2011 Recap: It was a rough year for the Vikings. This was Leslie Frazier's first year as head coach and unfortunately they struggled to 3-13 record. A large part of that record is a result of an 0-6 division record. If the Vikings want to compete this year they'll have to start matching up better with their rivals. They're hoping Christian Ponder can help them take that next step. He started 10 games last year and the results were mixed. Ponder showed glimpses of his potential, but wasn't consistent enough. A 54% completion rate and a 1:1 TD to INT ratio (13 each) won't cut it.
Offseason Review: The Vikings were quiet in free agency. The team did bring in two cornerbacks, former Titan Chris Carr and Zack Bowman. Perhaps one will be looked at to fill Cedric Griffin's spot, as the oft-injured CB is now a Redskin. Another notable loss certainly benefited the Titans. The Vikings cut veteran Steve Hutchinson and Tennessee was happy to scoop him up.
Draft Review: The Vikings moved back two spots in the draft and still got their guy, selecting Matt Kalil with the fourth pick. He's an instant starter and should greatly help out Christian Ponder. They continued dealing by moving into the end of the first round. With the 29th pick they took Harrison Smith. That pick fills a need for Minnesota but I'm not sold on him. In the fourth round the Vikings nabbed receiver Greg Childs. If he can stay healthy, he'll be fun to watch. I thought defensive end Trevor Guyton would go a lot higher than the seventh round but the Vikings pounced on the opportunity.
Most Dangerous Player to the Titans: Jared Allen had 22 sacks last year. 22. That is absolutely phenomenal. The Titans have good tackles but that is a very difficult matchup for them. Adrian Peterson gets consideration for this title but his health is still a question mark.
Overrated Player: What has Percy Harvin done that made him worth a first round pick? He can be explosive but has struggled with injuries and inconsistency.
Underrated Player: It was hard to find someone for this spot but I'll give the nod to Toby Gerhart. If AP has to miss a game or two early, Gerhart will have a good opportunity to break out.
Daily Norseman never replied to my email so Insider Info will return with the next team preview. They must have a Canadian filter.
My Thoughts: A quick glance at the other three teams in the division indicate that this will be another rebuilding year for the Vikings. Their record shouldn't be their biggest concern. Getting Christian Ponder and the other young talent to develop should be the primary goal. It might not be what Vikings fans want to hear but those goals are more important than a shot at going 8-8.