Vikings 2016 Record Predictions – The VT Consensus

Vikings 2016 Record Predictions
Vikings Wall Collection - by Matt Engstrom

While it’s way too early to start making win/loss predictions for the 2016 season, it’s also never too early to make win/loss predictions for the 2016 season! Sure, there are lot of unknowns out there and everything could change for the Vikings in an instant, but what fun would it be to simply present the Vikings 2016 schedule without conjecture or any sort of blind speculation?

That wouldn’t be fun. So, I reached out to our talented staff here at Vikings Territory and had them look into their purple-hued crystal balls to see how they thought the Vikings would fare this season.

Are the Vikings going to improve their impressive 11-5 record from last season and establish themselves as a dominant team? Or will they regress and fall below admittedly high expectations?

We can’t say for certain. But that certainly won’t stop us from trying. 

Week 1 | Sunday, Sept. 11 | at Tennessee Titans

The Vikings kick off the 2016 regular season in Tennessee against a young and improving Titans team. While the first game of the year can sometimes be unpredictable and full of outliers (see last year’s season opener against San Francisco), our team here at Vikings Territory sees things clearly and is predicting a win across the board.

Adam Patrick: “Some may feel that this is a gimme game for Minnesota when they head to Tennessee to face off against the Titans. But Week 1 NFL games are almost always some of the craziest of the season, and this one will be no different as the Vikings will need a field goad by kicker Blair Walsh in overtime to come out victorious.”

Adam Warwas: “Opening on the road against a mobile quarterback. This will be our first indication that the Vikings aren’t simply as good as they were in 2015, but better.”

Win Percentage: 100% (Consensus win!)
Record: 1-0

Week 2 | Sunday, Sept. 18 | Green Bay Packers

Could it have been any other way? Of course not. The Vikings will play their first regular season game in the incredible new U.S. Bank Stadium against the Packers. In what will undoubtedly be a close game between fierce rivals, our team agrees again that the Vikings should walk away victorious. Except for Sam Neumann – he had the guts to predict a loss. The nerve!

Sam Neumann: “Loss. *ducks* Hey, who threw that? With the pomp and circumstance of the new stadium unveiling, something tells me the Packers roll into town and ruin it. Rodgers has owned the Vikings most of his career. Plus, the primetime letdowns are so frequent with this team. I am very, very hopeful I am wrong on this one.” (So do we, Sam. So do we…)

Brent LaBathe: “Am I nervous about opening the new purple palace against the hated Packers? Absolutely. There is nothing more that I would hate than Packer fans hanging a new stadium loss over our heads. But I would be shocked if the Vikings didn’t pull out all the stops to start the season 2-0 and kick off the home schedule 1-0 in the division. Green Bay will almost surely be better than the team we saw in the second half of 2015, but this Vikings team isn’t one to push over anymore.”

Win Percentage: 85.71%
Record: 2-0

Week 3 | Sunday, Sept 25 | at Carolina Panthers

After getting to show the world their shiny new stadium, the Vikings hit the road again and travel to face the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers.  The last time these two teams met was in 2014, when the Vikings dealt Carolina their last loss before the Panthers went on a winning spree that lasted 18 games. However, we’re predicting this time that the Vikings won’t be so lucky and suffer their first loss of 2016 at the hands of Cam Newton and the Panthers’ elite defense.

Adam Warwas: “The NFC Champions are led by “Superman” and if they are fully healthy, then this quite possibly the toughest matchup on the schedule. I can live with the Vikings being humbled early on in the season.”

Brent LaBathe: “I view this game an awful lot like the Denver game last season. Sure, you can argue this year we won’t carry much weight in moral victories, but I think that is what this game will amount to. Carolina, regardless of the Super Bowl showing, is still a very good team and I suspect they’ll go to great lengths to arm quarterback Cam Newton with more offensive tools. If you want to win in the NFL, you have to beat the best. I just don’t see it happening in Week 3.

Win Percentage: 28.57%
Record: 2-1

Week 4 | Monday, Oct. 3 | New York Giants

If this game against the New York Giants is anything like 2015’s matchup, we should be in for a fun one. The Vikings made a joke of the Giants in Week 16 last year, putting them in their place to the tune of 49-17. New York’s star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was absent from the contest due to a suspension he received for his personal conduct in the prior week’s game against Josh Norman and the Panthers. His absence was definitely felt by quarterback Eli Manning, who threw three interceptions that day. The VT team doesn’t see things happening much differently this time around as we have our second consensus win of the 2016 season.

