How Will This Vikings Season Be Remembered?

Vikings Handed Same
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When the final seconds tick off the clock on Sunday in Detroit, the Minnesota Vikings season will come to an end. Yes, at this moment, there’s an opportunity for them to make the playoffs, but that chance is so minute it’s not worth considering. So, what will be the feelings when reflecting on what was in 2023?

How Will This Vikings Season Be Remembered?

The overarching theme may spark the draft conversation that the Vikings need to find their franchise quarterback. Kirk Cousins has been and can be that, but he has come at a substantial cost for Minnesota each time he has signed on the dotted line. Maybe a first-round rookie can be that, but there are no guarantees they take the field early, and that puts the onus on internal evaluators getting it right.

This Vikings Season
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No matter what, there will be feelings of what could have been all because of the quarterback position. Cousins looked the part of an MVP contender before his Achilles blew out, and those who took over highlighted why the position is the most important in all of sports. The ebbs and flows of veteran backups showed the ultimate volatility.

We could think back to a certain level of adversity that was overcome. In some early close losses, it seemed the Vikings lacked the same discipline and resolve they showed the previous season. Of course, the head coach is often tied to those aspects, but how the leadership on the roster permeates throughout matters as well.

Minnesota Vikings QB Joshua Dobbs addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Wednesday, December 6th, 2023. Dobbs reacted to keeping the starting QB job, discussed Justin Jefferson’s return, and More.

The Vikings answered despite losing both Cousins and star wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Josh Dobbs stepped up against long odds in Atlanta and galvanized a fanbase looking for a reason to believe. With multiple key players on the sidelines, Minnesota kept their playoff hopes intact up until the final week of the season.

There could also be the looming question of what is next. Cousins has been playing on the final year of his deal all season long. Jefferson didn’t sign the big contract extension before the year kicked off. The running game didn’t work with Alexander Mattison, and O’Connell himself showed plenty of room for growth when the minutes ticked down.

Being able to reflect on what took place during the 2023 regular season, all of it, will set the Vikings up to grow in 2024. They’ll have a plethora of personnel decisions to sort through, but before figuring out who must make up the roster next season, they’ll need to find a new identity and what the team will strive to be.

The record and draft position will reflect a team that lived in the middle ground while teetering on the brink of both sides. That is true on the surface but overlooks many pendulum swings along the way. There would seem to be little value in looking at where the dust settled and failing to think about what kicked it up to get there.

all that matters
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This time, the Vikings won’t be responsible for a mega-extension given to an opposing quarterback. They won’t be hosting a playoff game or in jeopardy of a first-round exit foreseen through flawed colored glasses. Instead, it’s just back to the drawing board, hoping to capitalize on a fresh slate and new opportunity again.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.