Why to Root For Minnesota Vikings

If you do not take Seattle, located on the Pacific coast, then Minneapolis is the northernmost city in the NFL (yes, even a little north of Green Bay). It snows in Minnesota in winter, frost cracks, and instead of warm seas, there are only small lakes and the Mississippi River.

The name "Vikings" was given to the local club as a tribute to the Scandinavian roots of the locals. Minnesota is mostly populated by descendants of Germans, Norwegians, Irish, Swedes and English. Minneapolis is right next to Saint Paul, which is why they are often referred to as the Twin Cities.

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The Vikings can't be called losers in the sense that they're used to living at the bottom of the division. On the contrary, Minnesota almost every year at least fights for the playoffs. The question is the historical inability to win the championship title. The Bills have lost the Super Bowl four years in a row. The Vikings are right behind them as they lost the Super Bowl in 1969, 1973, 1974, and 1976. In the 1970s, under Bud Grant, the NFL was dominated by the Minnesota defense, which was called the "Purple Cannibals," but the defeats in the final meetings were unambiguous.

Starting quarterback

Kirk Cousins. As a quarterback, one of the most controversial figures. Some consider him just a meme hero who received an unreasonably large contract and is pulling the team back. Some consider him an average quarterback, an ideal measure -- if your point guard is worse than Cousins, then he should be changed, if better, then no (once this role was played by Andy Dalton in the Cincinnati Bengals). There are those who believe that Kirk is part of a cohort of second-tier quarterbacks with whom you can win with decent surroundings. At the same time, Cousins ​​is the owner of a reputation as an eccentric guy whom not all teammates take seriously.

Head coach

Kevin O'Connell. And this is another student of Sean McVay. The 37-year-old former quarterback (as many as four passes in his NFL career) was the Los Angeles Rams' offensive coordinator for the previous two seasons, hence the newly crowned Super Bowl champion. His main advantage at this stage is that he is the complete antipode of Mike Zimmer. The atmosphere of fear is gone, the thaw has come, and now instead of the old sullen defensive guru in Minnesota, there is a young, smiling offensive mind.

Major acquisition

Linebacker Za'Darius Smith. For the last couple of seasons, Minnesota has forgotten how to competently attack foreign quarterbacks, and Smith in 2019 and 2020 got into the Pro Bowl. He missed the entire last season due to injury, so the acquisition is not without some risk, but if it works out, then the defense front will again become biting. The piquancy is also in the fact that Smith spent his stellar years near Minneapolis, playing for the principal rivals of the Green Bay Packers.

Realistic expectations for the season

Can the same group of musicians replace old-fashioned Swedish black metal and suddenly play trendy pop-rock? The owners of the Vikings decided that yes, maybe. Therefore, the bar for them this year without any doubt is the playoffs. It is quite possible to qualify for the sixth or seventh sowing.

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