Could the Minnesota Vikings be the next Kansas City Chiefs?
In many sports, the game is viewed as a team sport, football included. However, clearly there are more positions more valuable than others. But it seems that there is just one position that no team can be successful without. For the Minnesota Vikings, their woeful season records can be resolved, and ultimately transformed into a Super Bowl team; they need a quarterback.
Think about some of the most elite teams and their quarterbacks; Patriots- Tom Brady, Packers- Aaron Rodgers, Saints- Drew Brees, etc. More times than not, the most valuable player on the team is the quarterback. But for teams like the Eagles with LeSean McCoy, and the troublesome Vikings with MVP Adrian Peterson, their records keep them out of the playoffs. It is not that these athletes aren’t talented enough to win games, it is just that the game has transformed into an air game. Too easy now is it to stop a well performing running back, or at least outscore them through large plays passing. However, stopping elite quarterbacks is quite difficult. On a passing play, there are 3-5 targets a quarterback to go to, leaving defenders scattered throughout the field, while also remembering the quarterback can be just as lethal by running. For a running back, all 11 guys on the field know exactly who has the ball, and even the best of running backs can’t break 2-3 tackles on every play (some may argue Adrian Peterson, but he only has 4-6 large plays a game.)
For the sake of comparison, now lets look at teams the Minnesota Vikings could be like. The Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, and the Indianapolis Colts all made impressive runs with the addition of quarterbacks. I think it is fair to say most likely the Denver Broncos would not be as lethal as they are without Peyton Manning. considering during the Tim Tebow era, a record of 8-8 usually doesn’t make the playoffs. Looking at Russell Wilson, he brought the team from a 7-9 record to a playoff team. What the Colts did with such a horrific team with the loss of Manning, Andrew Luck was a great replacement. And most likely the most alike is the Kansas City Chiefs. The team had the most pro bowlers, yet nothing at quarterback. Change the personal at quarterback, and they have become undefeatable.
Obviously, there is a common theme with how to build an NFL team, focus on quarterback. And the Minnesota Vikings just are not doing that. The additions of Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Josh Freeman are just not the answer. Drafting is the key for the Vikings, but drafting smart. During the 2011 draft, they selected Christian Ponder over Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick. Then last years draft the team went over Ryan Tannenhill and Russell Wilson, confident that Christian Ponder is their franchise quarterback; well he is not.
The Vikings got the talent both on offense and defense. Receivers, running backs, and defensive linemen, all whom are some of the best in the NFL. Just eliminate the issue at quarterback and like the Kansas City Chiefs, this team can transform into an elite, playoff predator.
Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman are not the solution for Minnesota.