National Site Claims Vikings Will Pretty Much Stink

NFL Rollercoaster Dives Down for Vikings in Surprising Blowout
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings produced an unforeseen 13-4 record last year, courtesy of new head coach Kevin O’Connell, his commitment to a culture change, and his dedication to ‘situational mastery.’

The problem, though, is that nobody really cared — especially national experts — because Minnesota lost in Round 1 of the playoffs at home to the New York Giants.

National Site Claims Vikings Will Pretty Much Stink

The evidence? Last year at this time on the calendar, the Vikings were forecasted to win 8.5 games, and that’s the exact prognosis from sportsbooks this year. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Vikings Will Pretty Much
Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell greets players during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

But Bleacher Report took the lack of enthusiasm on the Vikings to a new level this week when it recommended wagers on each team’s 2023 win-loss over-under. The popular sports website claimed Minnesota won’t win more than eight games and that the Lions are the cream of the crop in the NFC North.

BR‘s Brad Gagnon predicted the Vikings to finish under the 8.5-win mark with eight wins and offered an underwhelming critique of the purple team, “The Vikes lost some key veterans this offseason and Kirk Cousins had his limitations even when the shelf was well-stocked. This is a bottom-six DVOA squad that is likely to take a big step backward from a weird 13-win campaign.”

Nov 28, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

On the Lions, he was markedly more optimistic, pounding the over (9.5 wins) and defending the opinion, “This was a top-10 DVOA squad with a high ceiling in this division, but it’s still a little tough to trust Jared Goff and the Lions in general. We know better, right? I’ll give them a small bump from nine wins in 2022.”

Detroit hasn’t won the NFC North or NFC Central in 30 years.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, first-round picks receiver Jameson Williams and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson pose for a picture with GM Brad Holmes during the press conference Friday, April 29, 2022, at the Detroit Lions practice facility in Allen Park. MAIN Lionspicks. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Gagnon predicted the Bears to win six games and the Packers with eight. Chicago hopes Justin Fields will take ‘the next step’ in 2023, and Green Bay embarks on life without Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers at QB1 for the first time since 1991.

On the Vikings, indeed, expensive, aging veterans were jettisoned via cap casualty, but fans have spent four months debating whether the moves were flags of surrender, indicating a blunt-force rebuild — or wise cuts because Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, Eric Kendricks, for example, weren’t going to improve at this stage of their careers.

Thielen Forecasted
Adam Thielen answered questions on his mentality moving to a new state and playing with a new team. Thielen left the Vikings after the 2022 season, latching onto the Carolina Panthers for 3 years and $25 million.

National NFL punditry has struggled to put a finger on the Vikings, as it wants the franchise to announce all-in stakes for the Super Bowl or roll over and die for a juicy draft pick next April.

Minnesota’s front office has indicated for 18 months its desire to ‘do both’ during a ‘competitive rebuild.’ That is — contend in the here and now while preparing for the future per salary cap standing.

The Vikings haven’t won back-to-back division titles since 2008-2009.

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).

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