Rotten Start Predicted for 2024 Vikings

Vikings 2023 Super Bowl Odds
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

How does an 0-6 start through October 20th sound? That was the word from The Athletic regarding the 2024 Minnesota Vikings.

Rotten Start Predicted for 2024 Vikings

Minnesota does not have an easy schedule — at all — to start the season in September, but it does soften in November and December. And according to Vic Tafur, the Vikings might just be a putrid football team this season.

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.

Tafur didn’t find much optimism in the first section of the schedule. “I don’t have much faith in either Sam Darnold — still getting chances as believers think the switch is finally going to flip in Year 7 — or college hand-off specialist J.J. McCarthy as a rookie,” he wrote. “The Vikings also don’t have a very good defense and have a tough schedule. If they don’t beat the Giants on the road in the opener, there is a good chance they’re 0-6. Unless you see a win over the 49ers, Texans, Packers, Jets or Lions.”

Oddsmakers believe Minnesota will win between six and eight games in 2024. And eight is the luxurious end.

Jefferson Smashes
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Tafur also sounded less than enthused about Minnesota’s addition of Aaron Jones to the roster. He opined, “It’s also hard to see the Packers regretting dumping Aaron Jones and having the Vikings pick him up. That’s just not how things work out for aging running backs.”

Ultimately, The Athletic article was penned to pick win-total overs and under, and of course, Tafur chose the Vikings’ under at 6.5 wins.

gabriel murphy
Minnesota defensive coordinator Brian Flores chatting with Tatum Everett on February 15th, 2023. The Vikings hired Flores from the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was a linebackers coach for one season.

The claim about Minnesota’s defense is also a little odd. Tafur asserted Brian Flores’ defense wasn’t any good, but the group finished 11th per defensive DVOA in 2023, a climb from 24th the year prior. The purple defense may not be utterly elite, but few have criticized the unit this offseason, especially after general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah added Jonathan Greenard, Dallas Turner, Blake Cashman, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Shaquill Griffin.

Generally speaking, Minnesota hitting the over or under 6.5 mark depends on quarterback performance. Some believe Darnold will replicate Baker Mayfield’s resurgence from 2023. If that happens, the Vikings should win more than 6.5 games. But if Darnold plays like New-York-Jets-Darnold, well, Tafur will be rendered correct.

Running Back
Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The NFL’s regular season is about 11 weeks away.

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