Vikings on Tap for Pathetic Win-Loss Record per USA Today

The Vikings National
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell comes off the field after the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have +4000 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII next February, a bedfellow moneyline to teams like the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints.

Sportsbooks have maintained for about four months that the Vikings are an eight- or nine-win team heading into 2023.

Vikings on Tap for Pathetic Win-Loss Record per USA Today

And earlier this week, USA Today came along to offer a prediction even less promising for Minnesota — a 7-10 record.

Tap for Pathetic
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

USA Today’s Nate Davis appeared to plop the Vikings in last place inside the NFC North for 2023 win-loss standing, nominating the Detroit Lions for first place, with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers also at 7-10. Minnesota seemed to finish in last per tiebreakers.

“They won the division last year with a glittering 13-4 record, however a regression to the mean appears especially inevitable for a crew that was somehow outscored overall during the 2022 season — its average margin of defeat 22.3 points,” Davis wrote.

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Tuesday., July 25th, 2023. The Vikings won the NFC North in Kevin O’Connell’s first year, thanks to a 13-4 record. O’Connell is the league’s second-youngest coach as of 2023.

On the Lions, Davis’ projection mirrors basically every NFL pundit from the last few months, but Minnesota at seven wins is rather low.

Davis continued, “Since then, RB Dalvin Cook, WR Adam Thielen, LB Eric Kendricks and OLB Za’Darius Smith were among those purged. The Vikes should still be able to score at a good clip, but new DC Brian Flores, in particular, has his work cut out for him.”

Vikings to Showcase
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

The Vikings indeed said goodbye to oodles of veterans this offseason, including Cameron Dantzler (CB, Bills), Eric Kendricks (LB, Chargers), Patrick Peterson (CB, Steelers), Adam Thielen (WR, Panthers), Dalvin Tomlinson (DT, Browns), Duke Shelley (CB, Raiders), Irv Smith (TE, Bengals), Kris Boyd (CB, Cardinals), Chandon Sullivan (CB, Steelers), Za’Darius Smith (OLB, Browns — Trade), and Dalvin Cook (RB, Free Agent).

Notably, Josh Oliver (TE, Ravens), Marcus Davenport (EDGE, Saints), Byron Murphy (CB, Cardinals), and Dean Lowry (DT, Packers) joined as probable regular season contributors.

Vikings Can Claim
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, a 2nd-Round draft pick. He was welcomed to the Vikings from free agency in March 2023.

That degree of movement is evidently upside down to repeat as division champions, per Davis. Otherwise, the club would have a loftier outlook than seven wins.

Davis opined on Detroit, too, “The guess here is that a revamped secondary — part of a defense that ranked last overall in 2022 — an imposing offensive line, first-round RB Jahmyr Gibbs and a boost from second-year WR Jameson Williams (after his six-game gambling suspension ends) will give this club its first division title since 1993.”

If Davis is wrong and the Vikings win the North, it’ll be their first set back-to-back division titles since 2008-2009.

The Vikings open up the regular season at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 46 days.

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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