The Minnesota Vikings sat out of the playoffs for the second year in a row in 2014, as Adrian Peterson played just one game due to an off field scandal. The team seemed to find the answer at quarterback though, when they turned to rookie Teddy Bridgewater after only a few weeks. While Minnesota may have held slim playoff hopes to start the year, losing Peterson and starting Bridgewater early may have ended up being the best possible route in 2014. It could end up being the end of the Peterson era in Minnesota, but it marked the beginning of the Mike Zimmer/Bridgewater era, as well.
That era could be a good one after a promising finish that had the Vikings at a respectable 7-9. While Minnesota started the year slow, they finished strong with wins in three out of their last five games and arguably saw enough out of Bridgewater to know he just might be the franchise passer they’ve been waiting for.
Bridgewater’s development will end up being the biggest key for 2015, while Minnesota has made sure to assist him the best they can. Wide receiver Mike Wallace was brought in via trade to spice up the passing game, while the Vikings added DuJuan Harris to the backfield and addressed an inconsistent offensive line by letting Charlie Johnson go and re-signing Mike Harris and Joe Berger. Minnesota also continued to beef up their defense, as they signed safety Taylor Mays and retained defensive tackle Tom Johnson. Building largely through the draft, the Vikings will look to add even more talent in late April and could be looking at a much more competitive 2015.
Minnesota’s steady rise and the excitement surrounding Bridgewater should have Vikings tickets returning major value this season, regardless of what happens with Peterson. Peterson staying in town would greatly increase the value of Minnesota Vikings tickets, but Minnesota is prepared for his potential departure, as they have Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon ready to take over full-time if need be.
Whatever ends up happening, Minnesota’s schedule isn’t going away, so Peterson or no Peterson, the Vikings better come ready in 2015. In addition to their NFC North clashes, the Vikings will have their hands full at home, as they’ll welcome the Rams, Seahawks, Giants, Chiefs and Chargers to town. Minnesota fans will confidently attend the Rams, Giants, Chiefs and Chargers games chasing a potential win, but the Vikings will have a tough task when Seattle visits TCF Bank Stadium.
Minnesota’s schedule is arguably even tougher away from home this year, as they’ll brace for hostile environments in Arizona, San Francisco, Atlanta, Denver and Oakland. Their matchup with the Raiders could end up being an easy win and the Falcons could remain pushovers, but the Vikings will have to bring their “A” game when they visit feisty Cardinals, Broncos and 49ers defense.
There’s nothing better for a sports fan when their team is on the rise. Hipmunk.com can help you experience the rise, with flights to and from Minneapolis to get you to any game around the country. With hotels near TCF Bank Stadium from $69, Hipmunk is your travel accommodations resource whether you see the Vikings in Minnesota or on the road.
A huge part of Minnesota’s 2015 season will be about potentially moving on and development. The Vikings have a plethora of quality young talent they can build with on both sides of the ball. The sooner the Peterson saga is resolved, the better. Once they can put that behind them, Mike Zimmer’s crew can focus on improving on the steady progress we saw in 2014.