Mitch Massman’s 2023 Vikings Prediction

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell takes the field before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The table is set, and the time for the NFL feast is upon us. As always, the fan bases for each team have been chirping about how great their team will be this year. Who will be the only team left standing at the end of the season shall unfold over the next several months.

Mitch Massman’s 2023 Vikings Prediction

It is time for Mitch Massman’s 2023 Vikings Prediction.

The Vikings have invested heavily in schematic changes to the offense and, most notably, the defense this year. Adding Brian Flores as defensive coordinator should certainly be a welcomed change from the passive approach of Ed Donnatel. The replacement of Adam Thielen with Jordan Addison could also bring more firepower to the offense.

Will it be enough to improve on the 13-4 season they were able to produce in 2022? Probably not, as that is difficult to replicate every year. However, there is a chance that the defense could be in a good place compared to last year when they were torn to sheds week after week.

Let’s take this game by game and see how the Vikings will fare this year.

Vikings Start the First Half of 2023 Hot

Mitch Massman
Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) leaves the field before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Vikings vs Bucs – Win
  • Vikings @ Eagles – Loss
  • Vikings vs Chargers – Win
  • Vikings @ Panthers – Win

The first quarter of the year is set up nicely for the Vikings to get off to a hot start. They will have two home games, which should help produce wins. The Bucs are in a franchise transition period, so the Vikings should be able to escape with a relatively easy victory.

Of course, they will turn around to play in Philadelphia on a Thursday Night Game. This has been a place where the Vikings have historically struggled. Expect that trend to continue. At least they will get 10 days off to prepare for a very good Chargers team. While the Chargers are good, with the game at US Bank Stadium, the Vikings should be able to pull off a victory. But this will come down to the wire because it is how the Chargers and Vikings like to keep.

The game with the Panthers will be interesting. It is a “coming home” of sorts for Adam Thielen, playing against his former team. But that is not going to matter. The Vikings will win this win.

  • Vikings vs Chiefs – Loss
  • Vikings @ Bears – Win
  • Vikings vs 49ers – Loss
  • Vikings @ Packers – Win

The following four games are going to be pretty standard. Do not expect any crazy upsets against the Chiefs or 49ers, even though those are home games. Chalk it up as two losses.

However, the Vikings come out of this stretch with two victories against divisional opponents, both on the road. Many believe that Justin Fields can take a year-three leap and become Josh Allen type and that Jordan Love will be good. I am not drinking the Kool-Aid.

The Vikings win both of these games and jump out to a 5-3 start, with the only losses coming against 3 of the best teams in the entire NFL. The schedule should become a little easier after this stretch of games.

Strong Finish Leads to 2023 Vikings Prediction for Divisional Title

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.

After a 5-3 start, the Vikings find a stretch of 5 games where they cement themselves as one of the top 6 teams in the NFL.

  • Vikings @ Falcons – Win
  • Vikings vs Saints – Win
  • Vikings @ Broncos – Loss
  • Vikings vs Bears – Win
  • Vikings @ Raiders – Win

This stretch of 5 games should give the Vikings the breathing room they need to secure the Division Title by week 17. The Falcons and Raiders hardly have quarterbacks. Sure, the Raiders have Garoppolo right now, but he hasn’t remained healthy for a full season in a while, and he doesn’t have Shannahan to walk him through life anymore. These should produce wins.

The games against the Saints and Broncos are more toss-ups right now. I could see them going either way. Let’s split the difference with the Vikings winning the home game and laying an egg on national TV against the Broncos.

The Bears are bound to have another ugly season and get swept again by the Kirk Cousins-led Vikings. And now the Vikings come into the last stretch of the season sitting at 9-4, but trouble lies ahead.

  • Vikings @ Bengals – Loss
  • Vikings vs Lions – Win
  • Vikings vs Packers – Win
  • Vikings @ Lions – Loss

Losing to the Bengals in Cincinnati seems like a no-brainer. It will happen, and we all need to be ready for it. However, the Vikings will end the season with three divisional games, two of them at home, and only need to win two of them to secure the NFC North Division Title. They will beat the Lions and Packers before losing to the Lions in Detroit in a meaningless game.

The Vikings end the season at 11-6 with an NFC North Division Title and a second straight year of playoff appearances under Coach KOC.

Mitch Massman is a lifelong Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3