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Branden Lemke’s 10 Bold Predictions: #1; Predicting The Vikings Regular Season Record

I wanted to wait for the perfect time before I laid out my final bold prediction of the year. With six days left before the Vikings first regular season game, I felt that this was the right time.

So far, some of my bold predictions have come true (Erin Henderson winning the starting LOLB spot, Jamarca Sanford winning the starting safety spot). Some others have not (the Vikings re-signing Sidney Rice). Some will have to wait until after the 2011 season is over, including my final bold prediction, a game by game analysis, predicting what the final regular season record of the 2011 Vikings will be. Here we go!

Week 1: @Chargers: Win

I think the Vikings will start the season out winning a game in which they will be the underdog. Hopefully this win sets the mood for the regular season.

Week 2: Buccaneers: Loss

I’m not sure why, I just have a feeling we may lose this game. It’s certainly a winable game for the Vikings, but I think the Bucs are going to have a good season. Might be a close game.

Week 3: Lions: Win

No doubt the Lions have improved this offseason, but just like most other seasons, I think the Vikings will win this one at home against Detroit.

Week 4: @Chiefs: Win

Another upset win. I don’t think the Chiefs are going to be as electrifying as they were last season. If we can stop Jamaal Charles, I think we win this game.

Week 5: Cardinals: Win

Even with the addition of Kevin Kolb, I don’t think the Cardinals are going to give teams too much trouble in 2011. The only thing they really have going for them is their star wideout Larry Fitzgerald. I don’t think that’s enough to beat the Vikings.

Week 6: @Bears: Loss

In recent years, the Vikings have struggled playing in Soldier field. The Bears play good at home, and I don’t expect anything different here.

Week 7: Packers: Loss

As much as I hate to say it, the Packers scare me this year. Aaron Rodgers has proven he is an elite NFL quarterback, and he will give our defense trouble.

Week 8: @Panthers: Win

Do I really need a reason here? The Panthers have dug themselves into a hole. I think this one could be a blowout.

Week 9: Bye Week

Week 10: @Packers: Loss

Again, kills me to say it, but right now, I don’t see how the Vikings can beat the Packers. Especially when the Packers are playing on their own turf. Hopefully I’m wrong, and we can at least win one of these games against the team I hate more than anything.

Week 11: Raiders: Win

The Raiders are another team I don’t see getting better anytime soon. With the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha, offenses will be able to throw all day against their defense. And run, for that matter. I think the Vikings will be able to do both very well.

Week 12: @Falcons: Loss

With Matt Ryan and his group of receivers, the Vikings will have to pray their secondary can match up with their passing game. I don’t see that happening right now, and I think that will be what decides the game.

Week 13: Broncos: Win

I don’t know what to think of the Broncos right now and how they’ll fair in 2011, but I am almost certain we won’t be seeing the same Brandon Lloyd we did last year. That surprised us all, and I don’t see it happening again. I consider the Broncos a very average team at this point, and they have a defense that Adrian Peterson can destroy in the running game.

Week 14: @Lions: Win

Like I said before, the Lions have without a doubt improved this offseason, but I don’t think they have a better team than the Vikings. Who even knows if Matt Stafford will be healthy at this point in the season? I think the Vikings will win this game as well, although no matter who the Lions quarterback is, they need to focus on stopping Calvin Johnson.

Week 15: Saints: Loss

As blood- thirsty as we may be towards the Saints ever since the 2009 NFC Championship game (which just so happened to be my 18th birthday, and marked the day I started to despise the Saints), I don’t think our defense can stop what appears to be an explosive New Orleans offense. Our defense will definitely need to make some plays if they plan on winning this one.

Week 16: @Redskins: Win.

Rex Grossman doesn’t scare me. Neither does John Beck. Donovan McNabb will have the last laugh against his former team.

Week 17: Bears: Win

I think the Vikings may be in the mix for a wildcard at this point, and will give Chicago everything they’v got. In the end, I think they’ll win in a close one.

Final record: 10-6, and possibly a Wildcard in the playoffs.

So there you have it, my last bold prediction. I am ready to hear any criticism, because I have a feeling this one might cause some controversy.

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45 Responses to “Branden Lemke’s 10 Bold Predictions: #1; Predicting The Vikings Regular Season Record”

  1. Tim says:

    Even though you write for the vikings do you have to be such a homer? It may be pleasing to the eyes of Vikings fans but be semi-realistic… There is never a shroud of doubt in your articles.

    • Branden Lemke says:

      how can you call me a homer when I have them getting swept by the Packers twice? lol. and it’s a prediction, not a fact. I do think this is realistic. think we’ll be fighting with the Bears at the end of the season for a wildcard spot and #2 in our division behind the Packers. Why do you think that isn’t realistic?

