Josh Frey’s Predictions for the 2023 Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings get their regular season started this weekend as they play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Both teams are reigning division champs, but Minnesota enters the week as heavy favorites against the Bucs. Ahead of that matchup, we are going to do week-by-week predictions for the Minnesota Vikings 2023 season, picking outcomes and scores for every regular season game.
A Tough First Six Weeks
Week 1 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (W, 27-17)
The Vikings may get off to a bit of a slow start against a tough Tampa Bay defense, but eventually, this offense will start rolling with all of their firepower on that side of the ball. Minnesota starts their 2023 season strong with a double-digit victory.
Week 2 @ Philadelphia Eagles (L, 20-31)
In another Week 2 Thursday Night game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings once again struggle to put points on the board against a strong defense. The short week results in Minnesota’s first loss of the year.
Week 3 vs. Los Angeles Chargers (W, 34-20)
Getting a few extra days of rest following their tough road loss, the Vikings come out firing on all cylinders against the Los Angeles Chargers. LA’s inconsistent offense and porous defense allows the Vikings to get another big win.
Week 4 @ Carolina Panthers (W, 27-24)
Minnesota gets its first road victory of the season against the Panthers, but it won’t come without a few familiar heroics. Rookie QB Bryce Young has a talented offense around him in Carolina, and they keep this one close.
Week 5 vs. Kansas City (L, 24-38)
The defending Super Bowl champs come to Minnesota in Week 5, and the young Vikings defense has no answers for Patrick Mahomes. Travis Kelce will likely be healthy by this time and cause a boatload of troubles for the linebacker group.
Week 6 @ Chicago Bears (L, 28-34)
The Vikings lose their first one-possession game since December 26th, 2021, and to make matters worse, it comes against the Chicago Bears. Justin Fields has a talented group of wide receivers around him, and his dual-threat ability applies too much pressure on Minnesota’s defense.
Getting Back on Track Before the Bye
Week 7 vs. San Francisco 49ers (W, 17-13)
After back-to-back losses, the Vikings defense comes into Week 7 with a fire in its belly, and they hold the Brock Purdy-led 49ers in check. The offense does just enough to get back into the win column and back over .500.
Week 8 @ Green Bay Packers (W, 28-20)
Jordan Love is going to be a fine QB at the NFL level, but this first season as a starter could see a few struggles. The Vikings pass-rush will apply pressure to the young QB and throw him out of rhythm, allowing the Vikings to snag a quality road victory. The trade deadline will come just a couple days after this win, so it could provide more incentive for a 5-3 Vikings team to add more talent and make a strong push for the playoffs.
Week 9 @ Atlanta Falcons (L, 17-23)
This feels like a potential “trap game” for Minnesota. Coming off a close road victory and looking ahead to a stretch of games that includes the Saints, Broncos, and Bears, the Vikings falter on the road against Atlanta.
Week 10 vs. New Orleans Saints (W, 24-20)
Who knows what the Saints offense will look like by Week 10. Michael Thomas’ health is far from a guarantee while Alvin Kamara has been on the steady decline over the past couple seasons. The Vikings bounce back behind a strong defensive showing, getting a much-needed victory and tiebreaker over another team battling for a playoff spot.
Week 11 @ Denver Broncos (L, 31-35)
Yours truly has expressed faith in the Denver Broncos heading into the 2023 season, so I have to back it up by giving them a win led by a rejuvenated offense. Javonte Williams will give Minnesota’s run defense some trouble while Russell Wilson’s bounce-back season leads to some big plays down the stretch.
Week 12 vs. Chicago Bears (W, 28-17)
The Vikings get revenge for their road loss against the Bears earlier in the season, and the in-season improvements on the defensive side of the ball are apparent in Minnesota. The Vikings ride into their bye on a positive note.
Week 13: BYE
The Final Push
Week 14 @ Las Vegas Raiders (W, 38-10)
The Vikings make a statement coming out of their bye against a floundering Raiders team. Las Vegas could be a seller at the trade deadline, making this team look rather different from where they were to start the year.
Week 15 @ Cincinnati Bengals (L, 21-31)
This Vikings loss against the Bengals causes them to fall to 8-6, and with three divisional games to close the year, they officially enter “must-win” territory if they are to make a postseason push.
Week 16 vs. Detroit Lions (W, 34-20)
The “must-win” mentality shows in Week 16 as the Vikings get out to a fast start in their first matchup against the Detroit Lions of the season and hold on for a victory.
Week 17 vs. Green Bay Packers (W, 24-17)
On New Year’s Eve night, all NFL eyes turn towards Minnesota as the Vikings try to secure themselves a playoff spot for the second consecutive season. Because of this 10th victory, and their head-to-head tiebreakers over Carolina and New Orleans, they are able to do just that.
Week 18 @ Detroit Lions (L, 17-27)
All the questions regarding the Vikings and Kirk Cousins come flooding back this week. In a game that will decide the NFC North champion, the Lions feed off their home crowd and roar to a victory and their first division crown since 1993. The Vikings have to settle for a Wild Card berth heading into the playoffs.
NOTE: This article originally appeared on our sister-site, PurplePTSD.com.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.