4 False Narratives Surrounding the Vikings in 2024

Coach Still Has
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The Minnesota Vikings training camp is less than two weeks away, creating the here and now as the one and only deadzone for new NFL dealings on the annual calendar.

Business will heat up in late July.

4 False Narratives Surrounding the Vikings in 2024

But for now, let’s review the false talking points surrounding the 2024 Vikings. These are ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = the utmost falsehood).

4. A Jordan Addison Sophomore Slump

False Narratives
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Narrative:
Mainly a talker from the fantasy football community, some believe Addison is on the way to a sophomore slump because Kirk Cousins split town in March. Cousins now works for the Atlanta Falcons. Therefore, Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy will sling the rock to Addison, and nobody knows if either will be any good as the Vikings’ QB1.

Why It’s False:
Darnold or McCarthy would have to perform terribly for Addison to struggle. T.J. Hockenson will likely miss the start of the 2024 season, meaning Addison’s targets will be premium for a month or two. Minnesota will play the most productive quarterback on its roster, and Darnold and McCarthy are unlikely to struggle getting the football to Addison and teammate Justin Jefferson. Between the two, one quarterback is bound to be decent or at least average.

3. The Defense Isn’t Any Good

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell introduced new Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores from the TCO Performance Center on February 15th, 2023. Flores coached for the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Pittsburgh Steelers before joining the Vikings in 2023.

The Narrative:
According to Pro Football Focus, Minnesota has the NFL’s second-worst defensive line entering 2024 and sixth-worst secondary. PFF ranked the off-ball linebackers at No. 10 — a respectable mark — but the 31st ranking for the line and 27th-best secondary implies the Brian Flores-led defense won’t do much of anything.

Why It’s False:
In 2019, Flores produced the league’s worst defense per EPA/Play for the Miami Dolphins, his first year as Miami’s head coach. One year later, in 2020, the group rose to seventh-best. There is precedent for a Flores improvement in Year No. 2 — and the Vikings’ defense wasn’t bad at all in 2023. It ranked 11th per DVOA.

Minnesota’s defense will not flounder, as implied by PFF, in 2024. It signed newcomers like Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel, Dallas Turner, Blake Cashman, and Shaquill Griffin. Regression would be odd.

2. The Bears Are THAT Much Better than the Vikings

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports.

The Narrative:
These are the current odds for the NFC North crown:

  • Lions +135
  • Packers +195
  • Bears +330
  • Vikings +950

Why It’s False:
There is not that much variance between the Vikings’ and Bears’ roster talent levels. +330 to +950 is an astounding separation. The odds lean too heavily on Caleb Williams as a game-ready commodity. One might ask, “When have the Bears drafted a quarterback who worked out?”

Minnesota should be closer to +550. Either that — or knock Chicago down a bit.

1. It’s a Flyover Season for the Vikings

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Narrative:
The purple team isn’t expected to win much of anything in 2024, and therefore, everyone essentially considers this season flyover country to reach 2025 and beyond.

Why It’s False:
No coaching staff or 53-man roster embarks on a season thinking, “Let’s go 7-10, boys, because we gotta wait until the rookie quarterback gets good.”

Expecting seven wins or so this season is a fan-different sentiment. Don’t expect the team to waltz into 2024 with diminished expectations. Camryn Bynum even said a couple of weeks ago that he expects his team to win the Super Bowl this year.

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.