    • Ole says:

      lighten up Tim, Branden makes a fairly good argument for his Bold Predictions. There are a lot of new faces on the Vikings this year, 10-6 is possible

      Besides, a “homer” is merely a metaphorical extension for someone who writes for a website called Vikings Gab. What the hell do you expect Branden to write? 0-16? Witness the guy who wrote an article here last week extolling the virtues of the New England Patriots, Tomb ripped him a new bunghole ……… brother ……..

      Keep up the good work Branden

      • Branden Lemke says:

        hahaha thanks Ole! Appreciate it.

      • Lost Viking says:


        Foresee potential problem getting a seat on Viking bandwagon after we light the fuse on the Charger next Sunday. This year’s Charger run D is not the same as last year’s.

        Can’t blame Branden for getting on this train early.

  2. LeCount80 says:

    I like it Branden. A Homer would never predict 10-6. What you have here is an optimistic prediction, and there is nothing wrong with that for a team that was a breath away from the Super Bowl just one full season ago. Last years team had pretty much the same talent as the year before, but lost their way. If Frazier has steered them back on track, and the infusion of youth pays off, I see no reason why this isnt a playoff team.

    Roll on Purple!

    • Branden Lemke says:

      thanks LeCount! yeah it sure was odd how last season differed from 2009. Hopefully it was just a fluke! I think 10-6 is an acheivable record, I liked what I’ve seen from our team this preseason. McNabb is looking good as well! I think McNabb’s problem last year was he had one of the worst group of receivers in the NFL. when Anthony Armstrong is your #1 guy, it’s not a good situation for any quarterback. I think he’s in a much better situation here.

  3. Tim says:

    10-6 for a team that is almost destined to go 6-10. Weak at many positions and we have zero depth. Just giving you some constructive criticism in writing.

    • Branden Lemke says:

      that’s your opinion, just like this is mine. I think we have pretty good depth, aside from the secondary. No way we go 6-10 again. Easier schedule than last year too.

      • B. Grant says:

        Branden, I got no problem with your prediction. Although not probable, it is nonetheless feasible. And I agree that I would be very surprised to see this team finish as low as 6-10. I say we go get 10 wins!

        What I have a problem with is this “easy schedule” thing. You’ve heard me rant on this one before, so I will just say I do not believe in the concept of an easy schedule in today’s NFL. With so much player movement in today’s game, last year’s record doesn’t mean all that much. Heck, we play in one of the best divisions in the league, so 3-3 there alone is a pretty bold expectation.

        (I do hope you’re wrong about getting swept by the Pack, though.)

  4. c.carterhof says:

    I think 10 wins is possible. But of course, I have been accused of being a homer as well.
    I think 10-6 is the very top end.

    Dont think we can beat the Chargers in SD, OR Chiefs in KC. And dont know about beating the Lions at their house.
    However, I have to believe we will beat those cheesers in the Dome. I just have to. Also think we will beat NO and get some revenge, at least a little. (on your birthday? Damn…)
    I say 9-7.

  5. Fragile Freds says:


    First off, Branden is a homer. His jottings by definition are for Viking fans…also homers. His article is titled bold predictions, he is making bold predictions. His predictions may or may not be right, but at least he stood behind each one. Your logic was Vikings “destiny”? You can do better Just a little constructive criticism from your old pal.

  6. akvikesfan says:

    Just got home from work. Glad to see Greenway got locked up, made a lot of money today that’s for sure. Anyone seen any 2011 numbers indicating how much space it created this year?

    Also saw Camarillo restructured his contract to below $1 million… that’ll help.

  7. Lost Viking says:

    I’ve predicted Patriot, Raven and Colt all at 8 and 8 this season; same record as Viking.

    Do you think I’ve rated those other teams too high?

  8. bigjohnny84 says:

    I like your predictions Branden and I’ll take it a step further and say Vikes get a win against the cheesedicks. Our coaching is sooo much better this year and that will be the difference. We all know how tough it is to beat a division foe twice in the same year.

  9. CalVkg says:

    well, previously i’ve said we could possibly be 8-8, maybe 9-7 if we’re lucky, and 3-3 in our division also if we’re lucky, but prolly 2-4

    4-4 at the break, but 7-9 to finish is realistic

    now, if we’re good, not just lucky, but good AND lucky, we win 10 games, but i think we’re rebuilding, and to go from 6 wins to 10 wins is a stretch

    i’d love it if we surprised and won it all, of course, but if i made a bold prediction like that i’d be labeled a homer

  10. sb says:

    Brandem, I like the optimism. I think the bikes will go better than most ‘experts’ think, but sadly branden I don’t see us matching up too well with the Chargers, hopefully they don’t score early and often and take AD out of the game. I also think the lions will take one of us, but other than that pretty good!

