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Post Football Therapy: Minnesota Vikings

I know Vikings fans. It's been a hectic year. Not only did you have to move to a different stadium because the old one ... well, collapsed on itself, you had a new coaching staff with high expectations, questions at quarterback and an even rockier situation at running back.

Given all of that, I'd say the Vikings walked away from 2014 with much to be proud of. No, seriously. Stop laughing. The Vikings accomplished a lot, especially in their first season with a new coaching regime. Which is why 2015 is only going to be better.

D's new look

For the past few seasons, the Vikings' Achilles heel has been their secondary. Their rushing defense would often hold strong, but elite quarterbacks would routinely take advantage of mismatches and blown coverage.

The arrival of head coach Mike Zimmer changed that. The Vikings shifted their focus to stopping the pass and it worked. In terms of passing yards allowed, the Vikings went from ranking 31st in 2013, to seventh this past season. For those who aren't great with numbers, that's a huge jump in just one season.

Rushing defense took a bit of a hit. That's expected when you lose a guy like Jared Allen. But even if you don't like calling the NFL a "passing league," this is a division where the Vikings have to frequently face the likes of Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler (yes, Cutler too). If you want to win this division, you have to defend the pass. The Vikings have made the proper adjustments.

Look, a QB

It's no secret that the Vikings have been looking for a solid quarterback for some time. Here are the quarterbacks Vikings fans have seen under center over the past five seasons: Matt Cassel, Tarvaris Jackson, Christian Ponder, Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb, some guy named Joe Webb, and look, even Josh Freeman got a shot. So in short, their search for a signal-caller led the team in all sorts of directions.

Enter Teddy Bridgewater. Did he look flawless in his debut season? Not at all. He did get more comfortable as the season went on, but there were inconsistencies. In his first start, he helped lead the team against Atlanta and dropped 41 points on them. His second start, just three points against Detroit. But that was against the Lions' relentless pass rush.

So he wasn't perfect out of the gate. But he started finding a rhythm. His QB rating and completion percentage improved as the season went on. Also, say what you want about Norv Turner as a head coach (cue bitter Chargers fans), he's a solid offensive coordinator and knows how to use quarterbacks with an arm. It's also a perk that Teddy can move a bit on the ground when he needs to as well.

Outdoor games ... in Minnesota!

This is both great and bad. Great as in I love watching games played in the snow ... on my TV ... in my home ... in Southern California. Bad as in sometimes, that kind of weather can do not so great things. Like what you ask? Well, this happened.

Now the Vikings are playing outdoors till their new stadium is finished. (By the way, if you guys haven't checked it out, it looks pretty rad.) That means we don't have to rely on just Buffalo to watch snow-covered games. It makes for great TV. And honestly, you have to respect a fan base that fills the stands regardless of weather.

I know, I know, you didn't make the playoffs for the second consecutive year. But building a team takes time. The Vikings made great strides this year despite missing some crucial pieces. But it looks like you have the right coaching in place to keep moving forward. Which is good, because this division could be one of the most competitive in the next few seasons.

Daniel Williams is a Digital Features Editor at You can follow him on Twitter _@danielwilliams_.

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