How Do The Vikings Reach The Next Level?
By Travis West
The 2012 Minnesota Vikings surprised a lot of people.
With quarterback Christian Ponder struggling and Adrian Peterson coming off a devastating knee injury, people wrote the Vikings off. Question marks around the offense swirled. Percy Harvin was looked to as the main offensive threat at the receiver position, and not much after that. The defense was young with little veteran presence, but the presence made by solid veterans like Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen and Chad Greenway were bringing the youthful defense along.
Despite all of that, the 2012 Vikings were able to ride "All Day" into the playoffs. The Vikings were not a major threat in the postseason, but they proved that with some experience they can potentially make some noise.
The real question is what would it take? One thing that will immediately make a huge impact is the development of Ponder. After finishing the season second-to-last in yards per game, the Vikings will be interesting if Ponder can find his way in the NFL. The further along the season went, the more and more defenders were committed to the box to help stop the run.
Giving Ponder more help with a wide receiver in the NFL Draft wouldn't hurt either. With every team in the NFC north having an opportunity at the division title it is imperative that the Vikings find balance in their offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings defense can help lift the team by solidifying the middle linebacker and cornerback positions. Cornerback has been a problem area for the Vikings for quite sometime now.
After not improving on pass defense from a year ago, most can expect the team to address the issue in the draft. In an interview with Tom Pelisserro, head coach Leslie Frazier said that he wants Antoine Winfield to take less snaps this upcoming season, a clear indication that acquiring a cornerback is a possibility.
A more productive year from Ponder will translate into more wins for the Vikings. Adding a couple playmakers on both sides of the ball along with the players already in place will enhance the Vikings game and transform them into a team to be reckon with.