Vikings Fetch Bottom-12 Ranking Heading into Regular Season

Vikings Are the 8th-Worst Team in Football per 'Football Outsiders'
Kevin O'Connell

If the 2023 Minnesota Vikings want underdog ammunition for head coach Kevin O’Connell’s second adventure, it’s not difficult to find.

Oddsmakers and NFL experts have routinely ranked the Vikings near the middle of the pack all offseason for league supremacy, labeling Minnesota as an eight- or nine-win team.

Vikings Fetch Bottom-12 Ranking Heading into Regular Season

And with the purple team’s regular season just four days away, CBS Sports‘ Pete Prisco assigned the Vikings one of their worst power rankings of the summer — No. 21.

Vikings Fetch Bottom
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

Sandwiched between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 20) and Tennesee Titans (No. 22), Prisco opined about Minnesota’s bottom-12 standing, “They won a lot of close games last season to make the playoffs, but I don’t think they can count on that this time around. I do think Brian Flores is a good hire to run the defense.”

The Vikings won 13 games in 2022 and a division title for the first time in five years, but curiously lost at home in the postseason to the New York Giants thanks to a leaky defense.

Year 1 of the O'Connell Era
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Prisco’s power ranking batch was also one of the few — perhaps only — where the Vikings Week 1 opponent, the Buccaneers, outpaced Minnesota. Prisco explained about Tampa Bay, “If Baker Mayfield can play like he did in his best days with the Browns, they can push the Saints in the division. They have added a lot of speed to this roster..”

Minnesota is favored by six points to chop down the Buccaneers this Sunday.

Another Stunning
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Fox Sports was recently a bit kinder to Minnesota, ranking the Vikings at No. 15 in its preseason power rankings. David Helman defended the placement, “I’m curious to see what Brian Flores can do in his first season as Vikings defensive coordinator. Even with Dalvin Cook off to New York, I’m not worried about the offensive production — especially with Jordan Addison joining the fold. Defensively, though, the Vikings are asking a lot of a bunch of unproven players. If Flores can coach better production out of this group, the Vikings are a sleeper.”

The Vikings underwent a change-filled offseason, saying goodbye to expensive veterans like Cook, Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson, and Za’Darius Smith, among others, while adding notable free agents Byron Murphy, Marcus Davenport, and Josh Oliver.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

The club also drafted Jordan Addison, Mehki Blackmon, and four others; Addison + Blackmon are expected to fill plentiful roles as rookies.

The Vikings have +4,000 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII in February, around the 15th-best odds in the business.

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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