Pro Football Teams


Minnesota Vikings:

Moss & 'Pepper makes the Vikes charge

The Minnesota Vikings have seen a great number of players come through their franchise. Many of them have been enshrined in Canton in the Hall of Fame but none of them have been quite as amazing as quarterback Fran Tarkenton and defensive lineman Alan Page. Tarkenton was one of the National Football League’s most prolific passers of all-time. When Tarkenton retired after the 1978 season he held the records for career passes attempted, career passes completed, career yards gained, career touchdowns thrown, and career rushing yards by a quarterback. He also led the Vikings to Super Bowls VIII, IX, and XI. Page also enjoyed a great deal of success while with the Vikings and was also part of the Super Bowl teams that played in Super Bowls IV, VIII, IX, and XI. Page was a two time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He also was the first Viking to ever be named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1971 and the most amazing part of it was that he did it from the defensive tackle position. He also led the Vikings to their sole NFL championship in 1969. Last season the Vikings didn’t fare all too well. The team started out the season scorching and racked up a 6-0 record. After that the team only managed a 3-7 record and missed the playoffs by allowing a touchdown on the last play of the last game of their season. It was a heartbreaking game for the team and the fans to say the least.

The Vikings have needed to upgrade their defense for years now and this year the team seemed to make some significant improvements to it. Their big defensive offseason aquisition was former Buffalo Bill and free agent cornerback Antoine Winfield. Many scouts thought that Winfield was the best cornerback on the market behind Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey. They also picked up former Houston Texan defensive tackle Steve Martin to help add some depth to the defensive line corps.

The draft is where the Vikings made the most drastic improvements to their defense. With the #20 pick they grabbed USC defensive end Kenechi Udeze. Udeze was thought to be a steal with the #20 pick since most draft experts expected him to go in the top 15 picks. With their two 2nd round picks the Vikings picked up two more defensive players. They picked Auburn middle linebacker Dontarrious Thomas and Ohio State defensive end Darrion Scott. With these big pick-ups the Viking defense shouldn’t collapse like they did last year after their six game winning streak.

Minnesota is known for their explosive offense. With players like quarterback Daunte Culpepper and wide receiver Randy Moss, Vikings tickets will be a hot commodity with fans trying to catch a glimpse of their vaunted their aerial attack. Since his first season as a regular starter in 2000 Culpepper has averaged 3470 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, 480 rushing yards, and 6 rushing touchdowns per season. As impressive as Culpepper’s numbers may be Moss’ number are awe inspiring. Moss has averaged 87 catches, 1375 yards and almost 13 touchdowns since breaking into the NFL in ‘98 and all but a few think he is the best wide receiver in the NFL. The Vikings ranked number one in total offense in the NFL boasting the 3rd best passing and 4th best rushing offense in the NFL.

The defense really let the offense down at times last year. After the first six games of the season the Vikings had the number one ranked defense in the NFL and when the season was all said and done they finished with the 24th ranked defense in the NFL. The Vikings are banking on the new acquisitions plugging up the holes in the holey defense they displayed in 2003.

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