Adam Patrick: “As of right now, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is scheduled to play in this Monday Night matchup in Minnesota. But with Drake as his current roommate, who knows what types of shenanigans Beckham could get into between now and then. Even with Beckham in the lineup for the Giants, the Vikings will still end up as the winners of this “Josh Freeman Memorial” game.”

Brent LaBathe: “I have no idea if this is accurate, but I feel as if Eli Manning has thrown more interceptions to Viking players than any other team in his career. After an absolute blowout of the Giants in 2015, you have to be confident of their ability to win in NYC – even with Odell Beckham Jr. back in action for this game.”

Note: I checked to see if Eli Manning has, in fact, thrown more interceptions to the Vikings than any other team. Not including NFC East teams, Manning has thrown more interceptions to the Vikings than any other team (14). Nice job, Brent!

Win Percentage: 100% (Consensus win!)
Record: 3-1

Week 5 | Sunday, Oct. 9 | Houston Texans

The Vikings stay at home for Week 5, where they take on the Houston Texans.  This game could go a number of ways and is a little difficult to predict – especially not knowing how transplant quarterback Brock Osweiler will perform under center. However, most of our team agrees that the Vikings should win this one with the exception of Carl Knowles, who’s predicting a loss.

Carl Knowles: “This is my upset of the season. The Texans have a new identity with quarterback Brock Osweiler and I suspect they will be up and down to start the season. This week they just happen to be up.”

Austin Belisle: “Houston is an under-the-radar team whose success relies on the progression of new quarterback Brock Osweiler. He’ll do well under Bill O’Brien, but it’s Lamar Miller, the dual threat running back, who can hurt the Vikings. Minnesota ekes out a win thanks to Teddy Bridgewater, who continues his hot streak and powers the Vikings to five straight wins.”

Win Percentage: 85.71%
Record: 4-1

Week 6 | BYE WEEK

The Vikings win by getting a week off. But are they losers by having it so early in the season (again)?

Week 7 | Sunday, Oct. 23 | at Philadelphia Eagles

Coming off their bye week rested and [hopefully] well prepared, the Vikings travel to Philadelphia to take on an Eagles squad that is likely to be quite different from their 2015 version. Will their new, rookie quarterback Carson Wentz / Jared Goff be starting by this point? Or will the Vikings defense be tasked with finding a way to stop the ever-injured, former No. 1 pick Sam Bradford? Regardless, most of our team sees this game as a Vikings win, except for Austin Belisle and Adam Patrick, who both think Mike Zimmer’s team could have some post-bye week woes.

Adam Patrick: “Minnesota players can expect some hearing loss from Vikings head Mike Zimmer after he is done screaming at them about their performance in this game. The Eagles will take advantage of a Minnesota team that seemed to be a bit flat coming out of their bye week. It might have been due to exhaustion from the hot yoga class that wide receiver Stefon Diggs invited everyone to during their week off.”

Austin Belisle: “Fresh off a bye week, the Vikings come out flat against the Eagles. Quarterback remains a giant question mark for Philadelphia, but the Eagles’ roster is loaded with talent on defense and stifles Adrian Peterson. Bridgewater hits Stefon Diggs for a late touchdown, but it’s not enough to catch Philadelphia.”

Win Percentage: 71.43%
Record: 5-1

Week 8 | Monday, Oct. 31 | at Chicago Bears

The Vikings travel to the Windy City for their first division road game in 2016.  Last season, the Vikings managed to win at Soldier Field for the first time since 2007. Could winning in Chicago become a trend for the Vikings or will they fall back into their old ways and continue to be haunted by Soldier Field on Halloween night?

Austin Belisle: “Chicago has to be better this season, and the Bears always find a way to keep these games close. Peterson also has success against the Bears, and that will continue on Halloween night. But Chicago’s worst nightmare is Blair Walsh, who hits a 27-yard field goal to seal the game as time expires. ”

Sam Neumann: “Loss, and it kills me to say it. But I believe in John Fox as a coach and his ability to make his teams at least competitive, and Soldier Field is not a kind place on a Monday Night in late October.”

Our team was torn on this one but slightly leaned towards another win for the Vikings allowing them to continue their three-game winning streak.

