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2011 Minnesota Vikings Odds | Preview | Picks

2011 Minnesota Vikings Team Preview | NFL Predictions

Brett Favre lingered on the sideline against the Detroit Lions during what was likely the last game of his 20-season career, often looking like he’d rather be kicking back on a lawn chair at his home in Mississippi.

2011 Minnesota Vikings Team Preview/Predictions
2010 Record: 6-10
ATS Record: 5-11

Well, now you can, Brett.

The three-time MVP quarterback was inactive with a concussion, but walked onto the field briefly as his Viking teammates desperately tossed laterals to each other before running out of time and hope as their miserable season came to an end with a loss to the Lions in Week 17.

When the game ended, the 41-year-old Favre jogged diagonally across the turf – waving once toward Detroit’s sideline – with the only burst of energy he showed all afternoon and went up a ramp toward the locker room.

So long, Brett. Please don’t come back.

Since then, Favre has finally decided to retire, or at least it is widely hoped. The Vikings decided to address their needs by tabbing a signal caller in the 2011 NFL Draft.

They used their first round pick on Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder. Even though Ponder could turn out to be a good quarterback in the League, it is uncertain how much impact he will have in his rookie season.

In a division that contains the Super Bowl champions from Green Bay, a much improved Lions bunch, and a Chicago Bear team that is still a threat to repeat as NFC North champions, the Vikings could find themselves once again in the basement, and head coach Brad Childress out of a job.

Despite all of that, the Vikings still have one of the top running backs in the game in Adrian Peterson. Moreover, their defense should be up to par again, but everything circles back to the quarterback position and its question marks.

If Ponder can take little steps and improve week by week, things will be okay in the Twin Cities. If not, then the Vikings could be 6-10 again or even worse. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

In 2009 the Vikings fell just short of the Super Bowl when New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley’s 40-yard field goal sailed through the uprights in overtime of the NFC Championship Game. That dagger was delivered after what was arguably the worst interception Favre threw in his career.

The Vikings were wounded, but they rightfully had high hopes that things would turn out different in 2010.

They were correct in that things were different last year, but they were wrong in expecting an improvement on their fortunes.

Things turned unexpectedly sour for the Vikings, breaking the way nobody in Minnesota was hoping for. Favre had his best season ever in 2009, finishing with a career high 107.2 passer rating, 33 touchdowns, and a career low 7 interceptions.

Then came his train-wreck 2010 season in which he finished with a career-low 69.9 passer rating; failed to break 3,000 yards passing for the first time in his long Hall of Fame career; threw 19 interceptions; and had only 11 touchdown passes.

By the end of the nightmare season, Minnesota quarterbacks threw 26 interceptions, which ranked them worst in the NFL. The Vikings also finished with a negative-11 turnover ratio, which was also the worst in the NFL.

It is a shock that the Vikings went from finishing 12-4 in 2009 and one drive away from the Super Bowl to finishing 6-10 only one year later.

Note: As of today it looks like Donovan McNabb will be the starting QB on opening day for the Vikings. I assume Webb (who has some potential) or Ponder will develop while McNabb fills a hole for a couple years.

2011 Vikings Futures:

Super Bowl Odds: +1415
Conference Odds: +1550
NFC North Odds: +900
2011-2012 NFL Regular Season Wins: Over 6.5 (-120), Under 6.5 (-110)

2011 Vikings Predictions:

Place they’ll finish in NFC North: 4th
Place they’ll finish in NFC Conference: 14th

Over/Under Wins Prediction: Under

With NFL football just a short time away, Cappers Picks Football handicappers have been hard at work putting out the team by team NFL previews for those of us who can’t wait.

Bet on the 2011 SuperBowl winner, plus Conference and Divisional winners.

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About Dave Golokhov AKA Vegas Dave

Dave Golokhov has written for Playboy.com, BETUS Sportsbook, Sportsfanmagazine.com, FOX, Askmen.com, Sports-central, and the FOXSports.com Funhouse.