Author’s note: This is the first article in a weekly series that will tap into the darker, more depressing and pessimistic side of Vikings fandom. An unfiltered, weekly rundown of the worst case scenario type stuff that can only be dreamed up by the brain of a longtime Vikings fan.
The season is (kind of) upon us Vikings fans! As we settle in to the scheduled anxiety that is weekly NFL football, let’s go through some of the most concerning things about the Minnesota Vikings heading into the first week of the 2018 preseason.
The kicking situation
Given how Rick Spielman treats fifth round draft picks, the Vikings seem content to allow dead-man walking Kai Forbath to kick through a few preseason games to prove to everyone that they gave him a real chance (they didn’t) before cutting him and handing Daniel Carlson the keys to the wide-left-mobile. Carlson has been shaky but not bad during training camp so far, but only made 74% of his field goals with Auburn in 2017. Kickers are always a concern for this franchise but this year has a chance to be a real dumpster fire. Carlson feels a lot like Blair Walsh part two. Could you imagine a team that looks great all season and then loses a playoff game on a missed field goal?
New offensive coordinator
How do you know John Defilippo is going to be good? You don’t! If there is still a chance that this could fail miserably (and there is), we should be worried. I am still at least five weeks away from this item coming off of the list.
The offensive line
Last but most certainly not least is the state of the big uglies on offense. The Vikings were very lucky to stay as healthy as they did at offensive line last season, which will be nearly impossible for them to duplicate (as we have seen recently) in 2018. Although we may never see anything like the 2016 debacle, that season taught us what can happen to an offense when injuries turn second and third string guys into starters. Nick Easton and Pat Elflein being forced to miss games late last season made it nearly impossible for the Vikings to do the things that had allowed them to be so successful up to that point and we know how that ended.
Fast forward to preseason week one and the first team OL during morning walk-through was Riley Reiff, Tom Compton, Cornelius Edison, Danny Isidora and Rashod Hill. Sure, Mike Remmers and Pat Elflein are going to be back long before the regular season starts but that is not a Super Bowl caliber offensive line. Combine that with Nick Easton seeking a second opinion on his neck/back injury and things just got a lot scarier for Vikings fans. Kirk Cousins is known for getting the ball out quickly, but with the wrong combination of injuries and second/third string linemen, it wont matter who is taking the snap.