Win Percentage: 57.14%
Record: 6-1

Week 9 | Sunday, Nov. 6 | Detroit Lions

Despite having a rough 2015 campaign overall and losing to the Vikings twice, the Lions finished last season strong. However, they also lost their biggest playmaker this offseason when Calvin Johnson announced his retirement. Though division games are never a gimme, our staff doesn’t predict a loss for the Vikings here as they beat another division opponent and stay undefeated against NFC North foes.

Brent LaBathe: “I just can’t see Detroit putting together a decent season after losing Calvin Johnson to retirement. The Vikings beat up on quarterback Matthew Stafford twice last year and I’m banking on them getting after him again.”

Sam Neumann: “No explanation needed.”

Win Percentage: 100% (Consensus win!)
Record: 7-1

Week 10 | Sunday, Nov. 13 | at Washington Redskins

The Vikings travel to the capital to take on their third NFC East opponent of the year where a Kirk Cousins and Jay Gruden-led Washington team awaits. Minnesota has not lost to Washington since new Cleveland Browns quarterback, Robert Griffin III, ran rampant on the Vikings defense to the tune of 138 rushing yards. Now led by a more stationery quarterback, our team foresees another win for the Vikings, Adam Warwas being the only one of us who predicts a loss.

Carl Knowles: “Washington still factors to be the front runners in the NFC East and this game will not be a gimme.”

Adam Warwas: “At some point the Vikings are going to stumble, right? If that’s true, then this road matchup sticks out to me as another tough one against a Redskins team that could very well end up being red hot at this point of the 2016 season.”

Win Percentage: 85.71%
Record: 8-1

Week 11 | Sunday, Nov. 20 | Arizona Cardinals

Bruce Arians and the Cardinals travel to frigid Minnesota, where the Vikings will have their shot at revenge against an Arizona team that just barely beat them in Week 14 last year. In a matchup that will likely tell us a lot about where the Vikings stand amongst the elite teams of the NFL, the Vikings will have their hands full with this NFC powerhouse. Most of our team is predicting a loss with the exception of Adam Warwas and Adam Patrick.

Adam Warwas: “The Cardinals are one of the better teams the Vikings have to face in 2016, but I think they match up very well in all phases. I wish we could’ve had the chance to show that in the playoffs. It won’t be easy, but this team will prove late it can play with the big boys.”

Adam Patrick: “Minnesota has struggled historically against teams with mobile quarterbacks. Luckily for the Vikings, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer could not beat Peyton Manning’s grandpa in a foot race and Minnesota’s pass rush will take full advantage of that.”

Win Percentage: 28.57%
Record: 8-2

Week 12 | Thursday, Nov. 24 | at Detroit Lions

By this point, the Vikings have shown they are the team to beat in the NFC North. However, the Lions are the team with the experience in playing games for the world to see on Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately for the Detroit, the holiday doesn’t save them and round two of this divisional matchup doesn’t look to be much different than the first with wins for the Vikings across the board.

Brent LaBathe: “I just can’t see Detroit putting together a decent season after losing Calvin Johnson to retirement. The Vikings beat up on quarterback Matthew Stafford twice last year and I’m banking on them getting after him again.”

Adam Patrick: “Thanksgiving will feature the Vikings this season and Mr. Stefon Diggs figured this game would be a good one to show the whole country what kind of player he is. Diggs’ three-touchdown effort against the Lions will remind Minnesota fans of certain former receiver known for his Thanksgiving day performances (hint, his name rhymes with Shmoss).”

Win Percentage: 100% (Consensus win!)
Record: 9-2

Week 13 | Thursday, Dec. 1 | Dallas Cowboys

More primetime for the Vikings as they take on the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football at U.S. Bank Stadium. Maybe if Dallas isn’t too busy getting their tails kicked, as our team believes they will be, Jerry Jones and Co. will allow some time to take in what a real stadium looks like.

Carl Knowles: “Will Tony Romo still be healthy this deep into the season?”

Sam Neumann: “Dallas seems to implode a little more each year, and getting them near the end of the season is preferable. Xavier Rhodes/Dez Bryant will be fun to watch.”

