The Minnesota Vikings suffered a disappointing loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round. After upsetting the No. 3 seed New Orleans Saints in overtime, the Vikings' offense was completely shut down in a 27-10 loss.
Although the Vikings have made the playoffs two of the last three years under Mike Zimmer, the team has several question marks. Here are three things the Vikings need to accomplish improve their chances of winning the Super Bowl in 2020.
1. Help Kirk Cousins' Become More Consistent
Kirk Cousins did not play like a $31 million per year quarterback (his salary for the 2020 season) in the NFC Divisional Round. Cousins threw for 172 yards, one TD and one INT against the 49ers, but he was bothered all day, being sacked six times. Cousins has been an enigma for the Vikings since arriving in Minnesota. Sometimes, he looks like an effective passer and playmaker, as he did against the Saints in the Wild Card round. Other times, he looks utterly pedestrian. Overall, Cousins has been an above-average quarterback, but the huge swings in his performance are a concern. Mike Zimmer's staff, headlined by a new offensive coordinator after Kevin Stefanski's departure for Cleveland, must find a way to unlock Cousins' full potential.
2. Strike Gold in the 2020 NFL Draft
One huge problem for the Vikings heading into the offseason is their cap situation. The Vikings have the least available salary cap space (they are currently projected to be $5.4 million over the limit), according to Over the Cap, and will likely lose key contributors because of it. Everson Griffen, along with much of their secondary is hitting the market, and this roster topped out at the Divisional Round. There aren't many options for the Vikings to add big pieces in free agency, which means they need to hit on a number of draft picks or find undrafted free agents to acquire low-cost talent. They've struck gold with unheralded players like Stefon Diggs, Ifeadi Odenigbo and Adam Thielen in recent seasons, and they must keep that up to stay competitive in 2020.
3. Find Secondary Help
The Vikings will have most of their secondary hitting the open market. CB Trae Waynes, SS Anthony Harris, SS Andrew Sendejo, and CB Mackensie Alexander are all in contract years. Minnesota's pass defense was solid this year (ranking No. 12 in passing yards allowed per game), but the losses in the secondary could bring a steep drop off in 2020. The Vikings must find a way to replace them, whether that's through internal replacements or the draft. Signing a top cornerback, however, is unlikely.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.