Zygi Wilf: I expect Vikings to be division champs

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Almost everyone expects the Vikings to finish in last place in the NFC North. But Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has a very different expectation.

I expect to be [NFC North] division champs,” Wilf said, via 1500ESPN.com. “I want to be able to fight for the division, as we always did every year, and get better for years to come. That’s always been our goal and it’s been the goal since the first day I came here.”

If Wilf is just saying that he always has high hopes heading into the season and this year is no different, well, good for him. There’s nothing wrong with optimism from the ownership.

But if Wilf is expressing his real opinion of what kind of team the Vikings have assembled, then his opinion is very different from the opinion of the rest of the NFL world. And that could be bad news for Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who’s going to have a very hard time putting together a team that meets his boss’s expectations.

116 responses to “Zygi Wilf: I expect Vikings to be division champs

  1. arent the packers and bears and lions in that division?………good luck with that, buddy!!!

  2. But if Wilf is expressing his real opinion of what kind of team the Vikings have assembled, then his opinion is very different from the opinion of the rest of the NFL world.

    —————————–

    Yeah, because those “pundits” really dive deep in their assessments. Most opinions were based solely on last year’s regular season records and we Vikings fans know all TOO well how that can change in a hurry (2009 to 2010).

    You’d be best to remember the extreme parity that exists in this amazing sport. That’s not to say I think Zygi is right, but ignoring history here is a pretty dumb thing for the “rest of the NFL world” to do.

  3. This is football, where anything can happen. That’s why they don’t hand out the Lombardi’s in July or at the end of the regular season. Will it happen? Most likely not, but crazier things have happened before.

  4. Of course you do!
    I mean, is there anyone out there that believes the Lions, Packers or Bears have any chance against us?

  5. “But if Wilf is expressing his real opinion of what kind of team the Vikings have assembled, then his opinion is very different from the opinion of the rest of the NFL world”

    Two things: 1. What else would an owner of a team say. “Yeah this year is just for tanking and getting a high draft pick”

    2. Even though I don’t see it happening either doesn’t mean it won’t. Crazier things have happened. That is what makes the NFL so great. If we all knew where every team would finish what would be the point of watching?

  6. If by “I want to be able to fight for the division” he means “go 3-13”, then yeah, the Vikings are going to “fight for the division”.

  7. Which is what EVERYONE should be thinking (To win your division, not for the Vikings to win the North.), especially before pre-season.

  8. At the end of every season there has to be a discussion between the owner and the coach and it goes like this. Owner; “I want to win the division next year.” Coach, “Well, I need a few things like staff and players.” Owner, “Okay if I get you those things, can we win the division?” Coach, “Yes.” Then, if the owner does his part, spends the money and gets all the coach asks for and they do not win the division, coach is toast. On the other hand, if the owner does not commit, then the coach has an ‘out’.

  9. When you get hammered by the Jags at home week one with a grouchy MJD running for 150, you will need to reset Zygi’s horizon…….

  10. Hahaha c’mon man. I know he’s not suppose to say they are going to be last in the division but just keep your mouth shut. Green bay, Chicago, Detroit, minn. expect it for the next 10 years my friend

  11. Optimism can be contagious but if they are his real expectations he’s in for a hard road.
    A man’s serenity is in direct proportion to his expectations. He could be ready for a straight jacket by mid November.

  12. What else who suppose to say he the freaking owner what he really want is a superbowl trophy to put in his new shiny stadium in a couple of years

  13. We already knew he was just as unattractive as everyone in Minnesota, but now we know he is just as crazy as everyone in Minnesota, too.

  14. In an equally as attainable of a goal, I expect to spend the evening with both Jennifer Anniston AND Halle Berry tonight !

  15. While the Vikings may have a few holes, I’m sure they’ll have a year filled with glory.

  16. Of course he will say what he “expects” in a preseason interview. But, I am sure he has a realistic expectation of what his team can achieve. I think they should make some big strides forward this year but a division title? Nope.

  17. Obviously we all know that Zygmund was just being optimistic, but coach Frazier could be in trouble if the kings don’t make leaps and bounds from last years record/team

  18. “I want to be able to fight for the division, as we always did every year, and get better for years to come.”

    As we always did every year? How about last season? Good luck this year Zygi, ain’t happening with three powerhouses in your division.

  19. Of course every owner is going to say that. Is he suppose to come out and say I think we will be as bad as last year? That would help sell tickets.

    With that said if they win 4 games, that will meet my expectations. Anything more is gravy, but costing us a higher draft pick, like winning a meaningless Christmas eve game against Washington. All that did was cost us the 2nd overall pick. We saw what Washington gave up for that…

  20. I do not know who is more delusional, Zigi saying he is expecting to be division champs or Jerry Jones saying he wants some glory hole.

  21. The Vikings play in what could be argued the toughest division in the NFL. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw 3/4 teams make the playoffs, similar to the NFC east from a couple years back.

  22. One thing I have learned in many years of watching the NFL….particularly the Viking-Packer rivalry… is that both of these teams can surprise you with unexpected failure or unexpected success. You just never know. And it is hard to deny from year-to-year, teams can rise to the occasion and preordained winners can fall on their faces. You can’t blame this guy for hoping he’s right.

