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Aug 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) celebrates with wide receiver Greg Jennings (15) after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

14 Bold Predictions for 2014: The Minnesota Vikings Will Have a Top 10 Offense

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The Vikings used to have one of the league’s most prolific offenses. Boasting names like Randy Moss, Cris Carter and Randall Cunningham, the Vikings were an absolute force to be reckoned with.

While the 2014 Minnesota offense probably isn’t comparable to the famed ’98 offense, this current unit has a whole lot of explosive firepower and dangerous weapons. For the first time in seemingly forever, the Vikings offense is more than just Adrian Peterson.

What makes this offense so very lethal is the sheer amount of weapons it possesses. They can hurt you on the ground and they can hurt you through the air. Last year the Vikings finished 12th in total offense, and all they’ve done in the off season is improve.

This offense has the potential to have four players elected to the Pro Bowl.

They let go of troubled journeyman Josh Freeman, and they added Teddy Bridgewater to help bolster the quarterback group. They have dynamic receivers in veteran Greg Jennings, tight end Kyle Rudolph and amazing second year man Cordarrelle Patterson.

Patterson is the best player on this team not named Adrian Peterson. There were times when Patterson was just unstoppable. He ended the last five games of the season with six touchdowns (three rushing, three receiving), and he was especially phenomenal against the Ravens. The Vikings are trying to showcase Patterson as much as possible. The desire to get “Flash” the ball makes sense, since Patterson is the X factor for the offense.

Wide receiver Greg Jennings told his thoughts about the second year pro. When asked about Patterson’s potential, Jennings said Patterson has, “no ceiling.” “I’m excited,” Gushed Jennings. “At some point I’m going to tell my kids I played with Cordarrelle Patterson.” Certainly a lot of hype for the young man to live up to, but nothing Patterson can’t accomplish. Jennings is no slouch in his own right either. Jennings finished last year with 804 yards, and he’s proving to be a positive leader for Minnesota.

Kyle Rudolph is another key part of the offense. He’s a very good tight end that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention. Rudolph missed half of 2013 due to an injury, but he’s back healthy and ready to be an important cog in the offense. Add in the talents of Jerome Simpson and Jairus Wright, and you’re looking at a pretty dangerous passing attack.

Of course the quarterback position has to be sufficient for any of those playmakers to have success. The quarterback position is still somewhat of a question mark, as it has been since Brett Favre’s storybook season in 2009. However, this year’s quarterback group is immensely improved from last years.

It’s no secret that neither Matt Cassel or Teddy Bridgewater are Peyton Manning, but the report is that Cassel has made strides from last year and looks very good. Bridgewater, on the other hand, is still getting a grasp on the offense, but has been improving as well. In his last preseason game, Bridgewater went 16/20, 177 yards and two touchdowns. While he hasn’t quite entrenched himself as the starter yet, he could very well get there soon. Any way you look at it, the quarterback position has improved from last year.

The offensive line isn’t amazing, but I don’t view it as being detrimental to the team’s success.

Oh, did I forget to mention the offense also has that Adrian Peterson guy?

In all seriousness, if the Vikings have Peterson, they’ll be dangerous on offense, even if the passing game is deplorable, as it was in 2012. It feels redundant talking about Peterson’s talents. What can you say about this guy that n already been said by every broadcaster, sports writer, Madden player and sports fan everywhere? Peterson is the best all around running back in the NFL. He causes defenses to invest so much attention into stopping the run, that it leaves them more vulnerable to play action. There is no question that AP will rush for over 1,000 yards en route to another Pro Bowl. The guy is not of this earth.

The Vikings might not win the NFC North or make the playoffs, but I don’t think they’ll be a proverbial ‘Welcome Mat’ for opposing teams. The offense has gotten better from last year, and the litany of weapons are enough to give defensive coordinators headaches. The Vikings should finish as a top 10 offense, and anything less than that should be viewed as a disappointment.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Bold Predictions Cordarrelle Patterson Greg Jennings Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings NFC NFC North

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