Everyone is curious to see how the acquisition of quarterback Kirk Cousins and the return of running back Dalvin Cook will affect the offense of the Minnesota Vikings. At least one expert from ESPN is expecting some pretty big things from everyone involved.
Mike Clay, one of ESPN’s fantasy football experts, has projected statistics for every team in the NFL on the Twitters. You can see his projections for the Vikings in the embedded tweet below.
2018 Minnesota Vikings #ClayProjections ---> Game-by-game predictions, player projections, unit grades + more! pic.twitter.com/3TrsI7II1D— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) May 8, 2018
Here are his projections for the main pieces of the Minnesota offense:
- Cousins - 4,327 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions (plus 136 yards and two touchdowns on the ground)
- Cook - 1,143 yards + seven touchdowns on the ground, 500 yards + four touchdowns through the air
- Latavius Murray - 382 yards + three touchdowns on the ground, 169 yards + one touchdown through the air
- Adam Thielen - 85 receptions, 1,192 yards, seven touchdowns
- Stefon Diggs - 82 receptions, 1,045 yards, six touchdowns
- Kendall Wright - 43 receptions, 512 yards, two touchdowns
- Kyle Rudolph - 60 receptions, 612 yards, seven touchdowns
If that were to come to fruition, not only would that give Cousins the second-highest passing yardage total in franchise history, but it would also give the Vikings something that they haven’t had in nearly two decades.
The last time that the Vikings had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers and a running back that ran for over 1,000 yards was the year 2000. That season, Randy Moss had 1,437 yards and Cris Carter had 1,274. Robert Smith also ran for 1,521 yards, which was good for second in the National Football League that season in that category.
Clay’s projections have the Vikings scoring 383 points, which is just under one point/game less than the Vikings averaged in that 2000 season. Of course, that 2000 team also fielded a pretty bad defense, which is something I wouldn’t think we’d have to worry about with this year’s squad.
Frankly, I don’t think the Vikings’ offense will have any problem reaching the levels that Mike Clay has projected for them, and will more than likely exceed them. That should add up to a pretty good season for Minnesota.