Some Folks Are Already Writing Vikings 2023 Obituary

Kirk Cousins Beating on the Door of NFL History for 1 Clutch Stat
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings were not the darling to win the NFC North heading into 2022, but then they did. Twelve months after those predictions were born, Minnesota again is not slated to win the division and will hope to defy odds — again.

Minnesota has completed a free agency period, welcoming eight newcomer veterans to the team. In the 2023 NFL Draft, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah added six rookies, including 1st-Round wide receiver Jordan Addison. And then nine players from the 2022 roster skedaddled, highlighted by Adam Thielen (Panthers), Eric Kendricks (Chargers), Dalvin Tomlinson (Browns), Patrick Peterson (Steelers), and Duke Shelley (Raiders).

Some Folks Are Already Writing Vikings 2023 Obituary

And according to Bleacher Report, this offseason formula is not a recipe for success.

Folks Are Already Writing
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Bleacher Report‘s Brent Sobleski examined the state of play in the NFC North for 2023, and the forecast involved setbacks for the Vikings and Green Bay Packers, with loftier aspirations for the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. Sobleski wrote, “As the Packers and Vikings take a step back, the Bears and Lions will rise, marking a new era in the Black and Blue Division.”

The Lions haven’t won the NFC North since 1993 — yes, 30 years — while the Bears took home the North’s trophy in 2018.

Sobleski specifically tabbed the Lions for improvement, “The Lions have been competitive since the moment Dan Campbell became their head coach. The record may not have always reflected their improvement, particularly in Year 1, but the growth between the first and second seasons was significant. Another leap should be expected as part of the staff’s third year together.”

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.

Following April’s draft, the Lions sprinted to the front of the pack for 2023 expectations, possessing these odds to win the NFC North:

  • Detroit Lions (+110)
  • Chicago Bears (+350)
  • Minnesota Vikings (+350)
  • Green Bay Packers (+500)

Mind-bogglingly, Vikings fans waited for decades to conclude the Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers eras, and when the time finally arrived — Rodgers was traded to the New York Jets a few weeks ago — Minnesota is not the frontrunner to reign in the division.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) watches the action on field right before halftime during their game Sunday, November 21, 2021 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers 34-31. © MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK.

That pre-summer designation belongs to Detroit, a team everyone and their kitten believes is a shoo-in for NFC North supremacy. The Lions have built their trenches on offense and defense, have a fun head coach, and the time is evidently ripe for Detroit to win the division for the first time in 30 years.

Now, for the fancy Lions and Bears projections, they have to hit a football field and win ball games. The Vikings and Packers have shown the mettle to do just that as of late — more so than Detroit and Chicago — but if entities like Bleacher Report are to be believed, a Vikings 2023 obituary has already begun.

The Vikings take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium to start the 2023 campaign.


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,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.