History suggests Vikings could struggle while displaced


As the annual wave of 0-0 hope spreads through the NFL, there’s reason to be concerned in Minnesota.

Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press explains that NFL teams playing temporarily in different stadiums have struggled in the past.  For the next two years, that’s what the Vikings will be doing, moving from the already-gone-for-good Metrodome and playing outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium while the team’s swanky new venue is constructed.

Tomasson points to teams like the Giants, who played at the Yale Bowl and Shea Stadium before landing in the Meadowlands, and the Ravens, who spent two years in Memorial Stadium after moving to Baltimore, to the Titans, who spent a year at the Liberty Bowl and then at Vanderbilt Stadium, to the Seahawks, who played a pair of seasons at the University of Washington before christening CenturyLink Field, to the Bears, who played a season at the University of Illinois while Soldier Field was renovated, to the Saints, who involuntarily were displaced from the Superdome by Hurricane Katrina.

The sample size is likely too small to provide a reliable prediction for other teams that will take a detour to a temporary home.  Indeed, plenty of teams saw a dip upon moving directly from an old stadium to a new one, like the 1992 Falcons (who plunged from 10-6 to 6-10), the 1998 Buccaneers (who slipped from 10-6 to 8-8), the 2001 Broncos (who fell from 11-5 to 8-8), and the 2002 Patriots (who went from winning the Super Bowl to missing the playoffs).

Other teams have improved upon moving to a new home, like the Steelers (who closed out Three Rivers Stadium at 9-7 and shot to 13-3 the next year).  Others have stayed the same, the like Eagles (who had identical 12-4 seasons the last year at Veterans Stadium and the first year at Lincoln Financial Field).  It just doesn’t happen enough for reliable trends to emerge.

For the Vikings, the bigger problem will be playing home games outdoors for two years before returning inside.  The inevitability of wind and cold and precipitation affects the manner in which a team is built.  To be successful the next two seasons, the Vikings need to build a team that can thrive in the elements.  Then, after two years playing outside, it’ll be time to reconfigure the team to get the most out of playing indoors.

For that reason, it would be better if the Vikings were simply moving from one indoor stadium to another.

It also would be better if the Vikings had a better quarterback.  All the teams that struggled when playing in temporary stadiums possibly had a hard time because they weren’t very good.  If a coaching change and a looming offseason of free-agency moves and draft picks can make the Vikings better, it really won’t matter where they play.

If the Vikings end up not improving, it likewise won’t matter where they play.

81 responses to “History suggests Vikings could struggle while displaced

  1. To to recap: if the Vikings have a bad team, they’ll be bad. But if the Vikings have a good team, they won’t be bad. Got it.

  2. The Minnesota Vikings impending dynasty will hit the NFL by storm, but don’t say you didn’t hear it here first.

    Talent wise, we have the best team in the NFL and arguably one of the best teams of all time (other than QB).

    Once we draft our franchise QB (and we will) multiple superbowls will be coming to Minneapolis. They are setting themselves up to dominate the NFC for the decade.

    Every team will start trying to emulate the Vikings in every way.
    Every fan will be jealous of Vikings nation.
    Every owner will be jealous they don’t own a historic future dynasty team like the Vikings.
    Every coach will fear traveling to Minneapolis to face this legendary Vikings squad.
    Every other teams players wish they’d have been drafted by the superior Vikings roster.
    Every GM will wish they had the drafting smarts that Rick Spielman has.
    Every blade of grass will wish it would have been grown in the new gorgeous stadium that belongs to Minnesota.

  3. Some call it a struggle
    Some say its a curse
    At the end of every season that this team has been in the league, they will always be who they thought they were. Lowly and hapless!!

  4. Fun fact: the only 99 yard rushing TD was Ton Dorsett’s run vs the Vikings. Also Tavaris Jackson has more rings than every Vikings player, coach, and GM combined.

  5. Thank Allah that Percy Harvin escaped that dumpster fire while he still could. AP is next.

  6. With Levis Stadium inaugural season, it’s no wonder, then, that the 49ers are reluctant to pay Harbaugh what he thinks he should be getting.

