Finally, we can get to the good stuff. The regular-season kicks off Thursday and for Vikings fans, the season will begin Sunday.
This is the time when people predict what will happen with teams and how a team will perform this season. I figured I’d jump in on this talk. However, I’m not making judgements based off of stats, but also my own heart felt opinion. These are considered bold predictions. or hot takes. Some may consider it overreacting, we won’t be able to tell until the season gets underway.
4. Kirk Cousins will throw for 5,000 yards
Well, this is a possibility. Cousins has thrown for over 4,000 yards in the last three seasons. His biggest year came in 2016 when he threw for 4,917 yards, only 83 yards short of cracking 5,000 yards. He’s capable of doing just that this season.
The reason he can do that is because he is surrounded by weapons, no one can disagree. Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Dalvin Cook and Kyle Rudolph, that’s only just a few. After the preseason and trading for Brett Jones, I think our offensive line will hold up and actually be solid protection for Cousins.
With the backfield being as deep as it is, it won’t be a surprise to see more of a balanced offense this season, or depending on the defensive scheme that the opponent is working under.
It may be hard to believe for Vikings fans, since no quarterback in Vikings history has thrown for, or over 5,000 yards. The quarterback that almost obtained 5,000 was Daunte Culpepper in 2004. He threw for 4,717 yards. Will Cousins be the first?
3. Diggs, Thielen will both have 1,000 receiving yards
This isn’t that bold of a prediction considering Thielen cracked 1,000 yards last season and Diggs had right around 850 yards. My logic behind this is that both receivers will perform similar to last season, however, Diggs will get a lot of deep shot looks this season that will boost his numbers.
The reason the idea came up is because the Detroit Lions have two wideouts in Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate, who both surpassed 1,000 receiving yards last season. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for over 4,400 yards last season. If I got Cousins throwing for 5,000, then I have Diggs and Thielen both cracking 1,000.
2. Vikings win 13 games
Y’all can book it now, the Vikings will go 13-3 come the end of the season. This is one bold prediction that I’m strongly confident in. Just to break it down, Minnesota gets off to a hot start. grabbing wins against the 49ers, Packers (at Lambeau) and the Bills.
Week four and five will be a challenge for the Vikings as the team faces both the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles on the road. Week four against the Rams is on a Thursday, so it will be a short week for preparation. I don’t think they get the job done against the Rams or the Eagles.
Mike Zimmer and company will get right back on track though, while obtaining six straight wins during weeks six through twelve (bye is week 10) to streak to a 9-2 record. That’s when the Vikings arrive at Gillette Stadium in New England to face the Patriots. Minnesota takes the fall on the road in another tough contest.
Three of the remaining four games will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium, bag three wins there on top of the one road game in Seattle that the Vikings will pick up.
1. Smith will grab 10 interceptions
I know, I know, y’all are like, “Lucas, that’s crazy.” Well, I’m pretty crazy, so this fits perfect. It may be a lofty goal, but it’s sure obtainable. Last season Harrison Smith recorded five interceptions. Five is his career high, as he also reached five in his 2014 campaign. Book it now, but this will be Smith’s best year, yet.
I’m even feeling a little frisky, so he’ll also take three of those interceptions to the house for six. Harrison Smith will be the best safety in the league this year.