2013 Minnesota Vikings: 5-10-1, 4th NFC North
Of all the teams we’ll compare to the Texans over this week, the 2013 Vikings are probably the biggest stretch. They had a tougher schedule, an experienced (though unsuccessful) coach, among other differences. But the two squads do share some traits.
When you start Matt Cassell, Christian Ponder, and then get a performance “for the ages” from Josh Freeman under center over the course of a season, you’re going to have a bad time. Like the Texans quarterback situation, it was a positional group that didn’t seem to have a whole lot of upside. Sure there was the potential for Josh Freeman to find his 2012 Buccaneer form. Just like there’s the chance that Tom Savage takes over mid-season and shocks the world. It ain’t likely.
Ground And Pound
But like Buffalo yesterday, Minnesota could mask mask a great deal of their QB troubles thanks to their all world running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson is definitely a better running back than Foster. And even on a team that can’t stretch the field vertically, he still managed to rush for 1200+ rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Can Arian manage that kind of production with help from the Texans offensive line – and assuming Andre Johnson shows up – a better receiving corps? I think so.
Fierce Up Front
Minnesota didn’t quite have Buffalo’s strength up front last season. But they definitely had some talent and plenty of production in their base 4-3. Jared Allen, Brian Robison, Everson Griffen, and Kevin Williams tallied 29.5 sacks between them. That kind of sack total might be more realistic to expect from a team of Watt, Clowney, Mercilus and Nix.
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