Vikings Snubbed in Playoff Predictions

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If you believe the Minnesota Vikings will follow up an unforeseen 13-4 season in 2022 with back-to-back playoff appearances, think again.

That’s the word from CBS Sports anyway, and in particular, Will Brinson, who authored division-winner and playoff predictions last weekend.

Vikings Snubbed in Playoff Predictions

Echoing Vegas odds and peers’ projections about the Vikings, Brinson had Minnesota on the outside looking in for 2023 playoff combatants, playing second fiddle to the Detroit Lions in the NFC North.

Snubbed in Playoff
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That’s a theme, indeed, as sportsbooks and pundits universally agree that Detroit will win the NFC North for the first time in 30 years, knocking off the Vikings after Minnesota rode an 11-0 record in one-score games during Kevin O’Connell’s first year as head coach.

Brinson picked Detroit as the NFC North king and wrote, “Just like the Jags, the Lions surprised me with how high they finished in my model here. I sort of felt like I’d be down on them and higher on Minnesota and Green Bay and yet the numbers don’t lie. Detroit’s got a HUGE game to start the season against Kansas City; I’m more worried about how the Lions recover from that matchup (win or lose) than how they perform in Arrowhead with a pair of huge home conference games looming immediately afterwards.”

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“The NFC North has never been more wide open with Aaron Rodgers’ departure. Dan Campbell and Jared Goff would love to take advantage. But I wouldn’t put it past any of these teams from winning the North either — Minnesota was a luck box last year but has a very good roster,” Brinson continued.

Although luck box are two new and different words to describe the 2022 Vikings, the theme remains consistent. Most NFL experts believe O’Connell was lucky — not good — in his first as skipper and therefore destined for regression in his second act.

Brinson concluded about the NFC North, “Justin Fields taking a leap would make the Bears VERY interesting and Jordan Love is a complete and total wild card, not just in this division but the conference as well. I’m fully prepared for this set of projections to be completely wrong.”

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So, at least he hedged the bet at the end, claiming even he wouldn’t be surprised if his predictions were terrible. For 31 seasons, the Packers have asserted a stranglehold on the division because of unending Hall of Fame quarterback play, thanks to Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. But now Rodgers plays for the New York Jets, and the NFC North is wide open — if one can get over the Lions craze.

Brinson also ixnayed the Vikings from the playoffs altogether, revealing these standings:

  • Detroit Lions (10-7) — Division winner
  • Minnesota Vikings (8-9)
  • Chicago Bears (6-11)
  • Green Bay Packers (6-11)

He claimed the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Seattle Seahawks would grab Wildcard bids in the postseason while the Lions, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, and Dallas Cowboys win their divisions.

The Vikings haven’t reached the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 2008 and 2009.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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