In 2019, the Vikings went 9-7 against the spread, and they started this season with two losses against the spread. The first two contests of 2020 ended in losses by 13 points per game. The Vikings covered the spread in their 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans, who were favored by three points.
Unfortunately, the Vikings are 0-3 and have never made the playoffs when losing their season’s first three games. Despite the frustrating start, Dalvin Cook, who received a five-year extension on September 12, is tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns with four in 2020.
Read Also: Green Bay Packers Predictions and Odds
2020 Vikings Draft Picks
Justin Jefferson, WR (LSU)
Jeff Gladney, CB (TCU)
Ezra Cleveland, OT (Boise State)
Cameron Dantzler, CB (Mississippi State)
D.J. Wonnum, DE (South Carolina)
James Lynch, DE (Baylor)
Troy Dye, LB (Oregon)
Harrison Hand, CB (Temple)
K.J. Osborn, WR (Miami FL)
Blake Brandel, OG (Oregon State)
Josh Metellus, S (Michigan)
Kenny Willekes, DE (Michigan State)
Nate Stanley, QB (Iowa)
Brian Cole, S (Mississippi State)
Kyle Hinton, OG (Washburn)
Notable Other New Faces for the Vikings
Tajae Sharpe, WR
Yannick Ngakoue, DE
Ryan Connelly, LB
Todd Davis, LB
Hardy Nickerson Jr., LB
George Iloka, S
Notable Vikings in New Places
Stefon Diggs, WR – Buffalo Bills
Laquon Treadwell, WR – Atlanta Falcons
Dillon Mitchell, WR – released
Josh Doctson, WR – New York Jets (opted out of the 2020 season)
Linval Joseph, DT – Los Angeles Chargers
Everson Griffen, DE – Dallas Cowboys
Stephen Weatherly, DE – Carolina Panthers
Mackensie Alexander, CB – Cincinnati Bengals
Xavier Rhodes, CB – Indianapolis Colts
Trae Waynes, CB – Cincinnati Bengals
Jayron Kearse, S – Detroit Lions (suspended for the first three games of the 2020 season)
Notable Vikings on the Injury Report
Pat Elflein, OG – placed on injured reserve with a thumb injury; expected to return for Week 5
Danielle Hunter, DE – placed on injured reserve with a neck injury; expected to return for Week 5
Kenny Willekes, DE – placed on injured reserve with a leg injury; out for the 2020 season
Troy Dye, LB – placed on injured reserve with a foot injury; expected to return for Week 6
Quentin Poling, LB – questionable for Week 4 for an undisclosed reason
Anthony Barr, OLB – placed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury; out for the 2020 season
Ben Gedeon, OLB – placed on the Physically Unable to Perform List for an undisclosed reason; expected to return for Week 8
Mike Hughes, CB – questionable for Week 4 with a neck injury after missing Week 3
Cameron Dantzler, CB – questionable for Week 4 with a rib injury after missing Week 3
Myles Dorn, S – placed on injured reserve for an undisclosed reason; expected to return for Week 4
Vikings Who Have Opted Out of 2020 NFL Season
Michael Pierce, DT
Vikings Offense Predictions
Veteran offensive tackle Riley Reiff is off to a strong start in his fourth season with the Vikings, but unfortunately, his quarterback struggled in Weeks 2 and 3. Kirk Cousins, the 2016 and 2019 Pro Bowler starts for the Vikings for the third consecutive year.
Since throwing for 259 yards and two touchdowns with a 76 percent completion rate in Week 1, he then put up these disappointment statistics in the following two contests: 51 percent completion rate, 1.5 touchdowns per game, and 2.5 interceptions per game.
Vikings Running Backs: Can Dalvin Cook Play 16 Games in a Season for the First Time in His Career?
At the running back position, Dalvin Cook looks healthy early in 2020. He is thriving on the field, as he touched the ball 53 times and had 6.1 yards per rushing attempt in his first three contests. Cook’s 318 yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns lead the team. He is also averaging 98 rushing yards per game. Cook had the most double-digit yard carries in the league in Week 3.
Vikings Wide Receivers: Will Rookie Justin Jefferson Lead the Team in Receiving in 2020?
