9 Bold Vikings Predictions for 2023
The NFL returns this Thursday night when the Detroit Lions travel to Kansas City for a date with Super Bowl champion Chiefs.
Thereafter, all other teams take the field on Sunday, September 10th, and Monday, September 11th. The Minnesota Vikings host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to kick off the party.
9 Bold Vikings Predictions for 2023
And to get your wheels turning about the 2023 season, here are the VikingsTerritory writers’ bold predictions regarding the 2023 Vikings campaign.
1. Ty Chandler Sees Playing Time, and There Is No Major RB1 Drop-Off
Prediction Maker: Dustin Baker
Running backs always get hurt, and at some point in the next four months, Alexander Mattison will miss some games. When that occurs, Ty Chandler will take over as the primary tailback, at least temporarily, and Vikings fans won’t notice much difference.
Chandler is faster than Mattison — significantly faster — and just needs experience. Mattison has that; Chandler does not. The second-year runner is also a better pass-catcher than Mattison. Folks love Mattison, but they’ll adore Chandler, too.
2. Kirk Cousins Sets Personal Career-High in TDs
Prediction Maker: Janik Eckardt
Daunte Culpepper set the franchise record for passing touchdowns in 2004 when he fired up 39 scores. Kirk Cousins will break that with a plethora of weapons to spread the ball around and scheme familiarity. His career-high is 35.
3. Josh Oliver Doubles Career Receptions Total
Prediction Maker: Josh Frey
When Josh Oliver was coming out of San Jose State, the biggest knocks on him involved his blocking ability while he was viewed as a great pass-catcher at the tight end position. Now, ahead of the 2023 season, the reviews have completely flipped. Oliver has emerged as a terrific blocker while only tallying 26 receptions over the course of his career.
This season, though, expect Kevin O’Connell to get him much more involved in the passing game. Oliver still has soft receiver hands and can run efficient routes, so he will double his career receptions total.
4. Marcus Davenport Dials up Double-Digits Sacks for First Time
Prediction Maker: Kyle Joudry
For the first time in his career, Marcus Davenport hits double-digit sacks. Flores moves him around the defense, giving him favorable matchups all over the OL.
5. Ed Ingram Takes Huge Step Forward
Prediction Maker: Adam New
Ed Ingram takes a huge step in Year 2 and proves himself a competent starter — and the best of the Vikings interior linemen.
6. Justin Jefferson Wins MVP
Prediction Maker: Nate Powalie
Justin Jefferson swipes the MVP from Mahomes and other top quarterbacks. He will have a major chip from not being named the cover boy of Madden 24, and he is extremely popular amongst young people. He will be very likely to drop a 2,000+ receiving yard season.
7. Brandon Powell Takes 2 Punt Returns to the House
Prediction Maker: Ali Siddiqui
He returned one in 2021 while with the Rams, and it happened at U.S. Bank Stadium. Powell will do it again. Twice.
8. Vikings Boast a Top 10 Defense
Prediction Maker: Cole Smith
The Vikings will rank Top 10 in either points, passing yards, or rushing yards allowed. Many are hoping that the Vikings can at least put up some resistance after the Ed Donatell debacle in 2022. With the addition of Brian Flores, the Vikings can hang their hat on at least one of these areas in 2023.
9. Jordan Addison Leads Rookie WRs in Receiving Yards
Prediction Maker: Ted Schwerzler
Jordan Addison is not only an integral part of the Minnesota offense but also leads all rookie wide receivers in receiving yardage. He quickly overtakes K.J. Osborn and immediately helps take pressure off Justin Jefferson. The first-round pick turns out to be a star.
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).