Analyst Drops Daunting Prediction for Vikings Future

The Odyssey of Vikings Super Bowl Odds
Kevin O'Connell

The Vikings lost their first playoff game in three years and their first home postseason game in five years. Throughout the season, the purple team overachieved, especially when considering advanced statistics. Per DVOA, the Vikings ranked 27th in the regular season, so the 13-4 record was astonishing.

For the 2023 season, outlets have already started to use the Vikings as the poster boys for predictions about declining teams. CBS Sports‘ Jeff Kerr did the same thing in his latest article, “Super Wild Card Weekend overreactions and reality checks.”

Analyst Drops Daunting Prediction for Vikings Future

Analyst Drops Daunting
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) is unable to catch a pass while defended by New York Giants cornerback Fabian Moreau (37) during the fourth quarter during a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

With the way the Vikings are currently constructed, Minnesota is bound for a regression to the mean. Take away Justin Jefferson and the Vikings offense isn’t as effective thanks to the lack of a No. 2 wide receiver and an offensive line that is below average (and Minnesota is improved).

Jeff Kerr, CBSSports

Indeed, the lack of a second wide receiver next to Justin Jefferson is hurting the Vikings. Neither Adam Thielen nor K.J. Osborn had great success getting open in 2022. That became more obvious than ever in the year’s final game when the Vikings had to erase a deficit and the Giants double-teamed Jefferson. Thielen and Osborn should’ve stepped up but didn’t.

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell looks on before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

However, the biggest problem in the game and the season, in general, was the other side of the ball. The Vikings put one of the worst defenses in the league on the field for the third straight season.

The Vikings defense needs significant improvements as it was one of the worst in the NFL, especially against the pass. The Green Bay Packers figured things out late in the the season and the Detroit Lions are an up-and-coming team. The NFC North won’t be as easy as in 2022.

Jeff Kerr, CBSSports

The Vikings split the season series against Detroit and Green Bay. Both teams finished the season one game above or below .500, respectively. Dan Campbell’s Lions are trending to be the sexy pick to win the NFC North next season, while the Packers have a question mark at quarterback, as former MVP Aaron Rodgers might not come back to the team.

Our Staff Prediction for Patriots at Vikings
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Kris Boyd (29) and linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) celebrate with linebacker Eric Kendricks. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports.

But no matter what, the defense will have to undergo huge changes. The team’s leadership will either blame the scheme implemented by defensive coordinator Ed Donatell or the players that didn’t fit the scheme. Turnover is expected to happen in the 2023 offseason, and the defense could look a lot different when the season opener arrives in almost nine months.

Minnesota appears to be the team set to fall. They did win 13 games and had a negative point differential. 

Jeff Kerr, CBSSports

The famous point differential was a highly discussed topic during the 2022 season. At the end of the day, it did come back to bite the Vikings in the disastrous playoff game. The Vikings are named a regression candidate, and some good reasons exist.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt