Former Vikings GM Offers Bold Take for 2024 Team

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Most NFL pundits and oddsmakers believe the Minnesota Vikings will win about seven games in 2024. If that total sounds familiar, well, that was the win total assigned to the 2023 Vikings, too. Minnesota later won seven games.

Former Vikings GM Offers Bold Take for 2024 Team

But not everyone is resigned to a seven-win fate. This week, former Vikings general manager Jeff Diamond predicted the Vikings would reach the postseason, which could be a first-of-its-kind prognostication among notable personalities.

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Diamond is famous for welcoming Randy Moss, John Randle, and Cris Carter, among others, to Minnesota’s roster in the 1990s and regularly contributes to VikingsTerritory. He forecasted the Vikings’ 2024 season on Wednesday, landing on a 9-8 record for the purple team, plus a postseason berth.

“Vikings finish the regular season 9-8, make the playoffs as the NFC’s No. 7 seed, and lose at San Francisco in the Wildcard round,” Diamond wrote.

Jefferson Trade Is More
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Minnesota last reached the postseason in 2022, Kevin O’Connell’s first year on the job, but disappointingly lost at home to the New York Giants. No Vikings team has visited the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since 2007-2008, and 2023 was no different, as O’Connell’s team finished 7-10 following an Achilles tear for the starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins.

Diamond elaborated on his playoff prediction, “It may seem like a pipe dream with all of the offseason changes and playing in such a strong division, but I think it’s doable if things break right for a Vikings team that is more talented than most people believe. After all, this is a league where there are always about six new playoff teams every year.”

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A few things must occur for Diamond to be correct. Foremost, quarterback play must be decent and efficient. The 2023 campaign was undone by quarterback instability and injuries, and now Minnesota will turn to Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy in 2024, signaling a new era after Cousins joined the Atlanta Falcons in March.

Then, on offense, the Vikings can’t cough up the ball. Last year, they finished second-last in giveaways, constantly fumbling, especially in the 1st Quarter, and creating an upside-down turnover differential. The O’Connell Vikings are simply no good when turnovers flood the box score.

Finally, the defense must take the next step after improving mightily from 2022 to 2023. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores did not take a head coaching job this offseason — or even interview for one — meaning defensive continuity is on the menu. In fact, with some quarterback uncertainty, Minnesota might rely on defense to propel the club, particularly if Diamond’s playoff prognosis comes true.

Coach Already a Hot
Minnesota defensive coordinator Brian Flores takes over the team’s defense at an introductory press conference on February 15th, 2023, in Eagan, Minnesota.

If you’re keeping score at home, sportsbooks say last place in the NFC North for the 2024 Vikings. Diamond says playoffs.

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).

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