Sep 9, 2022 - Sports

How to fake it this Vikings season

Justin Jefferson
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Another Vikings season is upon us and that means, fan or not, there's no escaping conversations about the purple. Here's our guide to faking it.

State of play: This team has almost the same roster as last year, but somehow feels very different.

  • That's because they fired their cranky old-school coach Mike Zimmer and replaced him with 37-year-old Kevin O'Connell.

How to talk to a Vikings fan: Let's say the Vikings get off to a hot start and find themselves 5-1 or 6-2. At the water cooler (or Zoom meeting?) on Monday morning, you are completely safe to say "I'm sure they'll blow it."

  • They always blow it.
  • We still love them and we will never learn our lesson.

Worth watching: Justin Jefferson is the latest thrilling athlete to don a purple uniform. Like Randy Moss and Adrian Peterson before him, for most of the past 25 years the Vikes have featured one player who is worth the price of admission alone.

  • The third-year wide receiver has had the most prolific start to a career out of any receiver in NFL history.

The polarizer: Kirk Cousins is back for a fifth year in Minnesota, making $40 million this season—6th most in the NFL. He has divided the fan base, but he has also confused the emotions of individual fans.

  • In one game, he looks like the best quarterback in the NFL. In the next, he looks like he belongs on Detroit's practice squad.

Their prospects: Coming off a 8-9 season with mostly the same players, you might expect a similar result this year. But the Vikings have a much easier schedule. They also, for the first time in many years, appear to have a good offensive line.

  • Nick's prediction: 10-7 and a wild card playoff spot.

The bottom line: The wonderful thing about the Vikings is that, win or lose, they are rarely boring. Because when things go sideways, they do so in spectacular fashion.

What to watch: The Vikings open the season Sunday at home against the rival Green Bay Packers at 3:25pm Sunday.

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