Vikings Viewed in Same Boat as Raiders, Jets

Giants DC Has Hilarious Comp for Kevin O'Connell
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings fans were rejuvenated — until the final game of the season — about the franchise as Kevin O’Connell accrued the best record by a first-year head coach in franchise history. The Vikings finished 13-4 and won the NFC North by a handsome margin.

But then the postseason hit, and O’Connell’s club flopped at home, losing to the New York Giants 31-24, a team that would be gutted by the Philadelphia Eagles one week later.

Vikings Viewed in Same Boat as Raiders, Jets

Overall, Minnesota’s season was considered a success by the team’s loyalists, and most expect a successful follow-up season from O’Connell when September arrives.

Vikings Viewed in Same
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

That cautious optimism, though, is a fan-driven sentiment as sportsbooks — at least at the beginning of February — are low on the 2023 Vikings, just like they were for the 2022 Vikings. Over at, the Vikings are classified as the 15th likeliest team to win the Super Bowl next season, sharing the same +4000 moneyline (as of February 2nd) as the Las Vegas Raiders and New York Jets.

A grouping of the Vikings with the Raiders and Jets is particularly embarrassing because nobody knows who will be the quarterback for Las Vegas and New York next season.

Teams like the Detroit Lions (+3000), Miami Dolphins (+3500), and New York Giants (+3500) have better odds than Minnesota despite [arguably] inferior rosters (before the 2023 offseason fully begins).

An Autopsy of the 2022
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Just like last year at this time — or in the months leading up to the start of the regular season — oddsmakers’ opinions of the Vikings don’t really matter. However, for a team that battled a “fraudulent” narrative for most of the 2022 season, betting odds suggest, once again, that the Vikings aren’t trusted to replicate the 13-win pace in 2023.

What’s more, Minnesota will face a first-place schedule in 2023 and play one less home game per the NFL’s rotating NFC-AFC schedule. The Vikings will play the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles instead of the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys merely because they outpaced the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions in 2022.

Game to Help Shape 2023
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Ted Nguyen from The Athletic observed similarities this week between the Vikings and Raiders and tweeted, “If you think about it, the ’22 Vikings were just ’22 Raiders with better injury and one-game score luck.”

Indeed, one of the separation points from the O’Connell-led Vikings compared to the Mike Zimmer-branded team from the last few years was winning against good teams. The Vikings posted a right-side-up record versus teams that finished the season with a winning record for the first time since 2017:

Vikings Win-Loss,
vs. Teams with Winning Records,
Last 5 Years:

2018: 1-6
2019: 1-4
2020: 1-6
2021: 3-6
2022: 4-3

Put Your Eyes on These
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota’s next stepping stone to 2023 involves rebuilding a poor defense, and NFL free agency can be the personnel fix. That starts on March 15th, and the NFL Draft begins on April 27th.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by