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MMQB picks Vikings to win NFC North

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And, possibly, a first-round bye

NFL: Minnesota Vikings-Minicamp Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

During his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, odd-numbered years under Mike Zimmer era have been very good for the purple. The Vikings won the NFC North in 2015 and 2017 under Zimmer, and have hovered around the .500 mark during the even-numbered years. (7-9 in 2014, 8-8 in 2016, and 8-7-1 last season.) Now that we’re less than a week from the start of Training Camp, we are starting to see some more predictions, and at least one outlet is expecting the Bret Saberhagen-esque pattern to continue for our favorite team.

Conor Orr of the Monday Morning Quarterback has predicted the records for all 32 teams for the 2019 season, and he has the Vikings ending the regular season with a record of 11-5, which. . .by his projections. . .will be enough for the Vikings to win the NFC North for the third time in five years.

Here’s what he had to say about the Vikings:

This was a draft befitting of a team that believes itself to be on the doorstep of the Super Bowl. The selections of Irv Smith and Garrett Bradbury were all about immediate functionality and upgrading the offense. Without the internal chaos at the offensive coordinator slot, this season should be a major rebound in Minnesota.

That 11-5 mark, according to Orr’s projections, might even be enough to get the Vikings a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. Orr has the Los Angeles Rams finishing the regular season with the NFC’s best record at 13-3, but his other three division winners. . .the Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Atlanta Falcons. . .all finish with 11-5 records under his projections. No tiebreakers are specified or anything, but given that the Vikings play both the Falcons and the Eagles this season (both within the comfy confines of U.S. Bank Stadium), they would certainly have a chance to shape their own destiny in that scenario.

Orr also has the Vikings as the only NFC North team to make the postseason party, as his two wild card teams are the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) and the New Orleans Saints (10-6). That means the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers would both be on the outside looking in. Sounds pretty good to me.

Do you think the Vikings are primed for a bounce-back year in 2019?