The Vikings Win-Loss Prediction Is an Eyeball Roller

All or Nothing on Kirk
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) lines up for a play against the New York Giants during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL schedule released Thursday, and the Minnesota Vikings portion is a blend of sweet and salty.

  • Week 1: Buccaneers (9/10)
  • Week 2: at Eagles (9/14, TNF)
  • Week 3: Chargers (9/24)
  • Week 4: at Panthers (10/1)
  • Week 5: Chiefs (10/8)
  • Week 6: at Bears (10/15)
  • Week 7: 49ers (10/23, MNF)
  • Week 8: at Packers (10/29)
  • Week 9: at Falcons (11/5)
  • Week 10: Saints (11/12)
  • Week 11: at Broncos (11/19, SNF)
  • Week 12: Bears (11/27, MNF)
  • Week 13: BYE
  • Week 14: at Raiders (12/10)
  • Week 15: at Bengals (TBD)
  • Week 16: Lions (12/24)
  • Week 17: Packers (12/31, SNF)
  • Week 18: at Lions (1/7)
    Home Games in Red

The club has nine road games, eight home games, and notable tough matchups versus the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Francisco 49ers — four teams in most folks’ Top 5 early power rankings.

The Vikings Win-Loss Prediction Is an Eyeball Roller

And according to Bleacher Report, Minnesota’s 2023 schedule looks like a 9-8 record for the Vikings. Coming off the steam of a 13-win season in head coach Kevin O’Connell’s first season, a nine-win season wouldn’t excite too many Vikings fans — and probably inspires eye-rolls.

Loss Prediction Is
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans react during the fourth quarter during a wildcard game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Indeed, Bleacher Report‘s Kristopher Knox predicted win-loss records for each NFL team after the schedule drop and wasn’t too high on Minnesota. He wrote, “We can’t exactly call it luck, but the Minnesota Vikings were fortunate to win 13 games despite having a negative point differential in 2022. If Minnesota is to get back to the postseason, it’s going to have to get some similar fortune.”

Minnesota’s 13-4 season was the best in franchise history by a first-year head coach, even besting coaches of yesteryear like Bud Grant and Dennis Green.

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on during warmups before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

“New defensive coordinator Brian Flores should make some schematic improvements to a defense that ranked 31st in yards allowed and 28th in points allowed last season. However, the unit lacked talent last year and lost Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley and Eric Kendricks this offseason,” Knox continued.

Minnesota, to be sure, is banking on Flores’ ability to transform the defense while doing more with less. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah trimmed the aging and expensive roster fat this offseason, preferring a defensive roster built on youth, speed, and affordability.

Knox concluded, “Minnesota doesn’t face an overly daunting schedule but will face the talented AFC West. The Lions and Bears will be better this season, and the Packers will still be a threat, even with a new quarterback. A daunting final month — at Bengals, vs. Lions, vs. Packers and at Lions — could make or break Minnesota’s playoff chances.”

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison reacts after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty-third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings will bank on an offense-first product prevailing above all else after drafting wide receiver Jordan Addison from USC two weeks ago. The club needed improvement on defense, passed on a defender with the 1st-Round pick, and stocked up on offensive weaponry. We shall see if the plan works, as some have compared it to the 1998 Vikings draft strategy.

The Bleacher Report piece predicted the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs leading the NFL in wins — both forecasted with 12-5 records.

The Vikings kick off mandatory minicamp 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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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