  7. 21 of the 28 teams that comprised the NFL between 1976-1994 have changed venues, whether temporarily or permanently. Some more than once.

    How much more data does it take for reliable trends to emerge?

  8. Glad to see Florio and pftpoet do their best to bring out the anti-Vikings trolls. Keep up the good work, fellas.

  9. Please. They aren’t going to LA. Why do people keep adding that comment? The old one is being torn down. The new one is under construction. Just stop already.

  10. History also suggests that Vikings will voluntarily displace themselves into longboats. I’d watch the hell out if I were you, England.

  11. It’s not going to matter much, the crowd is still going to be going crazy, plus the area TCF is in is, well, it’s on a college campus with phenomenal bars and pretty girls everywhere so, it’s not just the stadium that’s going to be rocking, but that entire district of the city, every bar, every parking lot, streets will be shut down for walking traffic, it’s gonna be a good time, I hope I remember most of it because this is a powderkeg for things to start getting blurry by halftime. Sköl.

  12. History suggests that Vikings fans will struggle with sanity.

    Seriously, what PFTpoet wrote is clinical insanity. I’m worried about his well-being.

  13. This division is wide open, green bay has moved the big top to town and the circus music is chiming everywhere. Lions stink and Chicago is hopeless.

  14. Not much of a stretch to say they will struggle. History has shown that they have struggled for over 50 years and have an empty trophy case to prove it

    What’s with the copying of the posts from logicalvoice poet? Is it that hard to come with something original?

  15. Not much sympathy here—in SF, we’ve had to put up with the Rustbucket for decades. They won’t blow it up til next year, but who cares?

    Levi’s Stadium, baby. new stadium for the 6th SB trophy.

  16. As a Vikings fan, I for one am excited at the thought of AD getting 30 carries on a cold, miserable, Sunday Minneapolis morning come December.

  17. filthymcnasty1 says:
    Mar 1, 2014 4:58 PM
    The hapless and tasteless last place Vikings struggle because of extreme incompetence.

    Always have. Always will.
    I report your comments.
    Always have. Always will.

  18. People talk about the Vikings dynasty hitting like a storm… I remember a few years ago after a wicked storm I believe in Japan hit. Some believed that it was so magnificent that they would be able to see large waves in Hawaii because of the force coming across the ocean.

    People set up cameras to catch the amazement. Waves came charging in at about 1ft tall. The Vikings trolls are going to feel as silly as the people that talked it all up. Only to see waves the size that a kid cannonballing into a pool could make.

  19. Trade AP now while he still has gas in the tank and get a kings ransom. That’ll help your rebuilding process, heck you should have done it last season. Your team is old now and it could be a while until they get back to their 2010 form.

  20. Ever notice how Florio has to make the headlines intellectually easy for the cheesers to add their incredibly creative and original comments? And by the way, until the Vikings get a QB, they would struggle playing in a stadium with zero gravity.

  21. 4to12andbeyond says: Mar 1, 2014 4:41 PM

    History suggests Vikings could struggle while displaced

    Title of this article should be amended to:

    History suggests Vikings will struggle always
    Really? Seriously? You really typed this?

    Apparently your “history” memory is like. .what 3 years?

    This team’s history is FAR from one that “struggles”
    In fact… 8th all time winning Percentage:

    8. Minnesota Vikings, 395- 322- 9 (Winning Percentage of .551

  22. The Browns (my team) are the only team that I know of that aspires to be the Vikes. I sure hope that changes before my dust is being sprinkled over Black River.

  23. 551 winning percentage!!!!
    Bravo to the queens!!!!
    What a successful franchise!!
    And how many SB victories??
    Everyone is soooo proud of the Vikings success!!

  24. Atleast the Vikings trolls are commenting on a Vikings thread this time instead of, Dallas, Washington, Miami, Tennesee, or many of the other teams that aren’t in the NFC North.

  25. So what you are saying is that the Vikings, who never won a Superbowl in their 53 year history, will struggle for at least two more seasons because they are forced to play in a college stadium?

