Vikings Called ‘Lucky,’ Assigned a D+ Offseason Grade

A New Era Dawns in Minnesota 
Jun 8, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell. © Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings kick off the preseason on Thursday night in Seattle and the regular season in one month at home versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The franchise has navigated its self-professed ‘competitive rebuild’ this offseason, offloading aging and expensive players in favor of younger, faster, and more affordable talents.

Vikings Called ‘Lucky,’ Assigned a D+ Offseason Grade

And while Vikings fans are enthused about the 2023 campaign, some still maintain Minnesota was ‘lucky’ in 2022 and that the purple offseason was underwhelming.

Assigned a D
Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Yahoo Sports became the latest voice to opine those thoughts, as writer Frank Schwab previewed the Vikings 2023 campaign along with all 31 teams. He seemed somewhat optimistic the Vikings can return to the postseason but claimed last year was ‘lucky’ and that the team’s offseason transactions were pretty awful.

He titled the article Maybe you heard, they were pretty lucky last season and wrote, “It had to be exhausting for Vikings fans. The Vikings kept winning games, and social media kept reminding them their team was a fraud. There were a lot of victory laps when the Vikings lost at home to the New York Giants in a wild-card playoff game. All the talk of the Vikings being lucky seemed to be justified.”

Starters in 2023
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) walks off the field after the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Schwab assigned the Vikings a ‘D+’ offseason grade and explained, “The Vikings lost more than they gained […] Drafting receiver Jordan Addison in the first round was wise but he was the only top-100 pick the team had. It’s hard to feel like the Vikings are better, though maybe there’s something to be said about making the roster younger.”

Also mentioned by Schwab were the departures of veterans Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, Dalvin Tomlinson, Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson, and Za’Darius Smith.

He added about Minnesota’s upcoming season, “The Vikings aren’t going 13-4 again. That seems safe to predict. But how far will they slip? A rough offseason doesn’t help. But last season’s Vikings team wasn’t bad. They just weren’t as good as their record. Minnesota will be solid on offense, the defense will be better due to Flores and they’ll be in playoff contention most of the season.”

Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) hands the ball off to running back Alexander Mattison (2) against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Sportsbooks believe the Vikings will win 8.5 games this season.

“Making the playoffs, and maybe even winning the division, will come down to catching a few breaks. The Vikings just need to hope they didn’t use up all their luck last season,” Schwab concluded about the Vikings chances in 2023.

Overall, this is basically ‘what they all say’ about Kevin O’Connell’s team in 2023. Sportsbook, NFL pundits, and even some Vikings fans firmly believe the club is destined to regress and perhaps flounder to the tune of an 8-9 or 9-8 season.

The good news is the team can begin to prove folks wrong in one month.

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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