    Like I said, I like the optimism, but I envision us finishing somewhere around the 8-8 mark.

    Hopefully your right though!

  11. Tomb... says:

    What is a shroud of doubt? A close cousin to a cape of ill feeling?

    …and yes, Branden, if you could try to keep your bold predictions from being bold, it would be appreciated. Try to encapsulate your predictions in a warm cocoon of comfortable negativity and pessimism.

    Timmy, not sure what you are looking for out of a Vikings Gab blogger. He did explain each game of the season, win or loss. I personally don’t see us coming out of San Diego with a win, but trade that with the Tampa loss, and 10-6 is certainly POSSIBLE. I’d say 9-7 or 8-8 seems more likely to me, but I’m still not sure what you mean by destiny. Why is the team “destined” to go 6-10? Because that’s what they did last year? Kind of a lot of different factors this year than last.

    • B. Grant says:

      Other than a new head coach, new offensive coordinator, new defensive coordinator, new special teams coordinator, 20 some new players including the #1 and #2 QB’s, and a home stadium to once again play in, what sort of “different factors this year than last” are you referring to?

      The release of the greatest tight end to ever flatten a referee, perhaps?

      • Tomb... says:

        Well, I was mainly referring to the fact that Zygi is going to use a different mustache comb this year, but yes, you are correct. Those other items of interest could likely come into play too.

  12. Jogger says:

    I the wins and losses a bit different but have us 10-6 also. We make the playoffs as a wild card and progress to conference game which we lose, being not quite ready for prime time. However the ground work is laid for a serious run at Super Bowl champs in 2012.

  13. Dr. K says:

    The Vikings could go 10-6 but I think we will have to spit with Green Bay to do it. We could easily lose the opener at San Diego (Rivers vs. our secodary is very scary) and even though KC is not going to be as strong as last year (at least in my opinion) it is still one of the tougher places to play. Packers twice in three weeks is going to be tough but I think we’ll get them at home. 10-6, it’ll be tough but why not? Go Vikings!!

  14. Vikingman62 says:

    Did any one read that artical from Chris DeSantis? what a Putz

    He has the Vikings going down 34-17 because we didnt retain Rice and our QB is washed up…..Surprised he wasnt upset at us letting TJ go..Shame on Matt for printing it

  15. wtfvikesfan says:

    I heard on KFAN today by letting Farwell go Vikings freed up 2.87 million of cap space.

  16. AnotherBlondeViking says:

    Love it! Now let’s make it so!
    Go VIKES!

  17. B. Grant says:

    This roster is an interesting piece of work. Consider the following…

    1. With the exception of safety, the Vikings have some mixture of seasoned veteran, developing player and rookie at every position. That didn’t just happen by chance. Someone has been doing some very good planning, going all the way back to the draft. Yes, safety is the exception, and I’m sure that concerns the staff just as much as it does us. I believe this approach played into retaining Camarillo at WR, and I believe it weighed heavily in drafting Ponder first round and obtaining McNabb. No rookie will be thrown to the fire before his time, but there will be people of skill ready for the future. And in the case of QB, Denzel did not leave himself in a situation where he was committed to Webb as the only course of action for eventual replacement (unlike the situation a recent Viking coach found himself in.)

    2. With this mixture they can determine over the course of this season who is fitting into the new schemes, who they can and can’t count on, and where they need to try a younger player. No matter what position you play on this team, there is someone young and hungry to challenge you, and a coach who is not afraid to make the change. Such a presence can quietly take the place of a lot of hollerin’ and yellin’ at people. “Son, either do the job or watch someone else try.”

    2. A year from now, as the contracts of various veterans either come up, they enter their option year, whatever… there are players of various levels of experience who may be ready to step in. Denzel and company have put themselves in a very good position to determine a year from now who they need to re-sign, who they should let go, and what positions may need help in free agency.

    I haven’t seen the Vikings roster in such a well organized and balanced state for quite some time. There is a clearly a plan to sustain every position both now and in the future. Nicely done Leslie!

    • Tomb... says:

      I dunno coach, point number two has some merit, but the other point number two is confusing…

      • B. Grant says:

        Well, you see, I did not feel that either of the last two points should be relegated to a level three point, so I had no choice but to make them both #2. Was it the first second point or the second second point that you had a problem with, Tomb? If I may take a second to point out that, if it had been requried, the first second point would have likely gotten the nod as the third point, but then the points would have not been in the proper sequence, thus generating more confusion. And for the record, my final unnumbered point was actually the primary point of the entire rambling.

