Bleacher Report Posts Laughable Ranking for Vikings Offense

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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

It might be a long season — that’s the word from Bleacher Report for the Minnesota Vikings, at least on the offensive side of the operation.

Bleacher Report Posts Laughable Ranking for Vikings Offense

BR’s Alex Ballentine ranked all the NFL’s offenses late last week, and Minnesota checked in at No. 25 — better known as the eighth-worst in the league. In the 2023 season’s final four games — without then-quarterback Kirk Cousins but when Justin Jefferson had returned to the lineup — the Vikings’ offense ranked 17th per EPA/Play. So, nearly the league’s middle.

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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Most Vikings fans expect a replica of that production, either from veteran quarterback Sam Darnold or rookie J.J. McCarthy. But Ballentine poured cold water on that theory, instead flagging the Vikings as the sport’s eighth-worst offensive group.

“The Minnesota Vikings hit the reset button at quarterback this offseason which means things could get worse before they get better. Long term, J.J. McCarthy is a good fit for the Vikings,” Ballentine explained. “He appears to have the arm, processing and intangibles to become a good NFL starter. But there’s bound to be a learning curve. He’s coming from a run-heavy offense at Michigan that didn’t ask him to do too much.”

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports | Nov 18, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) on the field against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

In addition to adding Darnold and McCarthy at quarterback, two men who replaced Kirk Cousins, Minnesota added Aaron Jones at running back, the team’s proposed solution to fix the ground game once and for all. In back-to-back seasons, 2022 and 2023, the Vikings ranked 27th per rushing DVOA. If Jones can stay healthy, he might be the special sauce.

Ballentine added, “The good news for him is that Kevin O’Connell is a good offensive mind who will bring him along appropriately. That might mean the Vikings either go with Sam Darnold or are somewhat limited in the early going. Of course, having Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson is going to make it easier to adjust as well.”

Running Back
Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The legitimacy of Balletine’s ranking boils down to how proficient Darnold’s skillset translates to Minnesota’s offense or how quickly McCarthy acclimates to the NFL. If one of the two combatants shines this summer and early in the fall, the Vikings’ offense should far exceed any trashy 25th ranking.

Kevin O’Connell’s group lived between the Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 26) and the New Orleans Saints (No. 24) on BR’s list.

Ballentine considered these the NFL’s top offenses:

  1. San Francisco 49ers
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Detroit Lions
  4. Miami Dolphins
  5. Philadelphia Eagles

Vikings mandatory minicamp kicks off in two weeks.


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.

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