In the Super Bowl era, there are 13 teams in the National Football League that have not brought home a Super Bowl championship. As we know all too well, the Minnesota Vikings are one of those thirteen teams. Not only are they, arguably, the most successful NFL team without a Super Bowl title, they're probably the most successful franchise in professional sports to have never brought home their sport's ultimate prize.
Over at NFL.com, Gil Brandt has looked at the thirteen teams without a Super Bowl and ranked them on the chance that this will finally be "their year." The Vikings did fairly well in Brandt's rankings, coming in at #5 out of 13 and landing in the "Possible, But Not Probable" category.
Adrian Peterson's return means everything to the Vikings. Some questions about the left tackle position -- where Matt Kalil struggled last season -- aside, Minnesota has the supporting cast in place on offense to thrive with Peterson back on the field, between a solid young quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater), a receiving corps with explosive potential and a talented defense on the rise. Moreover, this is a well-coached squad; head coach Mike Zimmer is as good as any defensive mind in the NFL.
The Vikings will see two of the teams that are ranked ahead of them on Brandt's list. . .they'll see the San Diego Chargers (#4) in Week Three, and the Arizona Cardinals (#1) on a Thursday night in Week Fourteen.
As biased as I am towards our favorite football team, it's hard to argue with where Brandt has them on his list. The Cardinals are a good choice at #1, particularly with Carson Palmer back. They're a team that could have made some noise last year if they hadn't caught a bad case of Ryan Lindley in the playoffs. Brandt also has Cincinnati and Philadelphia ahead of the Vikings, and you might be able to make an argument for the Vikings being ahead of either of those teams, as well as the Chargers at #4. Cincinnati has to answer the question of whether or not Andy Dalton can remember to play football in January, nobody knows what the Chip Kelly experiment is ultimately going to produce in Philly, and the Chargers will go as Philip Rivers goes.
The Vikings, on the other hand, should definitely be considered a young team on the rise. One of our personal favorite analysts thinks they could already be elite on one side of the ball.
The #Vikings could have the NFL's best defense this year if Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks click. So much talent.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) July 9, 2015
As we've seen over the past few years, defense does, in fact, win championships. If this team can be as good defensively as Miller thinks they can be, Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson and the rest of the offense can come along for the ride.
And, for reference sake, the thirteen NFL teams that haven't won a Super Bowl are as follows (listed in the order that Brandt has them ranked):
-San Diego Chargers