4 Team Predictions for the Vikings 2023 Season

Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and center Garrett Bradbury (56) take practice snaps before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The countdown is near an end. The months have turned into weeks and then into days, soon to be just hours.

4 Team Predictions for the Vikings 2023 Season

Minnesota Vikings football is back this Sunday when the men in purple will run out onto their home field to take on the Tom Bradyl-ess Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Expectations aren’t as high as you might expect for a team coming off a 13-win season. That’s because there are still a lot of question marks surrounding these Vikings. Before the season gets underway, these are four team predictions for the Vikings 2023.

Big Win in Week 1

4 Team Predictions
Aug 26, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks on against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings repeat last season’s feat of starting with a big win in Week 1, this time against the Buccaneers. Last season, it was the divisional foe, Green Bay, that the Vikings beat convincingly by a margin of 16 points. Bizarrely, despite winning another 12 games, it wasn’t until the season finale against the Chicago Bears in Week 18 that the Vikings won another game by more than one score. 

Tampa Bay is now without Brady, who guided them to their second Super Bowl win and two further playoff appearances in his three seasons — despite a losing record last season. Baker Mayfield will be quarterbacking the Buccaneers for the first time after spells with the Panthers and Rams last year. Tampa Bay still has enough good players to be a problem, but if the Vikings start fast in front of their home fans, they can quickly take this game away from an opposition that will be finding its feet on offense.

Vikings Will Finish in the Top 5 for Points Scored

Have the Vikings Paid Kirk
Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) leaves the field before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings have a high-powered offense, which scored the seventh most points across the league last season. Their tally of 424 points was vital to their success. They were the only team who scored over 400 points but allowed more points against than they scored for.  The hope is for a better Vikings defense in 2023, but the offense will likely have to carry the team again.

I predict the Vikings offense does just that and goes even better this year, breaking into the top five for points scored. Minnesota has lost Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen. However, a more consistent run game and a full T.J. Hockenson season can compensate for that. The real difference maker will be how first-round rookie Jordan Addison takes to the pro game. I’m optimistic he will have a significant impact.

Vikings Finish Top 5 in Team Sacks

One Viking Totally
Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) following the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings have a lot of talent on offense, but they can’t be expected to carry another defense as bad as the Vikings had last season. The man charged with turning around the Vikings defensive fortunes is Brian Flores. Resources to improve the defense have been modest, leaving a lot of the Vikings improvement needing to come from coaching and game plan. Flores will send out an aggressive defense that will look entirely different from the 2022 incarnation of the Vikings defense. 

I expect them to go after the quarterback and go hard. That brings me to my prediction of the Vikings finishing in the top five for team sacks. Danielle Hunter will lead the way, but the Vikings will get sacks from all over the defense. That will be key to the success of this defense, where relying on coverage from the secondary could be a problem.

Kevin O’Connell Gets First Playoff Win as HC

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Tuesday., July 25th, 2023. The Vikings won the NFC North in Kevin O’Connell’s first year, thanks to a 13-4 record. O’Connell’s is the league’s second-youngest coach as of 2023.

I have been fixated on 10 wins all offseason and have seen no reason to budge from there. Some tough opponents are on the schedule, but the Vikings have enough firepower on offense to put wins on the board. Ten wins should be enough to secure the Vikings playoff football, perhaps as division champs again, if not, then as a wildcard.

My final prediction is Kevin O’Connell gets his first playoff win as a head coach. Regular season success is nice, but it’s playoff football where it really matters. The Vikings HC must show the coaching acumen to win the big games. I don’t think the Vikings are ready to compete for the Super Bowl, but a playoff win is an essential step in the right direction.