Our 8 Flaming Hot Takes for the 2024 Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings’ regular season gets underway in 10 weeks, and the franchise is predicted to win about seven games.

Our 8 Flaming Hot Takes for the 2024 Vikings

So, we asked VikingsTerritory writers for their hottest take regarding the 2024 team, and the replies varied.

These are their responses.

1. Nick Mullens Will Be the QB2, Not J.J. McCarthy

nick mullens
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Cole Smith

Although I believe Sam Darnold will play better than he’s ever played before, he missed time due to injury in each of his first four seasons. If he misses time due to injury or poor performance, Nick Mullens will fill in, not J.J. McCarthy.

2. 15 Sacks for Jonathan Greenard

Green Bay Packers tackled Dennis Kelly (79) provides pass protection from Houston Texans defensive end Jonathan Greenard (52) during their preseason game Saturday, August 14, 2021 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Houston Texans beat the Green Bay Packers 26-7. Packers15 22. © Milwaukee Journal SentinelMARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Prediction Maker = Ali Siddiqui

Jonathan Greenard will have a career-high 15 sacks this year after having 12.5 last year. Brian Flores’ system will be very big for him.

3. Fans Divide into Pro-Darnold and Pro-McCarthy Camps

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports | Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker =
Dustin Baker

This is how Vikings’ football typically goes: the unsung veteran quarterback excels — so much so that a faction of fans don’t want to let him go. Darnold will find rebirth in Minnesota, and the club will perform so efficiently that some will want Darnold to remain the QB1 indefinitely.

Darnold will make it difficult to bench him, even if J.J. McCarthy is ready to go. Debates ensue.

4. 8 Sacks for Dallas Turner in Limited Snaps

Hot Takes
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Kyle Joudry

Dallas Turner gets to 8 sacks, and he does so in less than 500 snaps.

5. The New Kickoff Rule HURTS Kene Nwangwu

PurplePTSD: Ex-Viking to Raiders, 3 MIN Stats to Know, Week 6 Storylines
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Brevan Bane

The new kickoff rules will do Kene Nwangwu more harm than good. He has not yet proven to be an effective runner for a set offense, and with a new kickoff format more resembling that, he will struggle to read blocks and choose the correct holes to attack, as he has shown in his minimal development as a true running back.

6. Vikings Offense and Defense Are Good

Vikings May Have First
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Janik Eckardt

While the team doesn’t have any high expectations, both sides of the ball will surprise folks in 2024 and notch above-average rankings in the crucial statistics. The defense, coordinated by Brian Flores, lost some pieces but gained some solid players, and he can be even more creative in his second season. On offense, Kirk Cousins will be missed, but head coach Kevin O’Connell has shown he can get the best out of passers. The rushing game will also be improved.

7. Sam Darnold Thrives

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Ted Schwerzler

Sam Darnold will play well enough that waiting until 2025 for J.J. McCarthy will be logical and entirely necessary. He’ll secure a $100M contract this offseason as well.

8. Brian Flores’ Defense Is Top 5

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction Maker = Wes Johnson

The second year under Brian Flores will vault this defense towards the top. He was able to add more of “his guys” in the offseason, and that will help catapult this unit. I expect a lot of exotic looks and unique wrinkles that will confuse opposing quarterbacks as to where the pressure is coming. I can legitimately see an ultra-athletic six-man front of Greenard, Van Ginkel, Turner, Pace, Phillips, and Ward creating a pick-your-poison on who to shade the blocking towards.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.