Fox Sports’ 2023 Vikings Prediction Is Really Somethin’

Vikings Not in Top
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Last place — that’s the vibe from Fox Sports regarding the Minnesota Vikings standing in the NFC North this season.

Oofta, right?

Fox Sports’ 2023 Vikings Prediction Is Really Somethin’

The Vikings finished the 2022 season with a 13-4 record under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell despite an oddsmakers’ forecast of about nine wins. O’Connell’s inaugural campaign was a rollercoaster, guiding the team to an impeccable 11-0 record in one-score games while getting cumulatively outscored by opponents to the tune of three points.

Prediction Is Really
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

And because the team flopped in the opening round of the postseason to the New York Giants, plus the naughty point differential, Minnesota is a popular regression candidate, chosen by pundits to take a significant step back in 2023. One of those personalities is Fox Sports’ Carmen Vitali, who pegged the Vikings for a 7-10 record.

Indeed, Vitali predicted the Detroit Lions to lead the way at 11-6, the Green Bay Packers at 9-8, and Chicago Bears in third place at 8-9.

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell introduced new Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores from the TCO Performance Center on February 15th, 2023. Flores coached for the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Pittsburgh Steelers before joining the Vikings in 2023.

She defended the 7-10, last-place Vikings prophecy, “The NFC North is going to be much more competitive this year, despite the fact that the conference as a whole seems more wide-open. I just didn’t see the Vikings get a whole lot better this offseason. They brought in defensive coordinator Brian Flores but considering all of the defensive departures and the lack of draft capital the Vikings possessed, I’m not sure they have enough to run Flores’ defense to its potential.”

The Vikings haven’t won back-to-back NFC North crowns since 2008-2009.

“Losing Adam Thielen to free agency is going to hurt the offensive side of the ball as well. Jordan Addison was a great pick in the first round but he’s undersized and may have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to transitioning to the NFL game. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said it himself: the Vikings are going into a ‘competitive rebuild,’ which is code for tempering expectations a bit. This isn’t a team that will be able to win the division by four games this season and it doesn’t look like one that will be able to win the division at all,” Vitali added.

3 Popular Vikings Could
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports.

Few Vikings fans have concerns about the team’s offense, highlighted by Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn, and T.J. Hockenson, plus young running backs Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, and DeWayne McBride. Minnesota will also have total offensive line continuity for the first time in years.

However, Vitali is correct to fear the worst about the 2023 defense, as the Vikings are putting all their hopes in the Flores basket. Minnesota’s front office is asking Flores to do more with less after cuttings ties with Eric Kendricks, Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, and Za’Darius Smith.

Thankfully for the Vikings sake, the franchise was in this exact spot last year — most believed it was an 8-9 or 9-8 team.

And then they won 13 games. We shall see if O’Connell’s sequel season follows suit.

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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