  23. If anyone saw the goofy hat he was wearing at practice when he made that comment, perhaps the logic of that unrealistic quote would be more fully understood. Come on PFT, you should have shown that pic.

  24. Hey guys ya know what? teams are not even set yet, But like I said before and I will say it again! All fans Players, coaches and owners have high expectations And every team has a shot Because nobody can forcast the future or Injuries. Teams that start out fast don’t always finish well! And teams that start slow somtimes come on strong late in the season! It’s always a 50/50 crap shoot!! Nobody knows how a team will respond. I do know this! the Vikes have no presure. And that could make them very Dangerous!

  25. Wow Zygi, you need to check in with reality. Almost everyone is picking the the Pack & Bears to win 12 plus and let’s not forget the Motor City Kitties who maid the playoffs last year. Vikes have a long road…

  26. How about starting with a more sensible prediction:

    “Zygi Wilf: I expect Vikings to win at least 3 games this year.”

  27. Vikings have a long way to go to be contenders, that doesn’t mean they cant steal a game from the Bears, Packers or Lions this year, I believe they got swept last year in the division? They will be improved. Better O-line, smarter and more mature QB, Allen still in his prime but getting up there. Secondary…well lets just worry about the positives first lol. 8-8 would be a solid season for the talent they have this year.. 9-7 is overachieving

  28. Shhhh.

    If they stay healthy, the Vikings are going to surprise a lot of people this year. And yeah, I’m serious.

  29. Maybe he’ll pony up $70 like the rest of us ham-n-eggers and actually watch game tape? Doubtful, when you have a blondie on lap in your luxury suite.

    Hey Les and Samurai, you can always come back home and coach.

  30. Wake up and smell the trees Zig. The dream is over, reality check, gonna finish 4th in the division and near the bottom of the NFC. I just shook my head to clear the cobwebs.

  31. stellarperformance says:
    “One thing I have learned in many years of watching the NFL….particularly the Viking-Packer rivalry”
    ————————————————————
    I am sorry, and I am well aware that this is a Vikings related Post. (and I mean no respect to anyone, truly I don’t) But the Vikings – Packers ‘Rivalry’ is something that Vikings fans clearly made up to give their team some relevance in this Division. I am Chicago born and raised, and I must say, that the ONLY Division ‘RIVALRY’ in the NFC North worth mentioning and with substantial history is the Bears – Packers Rivalry. Never had even heard of this nonsense of the Vikes and Pack having a rivalry until I moved to Minneapolis a few years back, and when I did, I literally laughed out loud.

    With that said, this year will be a 3-way race for first in the North all season, should be a good one.

  32. Keep one thing in mind. As poorly as the Vikings played last year, they lost nine games by seven points or less-that’s one play! Every year there are one or two teams that come out of nowhere and do well and no one expected much. I would not be surprised if this were one of those teams……………………………

  33. Since most of you have piled on already I will try a different approach…. I must 1st say that I agree with most people. This team is in 4th in the North. That isn’t a knock on them. I believe this to be the toughest division on paper. 3 stacked teams! Barring injuries I can see that division being decided LATE in the year.

    The Vikings…. They have some pieces. AP coming back from that injury is going to be tough. I don’t think we’re going to see the AP we are used to. Can Toby Gerhart step up? Dunno. How about a free agent back? Benson and Grant are available. Your WR corp is depleted. Harvin and Simpson? I don’t think that gets it done UNLESS Ponder is lights out in year 2. He is the biggest wildcard and they should not automatically assume he is going to be elite. That is too much pressure….the saving grace is that only the Bears have a D that scares you a little. The bad news is that the Vikes don’t have the firepower (in my estimation) to take advantage of those other 2 defenses.

    The Vikings do have a top-end DE. Allen is among the best at his position, if not THE best. The DB group is a work in progress as well and this division is LOADED at WR.

    So the goal should ALWAYS be to compete. ALWAYS aim for the trophy, but the EXPECTATIONS should be cellar dweller for this team in this division.

  34. “Hahaha c’mon man. I know he’s not suppose to say they are going to be last in the division but just keep your mouth shut. Green bay, Chicago, Detroit, minn. expect it for the next 10 years my friend.”

    You obviously do not know how quickly the NFL turns over. Every year almost half the teams in the playoffs are new. I’m not saying they are making the playoffs but it’s not going to take 10 years. Remember it wasn’t that long ago when Detroit was 0-16, or the Packers 4-12. Just saying…

  35. And just what is he supposed to say,”we suck and will finish last forever until GB, Det, and Chi get old and slow which wont be anytime soon? He is being optimistic which all owners and fans do at this time of the year and thats a good thing.

  36. The Vikings are not going to be as bad as they were last year. Their secondary will be improved with the addition of two solid rookies along with the return of their two veteran starters. I could go so far as to say vastly improved. D-line is still one of the best in football and the linebackers are solid. The offensive weapons have greatly improved, and the o-line (one of the worst pass blocking units in football last year) is looking like it might be sneaky good too. Really this all hinges on Ponder. The turnaround in the NFL is rapid in many cases. I honestly expect the Bears to be pretty bad this year. That team reminds me of the Vikings in 2010. Their defense is old and I don’t expect Mike Tice to do all that well with the Offense. The lions have a great offense but lets not forget that their secondary is not all that good either. This race is going to be closer then most folks think.

