The Vikings surprised plenty of people in 2012. Those same people won’t be surprised if they regress in 2013.
They’ll regress unless they get better quarterback play from Christian Ponder, who clearly has become the man on whose shoulders the fate of the team ultimately rests in the coming season.
Sure, they have the 2012 MVP and one of the best running backs in league history. But as the NFL becomes more and more like seven-on-seven in full pads, a competent passing attack is a must. Ponder now has more than enough weapons to make it competent, even with Percy Harvin (who was injured for last year’s playoff run) gone.
For now, the Vikings fall right in the middle of the pack. Whether the needle pushes toward the top or the bottom depends primarily on Ponder.