Vikings Want to Avoid Making [Bad] History on Monday

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings began play in 1961 and have gone since their inception without winning a Super Bowl. Plenty of teams can lay that claim, but the franchise has also never seen the team lose their first four home games in a given year. They don’t want to end that in 2023.

Vikings Want to Avoid Making [Bad] History on Monday

Out to an ugly 2-4 start, the Vikings could certainly be in a much better position had they handled business early on. Self-inflicted wounds and undisciplined play have led them to where they are, but the only focus they can have now is moving forward.

Returning home to U.S. Bank Stadium after a successful road win in Chicago, the Vikings will be looking to avoid losing their first four home games in a season for the first time in franchise history. With homefield playing such a significant advantage, dropping that many contests in comfortable circumstances would be a suboptimal outcome this early on.

Of course, the Vikings shouldn’t really have found themselves in this position in the first place. Against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team breaking in Baker Mayfield, the opportunity to start the season 1-0 was right in front of them. Coming up short in that game was much more reflective of their own inefficiencies than anything that Todd Bowles’ squad did.

Want to Avoid Making
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Then, against the Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota took a lead in the 4th quarter only to give that back when Justin Herbert found Josh Palmer on a 30-yard connection. Los Angeles was without star wideout Mike Williams for most of the day, and it seemed the Vikings defense was uninterested in covering Keenan Allen.

All of this has led to a matchup with a San Francisco 49ers team that may be among the best in football. Brock Purdy has taken over the starting quarterback job and fits in perfectly to a system that doesn’t ask too much of him. With skill players capable of turning the smallest opportunities into massive gains, Kyle Shanahan routinely has put his quarterback in a position to succeed.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Even with the homefield advantage, confidence in Minnesota’s abilities to emerge victorious isn’t high. They enter as seven-point underdogs, and that remains the case even with San Francisco slightly banged up. The Vikings will still be without Justin Jefferson, and Jordan Addison didn’t make much of his opportunity last weekend.

For the Vikings to emerge victorious, they’ll need to play spoiler along the lines of their attempt against the Kansas City Chiefs. Minnesota had Andy Reid’s squad in their crosshairs a couple of weeks ago before they ultimately let them get away. Purdy is certainly not Patrick Mahomes, but it’s hard to argue against San Francisco not having better weapons as a whole. The Vikings need to win the turnover battle and execute at a high level in all phases.

A New Trade Partner for Kirk
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s impressive that Minnesota has always protected home field to a relative extent since becoming a franchise, and it would be disappointing to see the run end now. That’s the reality we’re staring at, though, and it’s not about avoiding an opportunity for it to play out.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.