    Let’s look at the bright side, there is a pretty good chance the Vikings will be the best home team at the stadium for the next two years. The Golden Gophers might disagree but we will see.

  26. shaggytoodle

    Or THANK GOD they aren’t on a Packer article for a change. I read because I respect Minn as a team in our division. Viking fans read in order to try to be jerks.

  27. Packer fans don’t need to mock Vikings fans, all you have to do is read the comments by Vikings fans and you’ll understand

  28. pftpeoet — pretty sure I was a Vikings fan way before you were even concieved. You may not even been a teenager now. Please stop what you’re doing, all us true Vikings fans have felt the pain of the losses and the snatches of defeat in the face of victory. This team doesn’t even have a quarterback and aside from a beyond his prime running back, we have nothing. Just shup up already. Ain’t even close.

  29. Man, we sure have been displaced for a while…
    Oh, and pftpoet is actually a packer-backer. obviously.

  30. This type of “logic” escapes me, really. So, NFL teams play regular season games (usually) during September, October, November and December. They may play a game or two (depending upon scheduling and the team’s success) in January.

    The average temps in Minneapolis by month are (approximately) as follows:
    Sept. (72); Oct. (58); Nov. (41); Dec. (27)

    Half of their games are played on the road, right? Hmmmm. Do the math. In a worst-case scenario the Vikings MIGHT play a total of two or three games at home when the temps are around freezing. (They do wear thermals and full unis, by the way.)

    So, what is the big concern this site seems to dwell on? I don’t get it… at all.

  31. shaggytoodle says:
    Mar 1, 2014 7:01 PM

    Atleast the Vikings trolls are commenting on a Vikings thread this time instead of, Dallas, Washington, Miami, Tennesee, or many of the other teams that aren’t in the NFC North.
    This is where the problem lies. The Vikings trolls are not even Viking fans. They just stoke the flames under every post to get under peoples skin. It works stunningly good. Each team is getting some fan boys that troll every thread. I think I’ll just add this to every post, because for teams to say the Vikings are the bottom feeders of the NFL is dumb:

    The last 3 years have been hell for Vikings fans, but for the past 47 years, the Minnesota Vikings have been mostly winning. The Vikings have always been near the top of the division standings. Only four NFL teams have played in more Super Bowls, and one the Dallas Cowboys, have more playoff appearances. This team is a roller coaster.

  32. I’m all for posting on any thread, if your going to say something in regards to that team, if you voice your opinion something humorous, its all fine and dandy.

    Spamming copious threads, with nonsense with the practically the same 5 sentances, just, because you unfortunately don’t have anything better to do with your time. That is pretty sad.

  33. There is more to playing outside than just temperature. Now the Vikings have the potential to play more games in the rain, and wind.

    The biggest factor though is the kicking game. Just ask Longwell, whom decided to extend his career by moving indoors at Minny. Than trying to play outside.

    So now Walsh is going to need to kick in the elements, so his strong leg may not kick as far as it did in the comfort of the dome, he also may not be as accurate.

    Fortunately for the Vikings, they were getting blown too often, for a FG try at the end of the game to make much of a difference. Unless they fix that secondary and QB spot they could look forward to more of It next year.

  34. My forethought:
    The vikings will have one good season playing outdoors until the new stadium is complete. Probably as good as to have a playoff appearance, more than likely a push to the NFC championship but no Super Bowl appearance. Once the 900 million stadium is complete, the vikings will suck 4-5 seasons. Then the vikings fans (which include myself) will demand that the roof be torn off the stadium because the vikings had ONE good season playing outdoors while the new stadium was being constructed. Been a vikings fan, unfortunately, all my life. Seems that every 4-6 years (from what I can remember, I was born in 85′) the vikes have an NFC championship appearance, only to get beat. So they’re due for another fluke, great season which everyone will credit to the team playing outdoors and having success similar to the seasons played at metropolitan stadium. How many of us younger vikings fans have heard the older generation talk about how tought the teams were before they moved indoors?

