3 Bold Vikings Predictions for Week 4 at CAR

Oct 17, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) with the ball as Carolina Panthers cornerback Keith Taylor (28) defends in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings are four-point favorites to knock off the winless Carolina Panthers on Sunday, which would put the purple team in the win column for the first time since Week 18 of 2022.

A drought — no regular season, playoffs, preseason wins — indeed.

3 Bold Vikings Predictions for Week 4 at CAR

The Vikings can turn their season around, or at least begin the trek, with a triumph in Charlotte, as six teams in NFL history have eventually reached the postseason after an 0-3 start.

Sep 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell takes the field before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

No team, however, has ever visited a Super Bowl after beginning 0-3. It’s an extreme longshot, but Minnesota would become the first.

So, consider these three bold predictions for Sunday’s showdown with the Panthers. Keep in mind, bold predictions are designed to be “out there” and perhaps a bit far-fetched.

1. A Win by 17+ Points

Predictions for Week 4
Dec 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) drops back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings haven’t won a game by 17 points or more since Week 15 of 2019. It’s the third-longest drought in NFL history — 29 consecutive wins by fewer than 17 points.

The record is held by the Arizona Cardinals, a team from 1995 to 2001 with 40 consecutive wins by fewer than 17 points.

It’s time for Minnesota to beat the pants off somebody — anybody — and that could unfold in Charlotte. Truth be told, though, Vikings fans will take any type of win for their collective sanity. Carolina’s roster is decent, but Brian Flores’ blitz should get home on Bryce Young several times.

The Vikings win big.

2. Vikings Score a Defensive TD

CB2 Mystery
Oct 16, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans (21) after a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings haven’t scored a defensive touchdown since the rollercoaster game versus the Buffalo Bills in 2022 and then the Week 18 game of 2021 before that against the Chicago Bears.

They’re due.

This could possibly be a special teams touchdown instead, like Brandon Powell taking one to the house, but let’s go with an Akayleb Evans pick-six off Bryce Young. The young man is due for a positive transaction after blundering a would-be interception against the Los Angeles Chargers last weekend.

Evans takes a pick back for paydirt.

3. A Rushing TD, Too

Aug 5, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison takes the field during training camp at Twin Cities Orthopedic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota ranks fifth in the NFL in total touchdowns scored, but it has not scored a single rushing touchdown. What on earth?

Yes, we know — a rushing touchdown as a bold prediction. Big whoop. Well, the Vikings haven’t scored one yet this year, so grabbing one against Carolina would be refreshing. Cam Akers is tentatively scheduled to get some run in Week 4, but let’s pinpoint Alexander Mattison for a four-yard touchdown scamper to get the Vikings on the board in the 1st Quarter.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.