  37. The only good thing about that remark is that a look at the Viking schedule shows that most of their division games will be played late in the season.

    By then hopefully Peterson is back to full speed, and the Simpson suspension is an afterthought along with last year’s disaster of a season. That’s enough time for this team to gel as a unit, and put forth an optimum performance week to week.

  38. As a Packer fan I see nothing wrong with what Wilf said. He is the owner of the team what is he suppose to say, that we suck and have no chance? Of course not!. What Wilf said is something every fan of every team would want their owner to say. He didn’t say WHEN he expects the Vikings to win the division. It’s not going to happen any time soon, let’s just leave it at that.

  39. The Vikings will play a major role in the division race this year. The Bears, Lions and Packers could all easily go 11-5. The Vikings can deny a division crown by simply beating one or two of them. It is possible. Divisional games can be extremely unpredictable no matter the talent difference between the teams.

  40. thepunkyqb says:
    Aug 1, 2012 4:35 AM
    I am sorry, and I am well aware that this is a Vikings related Post. (and I mean no respect to anyone, truly I don’t) But the Vikings – Packers ‘Rivalry’ is something that Vikings fans clearly made up to give their team some relevance in this Division.
    ================================

    I disagree. Of course it is a legitimate rivalry. I can’t speak from the perspective of what the Packers mean to a Bears fan, but I can certainly tell you what the Vikings mean to this Packer fan. Rivals.

  41. thepunkyqb says:
    Aug 1, 2012 4:35 AM
    I am sorry, and I am well aware that this is a Vikings related Post. (and I mean no respect to anyone, truly I don’t) But the Vikings – Packers ‘Rivalry’ is something that Vikings fans clearly made up to give their team some relevance in this Division.
    ——————————–
    Many times over the decades the Vikings have had the MOST relevance in their division. They’ve gone to the Super Bowl multiple times. In fact when I was growing up the Packers were totally irrelevant and the Vikings were a powerhouse. These are old teams… the rivalry goes back a long long way.

  42. In a few years its conceivable, this team is building a good young group of players. We’re not there yet, GB is elite as well as a very good Lions, Bears teams. Every division game matters more now then ever, or since the late 90’s, for the Vikings.

    They could easily finish last in the division with a 10-6 record this year. The schedule is very easy this year. Aside from the division, where they could go 1-5, 2-4 or 0-6 maybe 3-3.

  43. Dont count them out.. i dont think they can win the division but they can definitely beat the bears and lions at least once a piece.. theyre not as far away as people think.

  44. Why is it that every owner of every major sports team has there sights on a division championship?

    How about aiming for the Lombardi trophy Zygi???

    Typical Minnesota good enough attitude. Im sick of it.

  45. All people want to do is look at the last year or two and say oh! they have gotten old or slow or what ever! But with a new year comes new teams! What every one posting here needs to do is realize that every team in the division is just an injury away from seeing thier beloved teams season go up in smoke! Everyone assumes that Stafford to Megatron will be so dynamic! or that Cutler to Marshall will be the same as in Denver! But no one knows fure sure! Why is it assumed that Ponder to Harvin, Jenkins or Simpson won’t be as good! Let’s judge Ponder on a full year not half a year

  46. And I expect to win Powerball tonite and be fed grapes by Brooklyn Decker while Kristen Stewart fetches me beer. What, that’s not realistic?

  47. Wilf spends less than 45 days each year in Minnesota. Fly in fly out. Stay out of touch.

    In over 50 years there is not one single photograph of a vikings team receiving a trophy, not even a participation ribbon.

    He bought a 1974 rusted out pick up towed in from the back 40 and thinks he can enter it in the Indy 500.

    Just more stale air leaking from the hole in their indoor arena.

  48. The only things the Queens are champions of are players arrested & home games blacked out.

  49. The Vikings are a 5 or 6 win team this year – and with all rookies they are going to count on – they should be happy with that.

  50. electionconfidential says: Aug 1, 2012 12:22 PM

    Many times over the decades the Vikings have had the MOST relevance in their division. They’ve gone to the Super Bowl multiple times. In fact when I was growing up the Packers were totally irrelevant and the Vikings were a powerhouse. These are old teams… the rivalry goes back a long long way.
    —————————–
    Yeah, nothing makes a team “relevant” like an 0-12 record in the Super Bowl.

  51. Sure, and my beloved Twins are going to win the world series this year. But on a realistic note, yes, as the owner, you have to say positive things. Does Wilf really think that? Probably not. But it sure sounds better than we’re not going to suck as badly as last year, doesn’t it? Here’s how the football Gods should plan the SB — Vikings Vs. Bills (two 4-time SB losers), Harbaugh Vs. Harbaugh and one I’ve always wanted to see, Manning Vs. Manning. Thank you, Peyton for signing with an AFC team to keep my dream alive.

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