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Virtual predictions show a rough season for Vikings

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Vikings' quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has admitted to loading the team's playbook into his Madden NFL game to spend more time studying the new offense under Norv Turner.

Bridgewater, who was known for doing the same thing while at Louisville, has referred to the practice as taking "virtual reps." He will be the backup quarterback to start the year, but if the tactic works well enough for Bridgewater to learn the offense, surely we can highlight a few different virtual methods used to make predictions on how the Vikings will do in 2014.

ESPN went through the Vikings schedule game-by-game with Advanced Football Analytics. Here is the breakdown – if you want to look.

  • Week 1 – Sept. 7 @ STL 27-9 L
  • Week 2 – Sept. 14 vs. NE 30-10 L
  • Week 3 – Sept. 21 @ NO 37-22 L
  • Week 4 – Sept. 28 vs. ATL 34-29 W
  • Week 5 – Oct. 2 @ GB 21-16 L
  • Week 6 – Oct. 12 vs. DET 27-13 L
  • Week 7 – Oct. 19 @ BUF 24-17 L
  • Week 8 – Oct. 26 @ TB 26-17 L
  • Week 9 – Nov. 2 vs. WAS 35-33 L
  • Week 10 – BYE
  • Week 11 – Nov. 16 @CHI 31-23 L
  • Week 12 – Nov. 23 vs. GB 33-13 L
  • Week 13 – Nov. 30 vs. CAR 20-13 L
  • Week 14 – Dec. 7 vs. NYJ 23-10 W
  • Week 15 – Dec. 14 @ DET 24-17 L
  • Week 16 – Dec. 21 @ MIA 20-17 W
  • Week 17 – Dec. 28 vs. CHI 27-21 W

There is some good news though. Even ESPN.com writer Ben Goessling thinks that prediction is a little low. He says even though the Vikings are a team in transition, they will do better than the 4-and-12 prediction.

"They have a tough early schedule that will test their defense, but it wouldn't shock me to see Zimmer – who has fared well against Brady and Rodgers in the past – draw up a defensive plan with enough unscouted looks to steal a game from one of those two teams. With a defense that should improve as the year goes on and more stability on offense, I think the Vikings are capable of a 7-9 season that would have to be viewed as a step in the right direction."

That early stretch will put the Vikings up against some of the toughest quarterbacks in the game. Goessling predicts they will need two wins during the stretch to give themselves a chance to reach the post season.

KARE 11's Dave Schwartz came up with a more fun idea to predict the Vikings 2014 season. He pulled state fair goers to play Madden 15 against him to predict the season.

If you are a bit more optimistic on the Vikings chances than either of these predictions, ESPN notes that Las Vegas is offering 100-to-1 odds the Vikings will win the Super Bowl this year.

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