The Minnesota Vikings have had back-to-back losing seasons and decided that a change at head coach and upper management might be the remedy for the lack of success.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins re-signed under first-time head coach Kevin O’Connell and a flurry of smaller moves might just be enough to put the Vikings atop the division for the first time since 2017.
Training camp location: Eagan, Minnesota
TCO Performance Center
Rookie report date: July 24
Veteran report date: July 26
Key acquisitions: LB Jordan Hicks, DT Harrison Phillips, DE Za’Darius Smith, CB Chandon Sullivan, WR Albert Wilson, OL Jesse Davis
Key losses: LB Nick Vigil, TE Tyler Conklin, S Xavier Woods, DT Michael Pierce, OG Dakota Dozier
Head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman were fired back in January, marking the beginning of a new era in Minnesota. Kevin O’Connell took over as head coach in February, while Ed Donatell was named defensive coordinator and Mike Pettine was brought in as assistant head coach among a handful of other changes to the coaching staff. The Vikings were able to swipe defensive end Za’Darius Smith and cornerback Chandon Sullivan from NFC North rival Green Bay, but did lose safety Xavier Woods.
Consistency is key for Minnesota, especially under center. If Kirk Cousins plays at the level he’s capable of from start to finish, the Vikings are in a prime position to contend with the Packers, who took a step back this offseason.
–WEEK 1 IN FOCUS
Vikings vs. Packers 4:25 p.m. ET
Line: Packers -2 (FanDuel)
Green Bay is the favorite primarily due to its defense, which is projected to be among the best in the league, and that MVP quarterback that Minnesota loves to hate. If the Vikings can wear down the Packers’ secondary, it won’t be easy for Green Bay to match points due to its new-look offensive unit.
–BACK ON TOP
Being in a division with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions means the Packers are really the only thing holding Minnesota back from a division title. But Green Bay’s offense, specifically its passing game, is not even close to what it was just a season ago. The Vikings sit at +300 (FanDuel) to come out on top in the NFC North ($100 bet would net $300 profit), and if there’s any year they could do so, it’s this one.
–Field Level Media