Win Percentage: 100% (Consensus win!)
Record: 10-2

Week 14 | Sunday, Dec. 11 | at Jacksonville Jaguars

Surprisingly, two members of the VT team think the Vikings will get shocked by the Jacksonville Jaguars and their young, up-and-coming offense. Let’s hear from the two culprits who kept this thing from being another consensus win.

Adam Patrick: “A trip to Florida in December always seems like a good idea. However, a few stupid turnovers leads to two, unanswered Jaguars touchdowns in which Minnesota is never able to recover. Needless to say, Zimmer cancelled the team dinner at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville after the loss.”

Austin Belisle: “The Jaguars are a sleeping giant, at least on the offensive side of the football. Meanwhile, the Vikings are still trying to find the balance between Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater. The oft-criticized quarterback finds his groove against a porous Jaguars defense, but it’s not enough to keep up with Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson.”

Win Percentage: 71.43%
Record: 11-2

Week 15 | Sunday, Dec. 18 | Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck is back after missing most of the 2015 season and ready to lead the Colts into Minnesota against the Vikings, now fully established, upper-echelon defense. Thanks to another hot streak since losing to the Cardinals in Week 11, The Vikings have likely already clinched a playoff spot or will do so with a win here. Thankfully, that’s exactly what our team thinks they’ll get with the exception of, well, me… I guess I have some explaining to do.

Brett Anderson: “I just think this is a different team with a healthy Andrew Luck than the one we saw in 2015. A lot of people seem to have forgotten how good Andrew Luck can be when he’s playing at full strength. With more weapons at his disposal, I think the Colts come out victorious in what is a very close contest between two playoff teams.”

Austin Belisle: “Minnesota’ defense gets the best of Andrew Luck, who still doesn’t have time to chuck the ball downfield. The former Stanford quarterback brings the Colts back late in the game, but Indianapolis can’t stop Peterson from running the clock out.”

Win Percentage: 71.43%
Record: 12-2

Week 16 | Saturday, Dec. 24 | at Green Bay Packers

It’s Christmas Eve and the Packers will be looking for revenge at Lambeau after being beaten by the Vikings in primetime Week 2. With only two losses, it’s likely the Vikings have solidified a spot in the postseason, but this game could have major divisional implications and improve seeding. Given that we’re predicting a loss here, let’s hope the Vikings already have that NFC North title wrapped up.

Adam Warwas: “Fine. I’ll concede that the Packers are going to be good, that there’s no reason to predict a sweep, and this game for the NFCN throne will surely feature plenty of drama.”

Adam Patrick: “In the Vikings first season sweep of the Packers since they had the Silver Fox playing under center back in 2009, Bridgewater comes out of this game having the better performance between the two quarterbacks. The game will be tied midway through the fourth quarter, but kickoff return for a touchdown by Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson in which he avoids the attempted head butt by Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby ends up sealing the victory for the Vikings.”

Win Percentage: 42.86%
Record: 12-3

Week 17 | Sunday, Jan. 1 | Chicago Bears

The Vikings get to close out the 2016 regular season and bring in the new year at home (indoors, thankfully) against the Bears. Who knows if the Vikings will have anything to play for at this point and this team has yet to encounter a situation under Mike Zimmer where whether or not starters play has been in question. However, Zimmer doesn’t seem like the type to rest his starters and I imagine he’ll want to head into the postseason with some momentum after losing Week 16 to the Packers.

Brent LaBathe: “At home, I trust he Vikings to end the season on a high note. By this point of the season, the Bears have likely imploded in some typical fashion. They have a knack for falling a part towards the end of the season.”

Austin Belisle: “Not only do the Vikings win the NFC North, they do so in completely convincing fashion. With their best record since 1998, the Vikings enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed and wrap up home field advantage. Could these Vikings finally bring a Super Bowl to Minnesota?”

Win Percentage: 100% (Consensus win!)
Record: 13-3

In Review:

2016 Consensus Record: 13-3

Consensus Wins:

  • at Tennessee
  • vs. New York Giants
  • vs. Detroit
  • at Detroit
  • vs. Dallas
  • vs. Chicago


  • at Carolina
  • vs. Arizona
  • at Green Bay

Individual Record Predictions

  • Brett Anderson: 12-4
  • Austin Belisle: 13-3
  • Carl Knowles: 12-4
  • Brent LaBathe: 12-4
  • Sam Neumann: 12-4
  • Adam Patrick: 13-3
  • Adam Warwas: 13-3