The Vikings Have Some — Not All — of the 5-Part Super Bowl Formula

No Love for Kevin
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No Super Bowl champion has repeated since 2004. The Kansas City Chiefs hope to change the narrative this season, but we shall see.

The Vikings Have Some — Not All — of the 5-Part Super Bowl Formula

The Minnesota Vikings will also vie for the chip, with +4,000 odds to win it all, similar odds to the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints.

And as of the last decade or so, most Super Bowl-winning teams own a familiar five-part blueprint. Minnesota has most of it, on paper, heading into 2023.

1. RB by Committee

Part Super Bowl
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Teams with high-paid or elite running backs don’t win Super Bowls anymore. It’s weird.

The bellcow era at RB is over, and the teams that continue the trend no longer hoist Lombardis. Minnesota said goodbye to Dalvin Cook in June, preferring a more affordable running back room consisting of Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and DeWayne McBride.

This is how it is done if recent history is an indicator. Implement an RB committee, don’t pay expensive tailbacks — and win Super Bowls.

2. Heavy Production at TE Spot

Hockenson Chatter
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Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce can attest here.

Recent champions don’t skimp at tight end, and even the Super Bowl runner-ups boast a big-name or productive one. The Vikings have T.J. Hockenson, who will experience his first full season in purple. And if something happens to him injury-wise, Josh Oliver lives on the roster at TE2 for support.

Tight end efficiency shouldn’t be taken for granted amid the quest for a Super Bowl — and Minnesota has it.

3. Sturdy Offensive Line

OL Ranking for 2023
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The Vikings, though, don’t quite have this figured out.

Somehow, the club figured out ‘the hard part’ in the last five years, drafting Brian O’Neill and Christian Darrisaw to book-end the line. Most teams salivate for that stability. Yet, the offensive line’s interior remains a work in progress, as Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, and Ed Ingram hope to jell with continuity.

This roster spot is not a strength for the Vikings, but it’s no longer a glaring weakness.

4. A Clutch QB in the Postseason

These Vikings Are Designed
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, what everyone chooses to remember about Kirk Cousins last season is his final transaction on 4th and 8 against the New York Giants.

Before that, however, he tied an NFL record for most game-winning drives in a single season (8). This indicates that his DNA is wired to perhaps lead a team deep into the postseason. Now he’ll pray his defense doesn’t rank 30th in points allowed in 2023.

5. A Good or Hot Defense

Vikings to Showcase
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

Defense may not win championships anymore, but a hot defense in the postseason sure helps.

Kansas City has proven that a defense can start a season rather poorly and still tunnel deep in the playoffs. Thanks, Mr. Mahomes.

The Vikings defense will probably need time — multiple games — to hit a groove, and the vital part for 2023 is for Brian Flores’ men to hit their stride in December, January, and hopefully February.

One item is certain — Minnesota’s defense will be faster and younger in 2023.

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).

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