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Vikings 2021 NFL Preview: Minnesota 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Betting

Posted: Aug 30, 2021Last updated: Aug 30, 2021

Here’s The Game Day’s Minnesota Vikings 2021 NFL Preview: 2020 Recap, Team 2021 Outlook, and 2021 Betting Tips.

Vikings 2021 Best Bet

For in-depth analysis of this best Vikings bet pick, continue reading.

Vikings 2021 Team Preview

Minnesota Vikings 2020 Recap

  • Final record: 7-9 (3-5 Home / 4-4 Away)
  • Division regular-season finish: 3rd In NFC North
  • Result: Did not qualify for the postseason

Last season was marked by inconsistency for the Minnesota Vikings, who quickly fell out of playoff contention after starting the season 1-5. They rallied to win five of their next six in the middle of the season before losing three of their last four to end the year in disappointing fashion.

Despite their lackluster record, the Vikings appear to have struck gold with Justin Jefferson, who immediately stepped up and filled the void left by Stefon Diggs as a rookie last year. He also opened up the field for fellow wideout Adam Thielen and helped Kirk Cousins enjoy one of his best campaigns to date.

While the offense was boosted by the emergence of Jefferson as well as an outstanding season from Dalvin Cook, Minnesota’s defense took a massive step back. After allowing the fifth-fewest points in 2019, the Vikings yielded the fourth-most points in 2020. Turnover at cornerback and the loss of defensive end Danielle Hunter for the entire season proved to be devastating blows, rendering Minnesota’s depleted unit powerless to stop opposing offenses.


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Minnesota Vikings 2021 Offseason Changes

Vikings 2021 Offseason Departures

  • S Anthony Harris
  • OT Riley Reiff
  • TE Kyle Rudolph
  • DE Ifeadi Odenigbo
  • RB Mike Boone
  • DT Jaleel Johnson
  • LB Eric Wilson

Vikings 2021 Free-Agency/Offseason Additions

  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson
  • LB Nick Vigil
  • CB Patrick Peterson
  • DE Stephen Weatherly
  • CB Mackenzie Alexander
  • S Xavier Woods
  • OL Mason Cole

Vikings 2021 NFL Draft Picks

  • Round 1: OT Christian Darrisaw 
  • Round 3: QB Kellen Mond, LB Chazz Surratt, OL Wyatt Davis, DE Patrick Jones II
  • Round 4: RB Keke Nwangwu, CB Cam Bynum, DE Janarius Robinson
  • Round 5: WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, TE Zach Davidson
  • Round 6: DT Jaylen Twyman

Minnesota Vikings 2021 Outlook

The Vikings project to be an average team in 2021. The offense boasts some impressive weapons but may struggle to finish in the top half of the league again with several top players possibly headed for regression. Jefferson may see his production sag in Year 2 as opposing defenses adjust to him, and Cousins will be hard-pressed to replicate his career-best 6.8% touchdown rate. Thielen isn’t getting any younger, and the WR depth behind him and Jefferson is atrocious.

Minnesota drafted a new left tackle in Christian Darrisaw to improve their questionable offensive line, but he underwent minor groin surgery recently and may not be 100 percent. They’re in trouble if he isn’t healthy or up to speed, especially after losing Riley Reiff in the offseason.

The additions of Dalvin Tomlinson and Patrick Peterson should improve the defense significantly, but Hunter returning to health will be key. The secondary is still a problem though, especially after losing one of its best pieces in Anthony Harris as well as former first-round pick Jeff Gladney. This unit will be better, but far from elite.

With an offense and defense that both project to be middle-of-the-road, the Vikings are unlikely to return to contention in 2021.

Justin Jefferson Minnesota Vikings WR

Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson will look to build off an outstanding rookie season and remain one of the NFL’s best wide receivers in 2021. (Image: USA TODAY)


Minnesota Vikings 2021 NFL Futures Bet Tips

Vikings To Win Under 9 Games (-115)

This will be fairly close given that Minnesota is not a bad team on paper. Cousins limits their offensive ceiling, however, and the defense still has glaring holes. Accordingly, the Vikings will likely finish with a losing record due to their thin depth and lack of high-end talent at several premium positions like OL and CB.

Vikings To Finish 3rd In NFC North (+275)

After Minnesota finished third in their division last year, that’s the most likely scenario for them again this year. The Detroit Lions are all but guaranteed to finish last, but with Aaron Rodgers still in Green Bay the Packers will be tough to overcome, even if everything breaks right for the Vikings. Minnesota could beat out the Chicago Bears for second place, but I think Chicago stays in second after upgrading their quarterback situation.

Vikings To Miss Playoffs (-135)

While the Vikings are talented enough to make the playoffs as a Wild Card team, they’re more likely to fall short given the strength of their roster and the NFC as a whole. They’ve missed the playoffs more often than not over the past two decades, so I expect that trend to continue in 2021.

Author

Kev Mahserejian

Kev Mahserejian is an NFL/NBA/MLB analyst at The Game Day, residing in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 and began creating sports content soon after. Kev currently writes fantasy and betting pieces while also hosting his podcast The Operating Room with various guests from the sports industry to discuss topics primarily regarding fantasy. He also writes for RotoBaller and is quite active on his Twitter @RotoSurgeon.

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