3 biggest obstacles for the Vikings right now

What is the biggest obstacle for the Vikings?

By: Jake Rajala

The Minnesota Vikings are arguably the most complex NFC team at the moment. The Vikings have an elite offensive trio, but they still failed to make the playoffs last season. The talent on the roster wasn’t superb enough to keep Mike Zimmer in the building and it’s clear they will truly look to be a real NFC contender with Kevin O’Connell moving forward.

With that enunciated, there will surely be barriers for the Vikings next season. Here are the three biggest obstacles for the Vikings right now.

  • Aging secondary

The Vikings didn’t ink one of the golden free-agent cornerbacks, but they were able to retain Patrick Peterson. PP will be one of the top NFC North CBs, but it’s far from certain if the Vikings will unveil a more impressive pass defense than their 28th ranked pass defense with PP in 2021.

The Vikings royalty in Harrison Smith will soon require a youth teammate, as well. Smith had a mere one interception last season (second-worst int count in a single season). Malcolm Jenkins recently retired and it seems Smith could hang up his cleats in 2023 or 2024.

If the Vikings offense can be overly impressive, the Vikings may be able to escape a dreadful pass defense. The Bengals had the 26th ranked pass defense and the Chiefs ranked 27th in pass YPG allowed.

  • Alexander Mattison

There will likely be numerous points in the season where the Vikings lean on Alexander Mattison to be effective. Mattison will either be the true x-factor, or he will be an average ball-carrier. Mattison had a career-high 719 total yards last season, but he also had a career-low of 4.3 yards per touch. The 23-year-old Mattison can be an underrated difference-maker for MIN.

  • Consistent effort

It’s easy to believe that NFL players will give 100% effort in each matchup because they’re “professional athletes”. Although, it’s clear that NFL/sports teams fall victim to being upset by less talented squads frequently. Unfortunately, the Zimmer-led Vikings team was defeated by the Detroit Lions and they also lost “seven other games by eight or fewer points” in 2021. It’s important that O’Connell brings a more intense tempo in year one as the Vikings ring leader.

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