The Vikings Will Win 10 Games in 2023

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The Minnesota Vikings are currently projected to be among the lesser teams across the NFL in 2023. After a 13-4 season during Kevin O’Connell’s first year, a slide backward is projected. Maybe that shouldn’t be the case. Here’s why they’ll go 10-7.

The Vikings Will Win 10 Games in 2023

Looking across sportsbooks and season projections, many places believe the Detroit Lions are set to run away with the NFC North division. Green Bay no longer employs Aaron Rodgers, Chicago isn’t ready to contend with Justin Fields, and the Vikings are expected to regress from their good fortune. That’s a lot of expectations placed upon a Lions organization that has often fallen short of them.

Should the Vikings think they can win 13 games this season with as much good fortune as they found last year? Absolutely not. Can Brian Flores make a similar impact as a defensive coach like Kevin O’Connell was able to do as the head coach last year? Why not.

The Vikings haven’t overhauled the roster by any means, and there are still plenty of holes. They are hamstrung by salary cap constraints but have also added young talent that should be expected to make a difference. The schedule isn’t easy, but here’s the path to a 10-7 season:

The Givens (7): vs. Buccaneers (Wk 1), @ Panthers (Wk 4), @ Falcons (Wk 9), vs. Saints (Wk 10), vs. Bears (Wk 12), @ Raiders (Wk 14), vs. Packers (Wk 17)

Will Win 10 Games
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Minnesota’s schedule does not start easily in 2023. Sure, the Bucs and Baker Mayfield are somewhat of a cupcake for Week 1, but things get tricky quickly. They should still get the win on the road against Bryce Young, and beating fan-favorite Adam Thielen would be fun. The Falcons and Saints should not be good this year, and expecting at least a split against a young Chicago team means getting it done at home. 

Las Vegas could be among the worst teams in football this year, and they’ll face O’Connell’s club out of a bye. Vikings fans will travel well there too, and that could be a quasi-home game. Green Bay isn’t the same without Rodgers, and Jordan Love’s first visit to U.S. Bank Stadium as the starter should result in a loss.

The Losses (4): @ Eagles (Wk 2), vs. Chiefs (Wk 5), @ Broncos (Wk 11), @ Bengals (Wk 15)

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The Vikings, and really a whole handful of teams, have struggled to win in Philly of late. Jalen Hurts is only getting better, and that team is legit. Patrick Mahomes is going to sell tickets in Minnesota, but it won’t be because everyone is a fan of his former Twins pitching dad. The Chiefs are winning that game. If there’s one to add to the toss-ups here, it’s the Broncos. Sean Payton is coming on like a weirdo replacing Nathaniel Hackett, and Russell Wilson has much to prove. Winning at Mile High isn’t easy, though. 

Similar to the Chiefs, the Bengals are a Super Bowl contender, and facing them on the road isn’t going to be great. Justin Jefferson going against Ja’Marr Chase should be fun, though.

The Toss-Ups (6): vs. Chargers (Wk 3), @ Bears (Wk 6), vs. 49ers (Wk 7), @ Packers (Wk 8), vs. Lions (Wk 16), @ Lions (Wk 18)

kevin o'connell hints more
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If this doesn’t reflect how odd the NFC North is this season, then I don’t know what is. Before we get into that, the Chargers will be better than Minnesota, and Justin Herbert is legit. The neutralizing factor there could be having to travel. The Vikings will be better than the Bears, but Soldier Field has been a problem in recent seasons. Maybe getting that trip out of the way earlier makes a difference. San Francisco should be good if Brock Purdy returns healthy, but that remains to be seen. Maybe Trey Lance is starting in Week 7. Who knows, but that game being a home tilt helps Minnesota a ton. 

Probably biased, but I don’t believe in the Packers with Love and those wide receivers this season. Playing at Lambeau helps their chances, but weather should be more moderate in Week 8. Calling both Lions games reflects disbelief in their expectations as a whole. They are the best team in the division, but it seems to be overstated. Is Jared Goff going to be as good? Is their defense really that much better? I’d be far from shocked if another split isn’t in the cards.

Forget that Minnesota isn’t supposed to make the playoffs, according to a handful of projections. The Vikings can go 10-7, contend for a division title, and get it done.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.