2010 Minnesota Vikings Season Preview

The 2010 Minnesota Vikings Team Preview could piggyback on the back of the way that their 2009 season went, if quarterback Brett Favre decides to make his return and comeback for a 20th season in the NFL. The Vikings were an overtime period away from making a trip to the Super Bowl last season, and could find themselves in a similar situation this season if Favre comes back to lead the offense.

In what has been a theme for the last several years in the NFL after conclusion of the season, Favre has once again left his future up in the air, not eluding to the Vikings nor the public what his intentions will be for the upcoming season. The veteran quarterback had arguably one of the best seasons in his hall-of-fame career in 2009, throwing for 4,202 yards and 33 touchdowns en route to a 12-4 record and the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs. The Vikings captured the NFC North Title and lost to the Saints in the NFC Championship game by a field goal in overtime.

Statistically, the Vikings were very solid on both sides of the ball, ranking in the top-six in total offense and defense. Minnesota averaged 29.4 points per game on offense, which ranked second in the NFL behind only New Orleans. They had the No.4 rushing attack and the No.4 passing attack in the NFC, which provided the team with a very well balanced offensive system.

Defensively, the Viking unit was stout against the run, led by Pro Bowl lineman Jared Allen, who tabbed 14.5 sacks on the season. The Vikings ranked second in the NFL against the run, surrendering only 87 yards per game. Against the pass they were mediocre, ranking 19th in the league, giving up 218 yards per contest.

Looking ahead, the 2010 Minnesota Vikings Season Preview looks bright, with the potential for another deep playoff run perhaps hinging on the decision of Favre. While the consensus is that he will return, if he does not, former starter Tavaris Jackson would step in and take the reigns. Jackson was the starter prior to Favre's arrival last season. In addition to their NFC slate of the schedule, the Vikings will face the AFC East this year, that includes some tough match ups on paper, against New England, and the New York Jets, both of which are predicted to do well this year.2010 Minnesota Vikings Coaching Staff & Changes The same staff that has been in place for the last five seasons in Minnesota will continue this year, as the Vikings made virtually no changes to their coaching staff for the 2010 NFL Season. Head coach Brad Childress sports an overall record of 37-30 during his tenure in Minnesota, that includes a playoff record of 1-2.

Childress was given an extension to his contract that will go through 2013 after turning around the Vikings into a contender in the NFC. He has steadily improved each season since an six-win year his first season as head coach. Since then he has improved by two wins preseason, winning 8, 10 and 12 games dating back to last year.

The coordinators for Minnesota are on the same page with Childress as well. Offensive coordinator Darell Bevell came with Childress to Minnesota while defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier arrived a year later.2010 Minnesota Vikings Key Free Agency Acquisitions & LossesAcquistions
CB - Lito Sheppard from New York Jets
K - Rhys Lloyd from Carolina Panthers

OL - Artis Nicks to Washington Redskins
RB - Chester Taylor to Chicago Bears2010 Minnesota Vikings NFL DraftRound 2: Pick 34 - CB, Chris Cook (Virginia)
Round 2: Pick 51 - RB, Toby Gerhart (Stanford)
Round 4: Pick 100 - DE, Everson Griffen (Southern Cal)
Round 5: Pick 161 - OT, Chris Degeare (Wake Forest)
Round 5: Pick 167 - LB, Nathan Triplett (Minnesota)
Round 6: Pick 199 - QB, Joe Webb (UAB)
Round 7: Pick 214 - TE, Mickey Shiler (Penn State)
Round 7: Pick 237 - LB, Ryan D'Imperio (Rutgers)2010 Minnesota Vikings QuarterbacksBrett Favre made the decision to come back for another season and play with the Vikings in a move that some questioned whether or not he would be capable of making plays for a team. Those who doubted were quickly silenced, as Favre orchestrated one of the best season of his career, finishing close to the top in NFL MVP voting after throwing for 4,202 yards and 33 touchdowns. His completion percentage of 68.4 percent was among the highest in his career. What was perhaps most impressive was the fact that he only threw seven interceptions throughout the year. Favre has a problem with interceptions due to his aggressive throwing mentality, but protected the ball fantastically last season.

Favre has not informed the Vikings on whether or not he will return for 2010, but the consensus opinion is that he will following off-season ankle surgery. Backing up Favre will be former Viking starters Tavaris Jackson. Jackson will move to the starting role if Favre opts for retirement.

Projected 2010 Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Depth Chart
QB - Brett Favre (if returning)
QB - Tavaris Jackson
QB - Sage Rosenfels2010 Minnesota Vikings Running BacksSince his rookie season in the NFL, no running back has tabbed more yards from scrimmage then Adrian Peterson. Peterson's relentless and aggressive running style has put him at the top of the list of running backs in the NFL, but with one flaw. He has struggled to hold on to the ball and has a poor habit of fumbling while trying to gain the extra yard. Still, the upside out weight the fumbling issues, for which he has worked on this off-season and will continue to work on.

