Not Everyone Is Low on the 2024 Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings have the same win total forecast as this time last year — about 7.5.

Not Everyone Is Low on the 2024 Vikings

And while some have forecasted Minnesota for a forgettable year —’s Gilbert Manzano predicted a horrid 3-14 record not long ago — the sentiment is not universal. In fact, two credible voices have sounded off optimistically in the last week about the purple team’s chances in 2024 and beyond.

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For starters, Minnesota conducted a change-filled offseason, saying goodbye to Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter and welcoming J.J. McCarthy, Dallas Turner, Jonathan Greenard, Blake Cashman, and Andrew Van Ginkel, among others. In Year No. 3, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah completed his competitive rebuild.

This week, CBS Sports forecasted notable win-loss over-under discrepancies for NFL teams, and Minnesota made the cut as a team to win over seven games, its current Vegas forecast. Jordan Dajani wrote, “What if McCarthy surprises in his rookie season? Minnesota won seven games with four different quarterbacks last year. Plus, the defense improved in my opinion — although we won’t know for sure until we get to September. I see the Vikings as a team who could surprise in 2024.”

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Perhaps the broader question is whether McCarthy plays in 2024. The Vikings’ coaching staff seems rather high on Sam Darnold, the man tabbed for bridge quarterback duty in March.

Dajani wasn’t alone, either.’s Albert Breer mentioned Minnesota’s long-term roster setup last week. He began by examining the NFL’s lay of the land, “The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, the two Super Bowl teams, stick out as easy picks. I still love where the Cincinnati Bengals are, so long as Joe Burrow’s injury luck turns. The Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles have all earned the benefit of the doubt over the years. Jim Harbaugh’s track record and Justin Herbert’s talent would earn the Los Angeles Chargers a spot on the list.”

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Then came the Vikings: “The Houston Texans are there for me, too, given the acumen of C.J. Stroud, DeMeco Ryans and Nick Caserio. And if you want one curveball, I really like how the Minnesota Vikings are positioned moving forward.”

Minnesota should have the defensive firepower to succeed this season. After all, Brian Flores improved the group from 24th in DVOA during the 2022 season to 11th in 2023. And that was with Ed Donatell’s players; now he has more of “his guys.”

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On the whole, most of the 2024 forecast unsurprisingly boils down to quarterback performance. If Darnold or McCarthy are any good, Minnesota can be a frisky NFC North team. However, if Darnold is vintage Darnold or McCarthy vividly isn’t ready for the bright lights at age 21, something closer to Manzano’s 3-14 will play out.

But not everyone is low on the 2024 brand of Vikings.

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 MIN 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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