Minnesota Vikings: Quarter pole analysis of 2017 season

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 1: Case Keenum (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 1: Case Keenum (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Vikings are 2–2, beset with critical injuries and have a difficult schedule in an effort to make the playoffs.

Ice cream is fun, snakes are not and the Minnesota Vikings are without any good fortune. These are apparent givens in our world. Just when fans of the purple want to believe again, the Vikings ship appears set to sink.

It hasn’t been enough in recent years with significant injuries to Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson, Harrison Smith and seemingly the entire offensive line a year ago. No, now let’s have Sam Bradford and promising rookie Dalvin Cook go down with devastating knee injuries. How many teams have made the playoffs with a backup quarterback and second string backs for a good portion of the season?

A promising start to the 2017 season has quickly turned to despair. As seen in the losses to the Lions and to the Steelers, the Vikings offense cannot function at a consistently high level without Sam Bradford. Case Keenum is a fine stop gap quarterback for a short time frame. But, there is a reason he is a backup. We have seen that in two of his three starts with spotty accuracy and protracted reads.

Dalvin Cook, gone for the year with a torn ACL was an important cog in the Vikings offense in every facet. My thought was that he should have split more of the work load with Latavius Murray. Cook was perhaps over worked but he certainly did produce at a high level. Murray and Jerick McKinnon now appear set to share the backfield touches.

Perhaps Rick Spielman will look to bring in another quality runner. There are no unemployed Cook’s walking the streets, but can a trade be in the offing? The Vikings may have a surplus of receivers with Michael Floyd returning this week. Keep in mind, the trade deadline is not until October 31st.

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The Vikings offense can get back on track even without Cook. The offensive line has played surprisingly well through four games. The receivers have been steady if not spectacular on occasion. However, Bradford must return soon or the season will likely be lost. Bradford has had knee issues for much of his career. A knee brace might be a good idea to stabilize his durability.

The defense of the Minnesota Vikings has played consistently well. They held Drew Brees and the Saints in check. They intercepted Jameis Winston three times and gave up only 14 points to Matt Stafford and the Lions. More turnovers would help and the special teams need momentum changing plays to steal a game.

The Vikings have 12 games remaining with seven of them on the road. The toughest of these figure to be Green Bay, Detroit on Thanksgiving, Atlanta, Carolina and Washington. Green Bay, Baltimore and St. Louis will be difficult opponents at US Bank Stadium.

Next: Five things we learned in the Vikings loss to Detroit

The Vikings will look to right the ship on Monday, October 9th in Chicago against the Bears. Kickoff is 7:30 pm central time.