The Minnesota Vikings always seem to find themselves concluding seemingly successful seasons with embarrassingly loud exits.
Last year in 2019, ten wins and an overtime thrilling victory over the Saints in the Wild Card round was then encored by an uncompetitive 27-10 loss in San Francisco.
Thirteen wins coupled with the ‘Minnesota Miracle’ in the 2017 Divisional Round, once again over New Orleans, was followed up a week later by a 38-7 funeral in Philadelphia in the Conference Championship.
After eleven wins and an NFC North title in 2015, then came an unforgivable 10-9 loss at home to the Seahawks in the Wild Card Round after Blair Walsh shanked a 27-yard game-winning field goal at the buzzer.
Then of course, there was the disastrous Brett Favre interception versus the Saints just minutes away from the Super Bowl in 2009, the 41-0 execution at the hands of the Giants in the 2000 NFC Championship Game, and the infamous 1998 debacle when a then-flawless Gary Anderson missed a short field goal late in the game that would have essentially sent Minnesota to the Super Bowl over the 'Dirty Bird' Falcons.
Can't they just lose some disappointing yet forgettable 28-20, or 31-21 playoff games instead of repeatedly placing themselves at the tops of countdowns for the biggest postseason catastrophes and chokes in NFL history?
2020 was already off to a rocky start for the Vikings when they traded superstar wide receiver Stefon Diggs and a 7th rounder to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 1st, 5th, and 6th round pick in 2020, and a 4th round pick in 2021.
Diggs was coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for the team, but had a tumultuous final few months with the franchise who drafted him in the fifth round in 2015, as the Diggs-Vikings split felt more like a divorce with Diggs’ often airing out his dirty laundry on social media.
With Diggs out the door, it was time for the team to adopt a new culture with the blessings of Mike Zimmer’s three-year extension, as the Diggs trade gave the team added draft capital to allow them to make a league-high 15 draft picks in last April’s virtual event.
The Vikings took LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson with with the Diggs pick at #22, as Minnesota will look to remain a top 10 scoring offense in 2020, after ranking 8th last year.
The always derided Kirk Cousins is coming off a season in which he ranked fourth in the league in completion percentage, and fourth in the league in passer rating, and his backfield mate Dalvin Cook is coming off a career-high in rushing yards (1,135), and rushing touchdowns (13), but did make a habit of leaving games down the stretch with phantom shoulder injuries.
Notable offseason additions for the Vikings included wide receiver Tajae Sharpe from the Titans, the aforementioned Jefferson from LSU in the Draft, and 31st pick Jeff Gladney, a cornerback from TCU.
Their key losses were Diggs, Laquon Treadwell, Josh Kline, Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, Stephen Weatherly, Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, and Andrew Sendejo.
Their Over/Under for wins is 9, their odds to win the Super Bowl are 25/1, 12/1 to win the NFC, 8/5 win the NFC North, and -130 to make the playoffs.
Check out the entire segment above.