Minnesota Vikings 2017 Season Simulation
As the NFL season kicks off, all Minnesotan eyes look to the Vikings with high hopes for the 2017 season. They aren’t alone: I expect the Vikings to do really well this season and earn themselves a playoff berth for the first time in two seasons. Lead by quarterback Sam Bradford and head coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings kick things off on Monday night.
During the 2017 offseason, the Viking added RB Latavius Murray, RB Dalvin Cook, RT Mike Remmers and former Detroit Lion, T Riley Reiff. However, they also lost RB Adrian Peterson, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, CB Captain Munnerlyn, RT Matt Kalil and others. This balance of additions and losses should roughly leave the team in the same they were last season on paper.
However, the Vikings only went 8-8 in 2016 and I think they’ll do much better this season, coming in at 11-5. I think the Vikings will be in tight contention with the Green Bay Packers for the top spot in the NFC north. I do not think they’ll win the north but will win themselves a playoff berth and a spot in the wildcard round.
Week 1 (9/11) Vs. New Orleans Saints
The Vikings open up their 2017 schedule on Monday Night Football Vs. the New Orleans Saints. Sam Bradford is 1-1 against the Saints and I expect him to add one to the win in this Monday night matchup
Result: Win 28-10
Week 2 (9/17) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Viking play their first away game of the season in Pittsburgh in week two. I expect Minnesota to pull out a close win against the aging Steelers, moving the Vikings to 2-0 on the season.
Result: Win 17-10
Week 3 (9/24) Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I’m not expecting Dalvin Cook or any other of the Viking’s running backs to have a big game against the Buccaneers’ fantastic defensive line. However, I do foresee that they win this game on the back of Sam Bradford. I expect Bradford to throw for at least three touchdowns in this week three matchup.
Result: Win 35-24
Week 4 (10/1) Vs. Detroit Lions
In 2016, the Vikings went 0-2 against Detroit. I’m predicting the Viking avenge last year’s loss at home and get one back against the Lions. I foresee this being a tight matchup and expect it to go down to the wire.
Result: Win 28-24
Week 5 (10/9) @ Chicago Bears
The Bears come into the season looking like less than a sub-par team and are not expecting to do well this season. I’m counting on the Vikings beating the Bears pretty handily. I also believe the Vikings running game will be a big factor in this game.
Result: Win 24-12
Week 6 (10/15) Vs. Green Bay Packers
Last year, the Vikings went 1-1 against the Packers. I foresee them doing the same this year and I expect them to win the first game in the series at home in a close contest.
Result: Win 31-27
Week 7 (10/22) Vs. Baltimore Ravens
Minnesota continues their winning ways while they stay home to face the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco. I will even make the bold prediction to say that the Baltimore offense will get off to a fast start and force Minnesota to come from behind.
Result: Win 35-17
Week 8 (10/29) @ Cleveland Browns
I look forward to the Vikings blowing Cleveland out of the water in this week 8 matchup. The Minnesota defense will have a big game against the struggling Browns offense in this matchup.
Result: Win 45-21
Week 9 – Bye
Week 10 (11/12) @ Washington Redskins
The Vikings travel to The District for another close game. I expect it to be a low scoring affair seeing as both teams are fairly evenly matched. The Viking move their win streak to 9 and go to 9-0 on the season.
Result: Win 17-14
Week 11 (11/19) Vs. Los Angeles Rams
In this week 11 bout, Sam Bradford faces his former team. I expect Bradford and the Vikings will beat the Rams pretty easily. I expect the running game to have a good game, leading the team to victory.
Result: Win 21-9
Week 12 (11/23) @ Detroit Lions (Thanksgiving Day Game)
As I said in my Detroit Lion’s simulation article, the Lions have won their last four games played on Thanksgiving day and I foresee them stretching the streak to five straight and handing the Vikings their first loss of the season.
Result: Loss 17-10
Week 13 (12/3) @ Atlanta Falcons
The Vikings travel to Atlanta to face the reigning NFC champions in this week 13 matchup. I expect the Falcons to win this game pretty easily and expect Matt Ryan to score at least two touchdowns.
Result: Loss 14-27
Week 14 (12/10) @ Carolina Panthers
Sam Bradford is 2-2 against the Carolina Panthers. I’m looking for Carolina to beat Minnesota in week 14. This will move the Viking to 10-3 on the season and continue their three-game losing streak.
Result: Loss 24-38
Week 15 (12/17) Vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Another loss for the Vikings as they travel back home in this bout against the Bengals. This will be the only loss at home for the Vikings this season. I expect it to be a close one seeing as both teams are fairly even on paper.
Resul: Loss 21-24
Week 16 (12/23) @ Green Bay Packers
The Vikings continue their losing streak in week six against Green Bay in another close contest. The Packers have a very strong schedule at Lambeau and I don’t expect Minnesota to add Green Bay’s loss column anytime soon.
Result: Loss 15-20
Week 17 (12/31) Vs. Chicago Bears
The Vikings will beat the Bears at home in the final game of the season, moving to 2-0 in the 2017 series Vs. Chicago. This will move them to 11-5 on the season and will earn them a spot in the Wildcard round.
Result: Win 17-0
2017 Season Result: 11-5
The Vikings improve their record from 8-8 in 2016 to 11-5 this season en route to a playoff berth and will be in a tight race with the Packers for number one spot in the NFC North. I think Minnesota can consider this a successful season regardless of whether they win a playoff game or not.