        I hope this encapsulation of my points places you somewhere in a warm cocoon… or whatever.

  18. B. Grant says:

    (Sorry for the typos, I don’t always proof so well.)

  19. New coach, new starting QB, new offense, no offseason to work it all in, very shaky secondary in a passing division in what has become a passing league, really thing 10 -6 is a pipedream. Can’t beat SD, or Chiefs in their house or Lions twice…. 7 – 9 is all I can see on the good side frankly….. give Leslie a couple years and I think we are going to see some big improvement….. hope its here in Minn.

  20. bisatc says:

    …Tomb said “Try to encapsulate your predictions in a warm cocoon of comfortable negativity and pessimism.”

    I’m still giggling at this genius prose. That is some funny stuff.

    Oh, and the Vikings record predictions….

    I do not care as long as I see a new offensive mindset, one that I think Musgrave is going to present.
    Go Vikes!

  21. Lost Viking says:

    “Jaguar say David Garrard’s huge salary wasn’t a factor in his release. Coach Jack Del Rio simply said that Luke McCown was the better quarterback

    “We’re going in as strong as we can with the best guy playing,” Del Rio said at a press conference Tuesday, calling the decision “pure football.”

    Del Rio seemed to say that Garrard lost the job more than anything. Jaguar didn’t give Garrard the option to take a pay cut They have essentially admitted they made a mistake by giving Garrard huge money after the 2007 season. He got the money of a franchise quarterback and never rose above average.”

    Hey: when they come out and say, “Honestly, its not about the money” you can be sure of one thing…..

    • Tomb... says:

      ~$8 million this year for an average, at best, QB?

      It was definitely about the money, but we all knew that long before now.

      A total dick move to cut him now, less than a week before the first game, but he needed to cut at that kind of wage for his annual subpar performance.

  22. Purple Charlie says:

    Give me a Glass of that Purple Prediction! I don’t see them beating the Chargers the first week, And the Thoughts of the Packers beating us this year, I’m getting sick… I think the Vikes get them once this year.

    Like you said Bold, I hope your right there guy.
    Good job…

  23. Karan says:

    I honestly thing we will lose that Chargers game,but the team has the capability to beat the Packers at least once. Last season, we were a possession away from doing that. This year,we are much better and we can beat them…once. And regarding the Bucs,we can win that one and we will end up losing once against the Lions. 10-6 seems possible,with a 3-3 in the division. SKOL VIKES!

  24. Purple Faithful says:

    Love the optimism! I mean it’s funny & reminds me of the preseason hype of Les Steckles’ dynasty. Let’s review.
    Improved: Tight end, maybe corner (they are not all hurt yet), fullback (little gallows humor there)
    Worse: Offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, maybe wide receiver (rice was hurt most of the year, so maybe about equal-also had moss for a while), quarterback (mcnabb is no favre. no onestep rocket passes, there must be protection whereas with favre u can have protection OR receivers)
    Equal: running game, safeties (ugh)

    Only wildcard is the coaching. Musgrave has been a dismal failure everywhere else he has been an OC. Davidson has been a stud everywhere. So, hard to see what rises to the top.

    4-12 to 6-10 is the range.
    San Diego: they start slow, not dead. non-conf road dog outdoors on grass. Loss, with a capital “L”
    Bucs: L, but we’re at home. it’s at least winnable, theoretically.
    Lions At home, coin-toss. Since u guys are such homers, Win. Assumes Stafford is already gone for the year.
    @Chiefs. Arrowhead…Non conf. outdoors on road top 5 toughest stadium. Loss
    Cards: Loss, i think Kolb will have Arizona rolling.
    @bears Loss
    Packers Loss
    @carolina ugh. non-conf road outdoors – we might be humiliated here, but i can’t pick against the vikes here. Win
    @packers Loss
    Raiders win, They are on the road & a run-heavy team. maybe we can win this one.
    @falcons Loss Road, outdoors, non-division foe & they are good.
    Broncos win They throw, big receivers, improved defense, improved coach, so not a “gimmie” -we’d lose on the road.
    @Lions Loss McNabb could perish this game, if he’s not already out for the year. (he gets hurt ALOT!)
    Saints ah, no. Loss
    @skins ugh. road, outdoors, late in year, people playing for jobs – Loss.
    Bears They may need this one. Loss

  25. […] this season will turn out is anybody’s guess. Some are predicting a 10-6 season, while others project a palindromic 6-10 finish. Half of us here at TC Huddle have cautioned that […]

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