The "Power Core" Pre-Season Power Rankings
The Minnesota Vikings are a sad, sad story. Here is a team that goes 15 – 1 and loses at home in 1999 to Atlanta in what has to be the biggest playoff upset in history. Ever since that debacle, the Vikings have slowly, steadly declined. Chris Carter lost his patience and Korey Stringer's death stung a franchise already reeling from multiple defections in free agency and retirement. Then Minnesota (after going 5 – 0 in preseason by riding the spirit of Stringer) opened last season with another upset loss…this time to the Carolina Panthers. Oh Red baby, what happened!
#27 Minnesota Vikings (5 - 11 Fourth in NFC Central)
Minnesota is one of the few teams that have one player that will be the difference between a 4 win season and a possible 7 win season. His name is Randy Moss and his game is…well…when he wants to play, his game is the far and away the tops at wide receiver. And when he doesn't want to play? Well…he can disappear quicker than Pete Sampras in France.
The Good: Randy Moss. He will make this team go. For the first time in his NFL career and won't be playing opposite a Hall-of-Famer so it will be interesting to see if he can grab the leadership reigns. Yes, they did sign Derrick Alexander, which is a big help, but Moss will still have to create his own opportunities. Dennis Green is gone which in this case may be a good thing. Obviously the players had grown tired of him and he tired of them. The defensive line is younger and more talented than recent years with Chris Hovan anchoring the line. Resigning Byron Chamberlian gives the Vikings one of the premiere Tight Ends in the NFC.
The Bad: Randy Moss again. He will take off plays early and often and the Vikings won't be able to stop it especially as the losses mount. Dante Culpepper needs to revert back to his rookie season form. That may be asking too much since he was a better quarterback when he had the supporting cast. The running game will continue to struggle until they find someone to run with the grit that Robert Smith did. Derrick Alexander may not have enough left in the tank and is injury prone.
The Ugly: Does this team have the heart it takes to get to .500 this year? Their character was severely questioned all last season. I'm not so sure it does.Synopsis: Mike Tice has the building blocks to get this team back on its feet. It just won't be this year. Look for a probable 6 wins this under-talented team.