  35. I would like to see the Vikings deal with the elements, but the NFL will see to it they get preferential scheduling considerations with warm weather and dome games late in the year. They (NFL) cannot afford to have the fan base become alienated just before the new church, errrr…..stadium is built. Watch and see.

  36. Shaggy is correct. Walsh will likely struggle a bit more outside, although I think he is the least of the worries with this team. The D needs some serious work.

    Rhodes and Smith are the only keepers in the secondary. I was mildly enthusiastic about Robinson’s rookie season, but he doesn’t seem to have it, I have given up on Cook, and Smith is the only safety since Griffin and Thomas were back there that is any more than sub-par.

    The front 7 needs some serious retooling as well. Perhaps Matui, Hodges, or Cole can become a viable starter, but I would hedge the bets and use that #8 pick on whichever of the LBs (Mack, Baar, or Mosely) are available at that spot, especially since Greenway is getting up there a bit. I would be happy with any one of them, although I have seen several mocks with Justin Gilbert in that spot. I would think that the FA market is stronger for CBs than it is for LBs, though, so I would hope that would be where the Vikings would look for the other starting CB. That would be a good place to find a decent NT this year, too.

    I think that trading up for a QB (or reaching for the 4th-best, since the top 3 will surely be gone) would be a real mistake, especially since there is a lack of certainty and no astronomical upside to any of them. I’d rather take my chances in the 2nd or 3rd for a QB and focus the bulk of the draft on fixing the D. But that’s just me….

  37. 2ruefan wrote:

    Really? Seriously? You really typed this?

    Apparently your “history” memory is like. .what 3 years?

    This team’s history is FAR from one that “struggles”
    In fact… 8th all time winning Percentage:

    8. Minnesota Vikings, 395- 322- 9 (Winning Percentage of .551
    Incorrect. Here are the facts:

    Through 2013:

    Vikings regular season: 431-365-10 (.535)
    Vikings postseason: 19-27 (.413)

    Packers regular season: 698-537-37 (.549)
    Packers postseason: 30-19 (.612)

    Packers have outperformed the Vikes up and down the line.

    As John Adams famously said, “Facts are stubborn things.”

  38. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says:
    Mar 1, 2014 5:09 PM

    It’s not going to matter much, the crowd is still going to be going crazy, plus the area TCF is in is, well, it’s on a college campus with phenomenal bars and pretty girls everywhere so, it’s not just the stadium that’s going to be rocking, but that entire district of the city, every bar, every parking lot, streets will be shut down for walking traffic, it’s gonna be a good time, I hope I remember most of it because this is a powderkeg for things to start getting blurry by halftime. Sköl.

    We’ll see. But if past history tells us anything and with new circumstances on the horizon, I’d be willing to bet that stadium is half empty come November.

    With the Vikings nursing a 2-5 record and the cold temps creeping in, Viking fans will show their fair weather colors both literally and figuratively.

    Well, half full, unless of coarse, Green Bay plays a late season game there.

  39. The last thing the Vikings should do is reach for a QB.

    They have so many needs to address they can get better players.

    Just like when they did the year with Ponder they could have had LT Solder, or DT Fairly.

    Still wound up drafting someone with more talent than Ponder, like Kaep or Dalton. I don’t know if they would have developed as well as they did in their current spots, but just on talent alone those guys are better than Ponder. They can’t make that mistake again.

  40. For a team that struggle we sure have a big fanbase and haters for no reason keep thrashing our Vikes our glory day will eventually kome and when it does it will be like crickets on here

  41. We got close with Favre, just need a QB and with players like Peterson, Patterson, Rudolph, Jennings, Rhodes, and Smith – we have a shot, just need a QB. Fortunately this draft is stocked with them!!


  43. I don’t think the QBs are as great as people think they are going to be in this class. Yes they are great athletes, but you need more than to play in this league. Just look at guys like Vick great athlete, lost his starting gig. Russel Wilson great athlete, but tries to make smart high % plays.

    Manning not as great as he once was athletically still mentally sharp and able to make good plays. Not that these players come in can’t be coached, but its going to take a while to get them to use their brain more, because they have relied on their athletics so much and will continue to do so.

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