2018 Vikes

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Spiny Norman
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:15 am

2018 Vikes

Post by Spiny Norman » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:10 am

Not looking past the Iggles and that bowlgame thing which happens in 14 days. But have to be pragmatic. Because i'm a Vikings fan, you know what it's like. We might take the Lombo this year, we really could. But if we don't, you know, it could be worse. Whatever the outcome this title tilt, it's been great.

Not an accident that we started 5-0 last year, and preseason predicts this time were a consensus for a Norse wildcard berth. Not an accident we won the North, but we gotta admit it would have been tougher with Aaron R. in the middle of the Jacker huddles for all 16. Div might have come down to late December, but we've done that before. Remember that year when we had to beat the Snot Bay Jackers in Minny to get a Wildcard, and then had to immediately go to Lambblow and beat them again? That was a great year.

What does 2018 look like from here? Opening lines are out for '18 over/under team wins, and the Vikes are tied-5th, 9.5 wins but a stronger upside than other 9.5-ers. Yes, the QB question is the biggest thing to answer, but we won't know anything about that until February. What we know now, is that we'll still have a great defense in 2018. Wright, Thielen, Diggs, Rudolph, Dalvin, Jerick and Latavius on the other side, and we should have at least 5 of them back in 2018.

Both sides of the ball, a very good core. You can plug any QB in there, and we'll get 9.5 wins. $62 million to spread around this year, so it looks likely that we'll head into August with 2 high quality QBs and Sloter still in our pocket. But because of the good core of talent, the QB mystery is not so important. The crucial thing for next season, is to improve the O-Line as much as possible. First two draft picks, they must be offensive linemen.

I can't think of three RB's i'd rather go into a new season with, today in the salary-cap era, than McKinnon, Murray and Cook. The right ages, the right assortment of skills, there's no play that can't be run by at least 2 of those 3 guys. But to turn them loose, we need top blockers. We need the most contested positions in camp to be for the OL.

Seen some amazing catches by our WRs and TEs this season, maybe add a 6'3" 216-pound WR to make the pickplays work and stay close to pick up a corner blitz. And probably should add a young TE to learn everything Kyle does, paduwan. Other than that, our skill positions are good. But nobody can catch anything from a sacked QB, so the offensive line should be the best that capspace can buy.

The D-Line is good, but could use more pressure when only 4 are sent. Our 3rd draft pick should be a defensive end with a big wingspan and active feet. Make that freshman take dancing classes between the draft and camp. Will need a freshman CB too, and if Terrence Newman retires, then immediately offer him a coaching job. Usually in the NFL, the hardest thing to do is assemble a defensive secondary which rocks. Past two seasons, we assembled one. Keep it, feed it.

Can't think of anything we might need in free agency other than a QB, as odd as that sounds on January 21st. Just like the draft, our aims in FA should be linemen. Pack the camp with OLs and DLs, and let the best 20 win. It's the most important thing a franchise can do, to remain competitive year after year.

Win the trenches and make decent RBs look like stars, then trade them for good draft picks, to keep the quality up in all the other offensive skill positions. Drill through the opponent's OL wall, and you get more time to have your own offense on the field. Which increases the success of the offense. Which increases the value of the runners and catchers, it's a non-vicious cycle, and it all starts on the OL and DL.

It's what Belichick has been doing for years, extra effective because he has the luxury of not worrying about QB1. The Broncos did this and ended up with a SB: invested in their OL and parlayed the trades and picks they got from seemingly invincible RBs into Vonn Miller, Dem Thomas, Em Sanders, and Peyton M.

Here, we all know how the Herschel Walker trade ruined the Vikes for years and handed the Cows their run in the 1990s. By now, we know that offensive skill positions never come down to one single missing piece. It's the line that makes the offense great, normally tilted in talent to either protecting the passer or opening lanes, but this year we've got an OL that's good at both.

Here, we know that Millard was great and Doleman was great, but the combination was fearsome. Nip half an opponent's drives in the bud, and use your own OL to keep your DL rested. So many things are possible with a quality crew of linemen, it really is a game of inches.

OK, so maybe this is my way of psychologically pre-clearing other worries and concerns about the Vikes in general, so that the drama of this game will be fresh and uncluttered. Whatever happens in Spilladelphia, i'm confident that the Vikings will be in the playoffs for several years to come. NY can poach our Pat, but they can't take our Zimmer. We could lose all three current QBs, and still field a great team next season.

That lets me take a deep breath, and head into this game steely-eyed and focused. There's no historic mandate this season, there's just 1 or 2 very difficult games left to play. The real fireworks might come next year, or '19, or this year. But now certain that the Vikings will make a run at it over and over again for a bunch of years.

If they win it all this year, it could be the first of a threepeat. If they don't, then we know that they'll make a deep impact on the playoff races in 2018, and likely in '19 and '20 too. It's a good time to be a Vikings fan.
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