ESPN: Vikings Have 2.3% Chance at Glory

The Vikings National
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell comes off the field after the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

How likely are the Minnesota Vikings to, alas, win a Super Bowl for the first time in history? Somewhere between the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks, according to ESPN.

The sports media giant unveiled its Football Power Index metrics and rankings this week, an annual tradition.

ESPN: Vikings Have 2.3% Chance at Glory

For starters, here’s the official definition of the Football Power Index: “A measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.”

Chance at
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell looks on from the sideline against the New York Giants during the second quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Last year, ESPN released the rankings in May, and Minnesota lived in 13th place. This year, it’s two notches down at No. 15. And for a Super Bowl projection, the Vikings have a 2.3% chance to win it all. Kevin O’Connell’s team has a 5.9% possibility of reaching the game — and losing.

ESPN’s Seth Walder, the proprietor of the FPI, also commented on the state of the NFC North, “Over in the NFC North, the Lions are 43% favorites. Although the Minnesota Vikings won the division last season with 13 wins, and the Lions missed the playoffs with nine, there’s evidence that Detroit was — and is — the better team.”

All 17 of the Vikings
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) celebrates with Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. (84), back, after he scores a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota added eight new free agents in the last 2.5 months, including Josh Oliver (TE, Ravens), Marcus Davenport (EDGE, Saints), Byron Murphy (CB, Cardinals), Dean Lowry (DT, Packers), Brandon Powell (WR, Rams), Troy Reeder (LB, Chargers), Joejuan Williams (CB, Patriots), and John Reid (CB, Falcons). Six men arrived from the 2023 NFL Draft, plus another 17 undrafted free agents. Wide receiver Jordan Addison headlined the draft class, promising to pair with Justin Jefferson for, what should be, an immediate Top 5 receiving duo in the business.

On the other hand, nine veterans left, including Cameron Dantzler (CB, Commanders), Eric Kendricks (LB, Chargers), Patrick Peterson (CB, Steelers), Adam Thielen (WR, Panthers), Dalvin Tomlinson (DT, Browns), Duke Shelley (CB, Raiders), Irv Smith (TE, Bengals), Kris Boyd (CB, Cardinals), and Chandon Sullivan (CB, Steelers). Outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith was traded to the Cleveland Browns two weeks ago.

Smith Be Back
Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) looks on during training camp at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Therefore, the Vikings will bank on introducing Brian Flores as defensive coordinator to fix many of the 2022 defensive calamities. The roster became cheaper, leaner, faster, and younger as a part of general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s plan, but Flores is tasked with fixing the defense, almost single-handedly.

And according to ESPN, the above-listed formula has a 2.3% of taking the team to the Promised Land.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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