I have changed. I love the Vikings schedule, am excited to share why, yet have no schedule release-related predictions on the 2014 record. Every year I splash with a prediction but don't want to right now.
Maybe I am so confused by what's going to happen two weeks from today in The NYC and with the eight spot it has clouded my mind and shaken my confidence? May 8 -- trade back from eight, or stay at eight and go defense, or just say "Bleep it" and take JOHNNY FOOTBALL if available and work out his kinks. I am all good with any of the above. Yep, I am cool with growing with Johnny Manziel.
The truth, though, is I have no freaking idea how many games we are going to win this season. After the draft I'll predict the wins total, then if needed alter it after training camp, but with a new staff, a totally new vibe, a bunch of new players and outdoor games at The Bank, nah, I have no idea.
I do love the layout of the 2014 schedule, though, and could not care less we hook rock-star QBs the first month and change. Our new HC is a bad-ass defensive mind, and he will have tricks coming from all parts of the field. And off a paltry five wins last year the veterans will be all out early to make things right. All good with the home team, but I in no way am forecasting NFC Title game territory against, say, the Atlanta Falcons (IALTO/PST/HOF).
Those who like outdoors football at the highest level will dig the first two preseason games in August against Oakland and Arizona because the vibe will be chill, the games outside and the new-team tells will be aplenty.
Then to start the regular season we are at St. Louis, which is winnable. The Rams most likely will have two highly selected first-round picks to go with a cool pass rush. I'll take my chances, though, with ADRIAN and our new-approach feel.
Those who like to follow the team on the road and experience other cities should like the schedule -- trips to New Orleans, Tampa and Miami are all about good times. The home schedule, too, is terrific with CAPTAIN COOL week two, MATTY ICE and RODDY WHITE a couple of weeks later, then that fast, explosive Lions offense.
Later in the home stanza we hook AARON RODGERS, CAM NEWTON and close it with JARED ALLEN and the Chicago Bears. I am so excited to see our Vikings play a schedule of outdoor games, and the place will be packed and loud on a weekly basis.
We are going to be good, I just don't know how good. I liked out team last year, like most of our FA additions this year and recognize a draft with four guys helping in a big way this year brings nothing but love. Trading aside, we have four picks through the first three rounds, and three of those guys need to play a bunch and to be good.
One of the selections will be a QB, and I sense us trading to the end of the first round or moving on one at 40. In that area and in order I am in favor of TEDDY BRIDGEWATER, DEREK CARR, ZACH METTENBERGER, JIMMY GAROPPOLO, AARON MURRAY and LOGAN THOMAS. I am not bullish on A.J. MCCARRON like some because I think he already has hit his ceiling.
I put Teddy B. on that list because there's a decent chance he falls in a place we can trade to get him. He has had his offseason, on-field flaws but having a crack at him at 40 is ludicrous and would be S.O.D. Seriously, the kid did too much in college and seems pro-ready to imagine him slipping out of the first round.
My Main Man and elite analyst COREY CHAVOUS thinks he's better than ANDY DALTON, and I agree with him. We'll see. Outside of that QB pick we need three through the first four rounds who help immediately.
If I buy into that -- which I probably will -- a 10-and-6 call may be in line. Maybe 11-and-5.