The Justin Jefferson show seemed to begin in Week 3, as the rookie wide receiver showed that he could be in for a 1,000-yard season. With Stefon Diggs in Buffalo, the Vikings needed a new No. 2 receiver heading into 2020. Adam Thielen has taken hold of the No. 1 spot with the team lead in targets, but through three weeks, Jefferson is tied with Thielen for the highest number of receptions (12) on the Vikings.
In Week 3, Jefferson went for seven receptions, 175 yards, and a touchdown and became one of the youngest players in NFL history to have that performance type. Jefferson may be on Thielen’s tail, but Thielen leads the Vikings with three receiving touchdowns.
Vikings Tight Ends: Kyle Rudolph May Be Able to Surpass His 367 Receiving Yards From 2019, but It Is Doubtful He Scores More Than Six Touchdowns in 2020
Kyle Rudolph, a two-time Pro Bowler, caught 39 passes for 367 yards and six touchdowns in 2019, and it appears that he will be in for a similar season this year. Through three games, Rudolph had four catches for 39 yards and a touchdown. He will continue to be a red-zone threat, but the soon-to-be 31-year-old tight end will not produce as much as he did earlier in his career.
Read Also: Chicago Bears Predictions and Odds
Vikings Defense Predictions
The 2020 Vikings defense has six new starters, and the defensive unit had a tough Week 1. Head coach Mike Zimmer never had a defense of his allow 43 points until the Green Bay Packers’ loss. Minnesota’s defense lost two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr for the season. Unfortunately, defensive end Danielle Hunter is out for an extended period as well.
Cornerbacks Mike Hughes and Cameron Dantzler have also experienced injury troubles, so the Vikings had to activate some practice squad players. Minnesota also signed former Denver Broncos linebacker Todd Davis, but he only played one snap during the Week 3 contest. He did have a solo tackle on that lone snap, though.
Read Also: Detroit Lions Predictions and Odds
Vikings Special Teams Predictions
Kicker Dan Bailey owned the league’s best active field goal streak until it ended in Week 3. He made his first three field goals of the season until missing a 49-yard attempt in the third quarter on September 27.
Back in 2015, Bailey made the Pro Bowl as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He spent seven years playing for them, and Bailey is now in his third year with the Vikings. In 2019, he had a solid year, as he made 93 percent of his field goals. He missed more extra points (four) than field goals (two) last season.
Vikings Head Coach Predictions
Head coach Mike Zimmer, the defensive backs coach for the Super Bowl XXX champion Cowboys, enters his seventh season as the head coach of the Vikings. His career record heading into this year was 57-38-1. He also has two postseason victories but has yet to win the NFC Championship Game.
Zimmer’s lone conference championship game appearance as a head coach occurred three years ago, but his Vikings fell, 38-7, to the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Meanwhile, Mike’s son Adam Zimmer is sharing the defensive coordinator duties with co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson. Both Patterson and the younger Zimmer are in their first year as co-defensive coordinators and have been with the Vikings since the elder Zimmer took over as the head coach.
Adam Zimmer was a Super Bowl XLIV champion when he was the New Orleans Saints’ assistant linebackers coach.
Vikings Predictions for Week 4
Week 4 is the Vikings’ chance to get a win on the board, as they are heading to Houston to take on the 0-3 Houston Texans. Minnesota opened as a four-point underdog, and the line has decreased to 3.5 points. A bet on Minnesota has value in this matchup of winless teams.
Playing against Deshaun Watson is never easy, but the two-time Pro Bowler has been sacked the second-most times among quarterbacks this season. If the Vikings defense can get to Watson and Dalvin Cook exploits Houston’s weak rushing defense, Minnesota has a chance at winning this contest.
Vikings Predictions for 2020 Season
The 2020 over/under for the Vikings was nine wins at the beginning of the season, so those that took the over are hoping for a big winning streak soon. Week 4 is not going to be an easy win for the Vikings, as both they and the Texans will be desperate for their first win of the season.
Week 5 at Seattle will be an even more challenging task. Then, Minnesota takes on the electrifying Atlanta Falcons offense in Week 6 before the Vikings’ bye. While Zimmer’s squad may begin the season 1-5 or 2-4, Minnesota’s +5000 Super Bowl futures bet is not a bad one since this Vikings team could have a strong second half of the season and sneak into the playoffs.
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