings are able to take the dub on Sunday Night Football. 
Score Prediction: 38-24
Record: 7-4

Week 13:
at New England Patriots
Sunday December 2nd, 4:25 PM EST
This is one of the most anticipated games of the season for Vikings fans. The Patriots have lost quite a few key players this offseason in WRs Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola, OT Nate Solder, CB Malcolm Butler, and the unsure return of TE Rob Gronkowski. The Pats should still be a very dominant team but Tom Brady is aging, and it is unclear if Belichick can manage drafting players to cover up for all of the starters that left. The Vikings get a last minute punt return TD by Marcus Sherels to win the game. 
Score Prediction: 27-20
Record: 8-4

Week 14:
at Seattle Seahawks
Monday December 10th, 8:15 PM EST
The Vikings final prime time game comes in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. The Vikings will be able to handle the noise, but not play their best game of the season. The Seahawks have lost most of their key offensive and defensive players this offseason and haven't done much to bolster their roster. They do have the draft but replacing a surplus of players less than 10 draft picks is tough. The Vikings dominate in Seattle on Monday night. 
Score Prediction: 23-14
Record: 9-4

Week 15:
vs Miami Dolphins
Sunday December 16th, 1 PM EST
The Vikings head home to play the Miami Dolphins. This was a tough one for me to predict because it is still not clear who the Dolphins QB will be next season. Regardless, the Dolphins have lost their WR1 Jarvis Landry and star DT Ndamukong Suh. They will be an easy match up for the Vikings and they will take the clear win. 
Score Prediction: 45-17
Record: 10-4

Week 16:
at Detroit Lions
Sunday December 23rd, 1 PM EST
The Vikes will travel to Ford Field for their last road game of the regular season. This divisional match-up is key to making sure that the Vikings become Kings of the North. This game ends up being a low scoring battle of both defenses and it's extremely tough to beat Mike Zimmer's prized defense and the Vikings take yet another win. 
Score Prediction: 17-9
Record: 11-4

Week 17:
vs Chicago Bears
Sunday December 30th, 1 PM EST
Another week, another division battle. The final week of the regular season is always a surplus of divisional battles. The Vikings get to close it out at home, similar to last season. Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears have been one of the most improved teams this season and Trubisky has showed tons of improvement. The Bears defense has lost most of their games for them this season and the same thing occurs at U.S. Bank Stadium. Kirk Cousins plays impressively throwing 5 touchdowns and the defense closes out the regular season with a win. 
Score Prediction: 26-20
Record: 12-4

This whole article is simply one fans prediction and there is no guarantee that a single one of these things happen but this was a very fun project for me. Regardless, it is safe to say that the Minnesota Vikings make the playoffs in 2019. This will be a fun season with new QB Kirk Cousins at helm.