Peterson ran for 1,383 yards last season and scored 18 touchdowns. However, as the Viking leaned more on the passing game, Peterson's role declines slightly. Over the course of the last seven games in the regular season, Peterson failed to break the 100-yard threshold.

Minnesota was hurt by the departure of Chester Taylor, but made a move in the draft to get Heisman Trophy runner up Toby Gerhart out of Standford to come in a fill the void left by Taylor.

Projected 2010 Minnesota Vikings Running Back Depth Chart
RB - Adrian Peterson
RB - Toby Gerhart
RB - Ian Johnson
2010 Minnesota Vikings Wide ReceiversThe receiving corps for the Vikings is undoubtedly a strength for the 2010 Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota drafted Percy Harvin in the first round in 2009, ad he shined as both a receiver and kick returner. He is a very nice compliment to to No.1 receiver Sidney Rice. Rice hauled in 83 receptions and proved to be Favre's favorite target, scoring eight touchdowns. Harvin caught 60 passes for 790 yards and six touchdowns. Favre however spread the ball around very well, as six receivers had 40 or more receptions, including Visanthe Shiancoe who caught 11 touchdowns.

The Wide receiver position should have another productive year barring injury and Favre returning for another year. There are no shortages of play-makers in the unit and is could be another big year.

Projected 2010 Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Depth Chart
WR - Bernard Berrian
WR - Sidney Rice
WR - Percy Harvin
WR - Greg Lewis

Projected 2010 Minnesota Vikings Tight End Depth Chart
TE - Visanthe Shiancoe
TE - Jim Kleinsasser2010 Minnesota Vikings Offensive LineThere were new new member to the offensive line unit in 2009, and for the most part they performed effectively. However, there were some blocking issues that spilled over into the run production that sometimes hinder Peterson's ability to break through the first tier and into the defensive backfield. The group is led by left guard Steve Hutchinson, who is probably the most consistent blocker on the line. Left Tackle Bryant McKinnie is a huge frame, but missed some assignments throughout the year. Center John Sullivan had the tall-task of stepping in for former veteran Viking Matt Birk and performed nicely. The depth was hurt on the line when Artis Hicks signed as a free agent with Washington, as the Vikings do not have many reserves who are capable of playing multiple positions.

Projected 2010 Minnesota Vikings Starting Offensive Line
LT - Bryant McKinnie
LG - Steve Hutchinson
C - John Sullivan
RG - Anthony Herrera
RT - Phil Loadholt2010 Minnesota Vikings Defensive LineThe Minnesota defensive front was a big strength for the team in 2009, led by Pro Bowler Jared Allen. Allen recorded 14.5 sacks last year to lead the team, and wreaked havoc in opponents offensive backfields. Since 2004, Allen has tabbed 72 sacks, tops among all players in the NFL. The duo of Allen and Kevin Williams are arguably the best in the league, as both are great pass rushers and run stoppers. Veteran Pat Williams is entering his 14th season in the NFL and is another compliment to the Viking defensive front. Left defensive end Ray Edwards could be poised for a break out year. Due to the double teams that Allen and Williams receive, it often frees up Edwards to take advantage.

Projected 2010 Minnesota Vikings Starting Defensive Line
LE - Ray Edwards
DT - Pat Williams
DT - Kevin Williams
RE - Jared Allen2010 Minnesota Vikings LinebackersThe loss of E.J Henderson in December to injury no doubt hurt the Viking defense as they entered the post season. That however is the past and Henderson will make his return in 2010 to lead the linebacker unit. His health will be a primary concern throughout the year. In his stead, Chad Greenway led the team in tackles and is plenty capable of producing a Pro-Bowl-type year. Ben Lieber and Jasper Brinkley round out this unit, that will get a huge bump up with the return of Henderson, who says he hopes to be ready come the start of training camp and on into opening weekend.

Projected 2010 Minnesota Vikings Starting Linebackers
LB - Chad Greenway
LB - E.J Henderson
LB - Ben Leber2010 Minnesota Vikings SecondaryInjuries have plagued the secondary for the Vikings. Antoine Winfield suffered a foot injury and Safety Cedric Griffin tore his ACL in the NFC Championship game. While Winfield is expected to go in training camp, Griffin's status is still up in the air. The Vikings made a move to get corner back Lito Sheppard from the Jets which should help the unit. Minnesota also used their first pick of the draft on defensive back Chris Cook out of Virginia in the second round. Cook is a big, physical corner that adds to the much-needed depth of the corps.

Projected 2010 Minnesota Vikings Starting Seconday
CB - Antoine Winfield
CB - Lito Sheppard
SS - Tyrell Johnson
FS - Madieu Williams

2010 Minnesota Vikings Preview