NFL.com writer Gil Brandt, who I will willing concede has forgotten more about the sport of football than I will ever know, put out his first set of 2012 Power Rankings a few days ago, and what he had to say about the Minnesota Vikings seems to be a direct contradiction to. . .well, to common sense.
Brandt has the Vikings sitting at #28 in his initial rankings, and that's not what I have an issue with. . .at this point, I expect everyone to have the Vikings ranked that low (they'll climb during the season). But what he had to say about the team doesn't make any sense at all. Here's his commentary:
Can Christian Ponder get the job done? He's very smart, but I'm not sure he has the physical skills required to be a successful NFL quarterback. He just doesn't jump out at you at all. Jared Allen is as good as any pass rusher in the league, but the Vikings are an older team for the most part. And unfortunately, they play in the very tough NFC North, which boasts three potentially great teams in 2012.
It sounds good, don't get me wrong. . .however, from what Tom Pelissero from ESPN 1500 is telling us, at least part of that simply isn't true.
Only two years ago, the Vikings fielded the third-oldest team in the NFL. Last season, they were around the middle of the pack, with an average player age of 26.43 years.
Even a conservative stab at the 53-man roster (i.e. no surprise cuts of veterans) entering this season's Sept. 9 opener against Jacksonville places the Vikings' average age at 25.81 years -- lower than every NFL team in 2011 except Tampa Bay (25.17), Seattle (25.72), Cincinnati (25.74) and Green Bay (25.74).
The Minnesota Vikings were one of the oldest teams in the National Football League. Were. Past tense. Now, they're one of the youngest teams in the NFL, if not the youngest. There will likely be some growing pains with this team, but if it all comes together, the rebuilding process might not take as long as many seem to think.