Experts Predict a Return to the Playoffs for Minnesota Vikings in 2022

Minnesota Vikings Playoffs
Spread the love

In 2021, the Minnesota Vikings failed to reach the playoffs once again, finishing the regular season with a record of 8-9 to sit on the outside of the postseason for a second consecutive year. Minnesota has yet to return to the postseason after advancing to the NFC Divisional Round in 2019.

With a new regime now in place in the front office and on the sidelines, Minnesota hopes to end that streak in 2022 and ultimately extend its year beyond the 2022 regular season schedule.

With a bulk of the roster set to return in the new year with a few additions having joined the team this off-season, the Vikings could be a team to watch that might fly a bit under the radar but could make a run at a playoff position. And now, with a suddenly depleted NFC currently present, the window is open for the Minnesota Vikings to possibly claim the NFC North crown or at least reach the NFC playoffs.

As the off-season rolls along and the 2022 campaign inches closer, NFL experts also mirror the thought of the Vikings likely to return to the postseason this year, with some predicting the purple and gold could make a run at the top spot in the division or claim a Wild Card spot in the conference.

Minnesota Vikings Poised for A Return to the Playoffs

ESPN Predicts a Postseason Return

The NFL crew at ESPN recently analyzed all four teams in the NFC North, breaking down every team predicting how they will do in the division and during the season as a whole. While the Green Bay Packers are still viewed as a favorite, ESPN predicted the Vikings could be a contender for the NFC North’s top spot or will at least return to the playoffs.

NFL Reporter Kevin Seifert analyzed the Vikings in the exercise, stating Minnesota “will earn one of the NFC’s three wild-card berths after challenging for the NFC North title.” Seifert added that “the Vikings should enter the season among the most likely to earn a spot” in the postseason.

Obviously, speculation and predictions are just that — speculation and a prediction. But the fact that experts are already counting Minnesota as a playoff team, or at least a team that should be in the hunt for a postseason berth, is a step in the right direction for the Vikings.

Layout of NFC and NFC North

When it comes to how Minnesota stacks up with the NFC North and the rest of the conference, it’s easy to see why experts think the Vikings could be in the heart of a playoff race. A year ago, the NFC was a talented conference filled with star power throughout, but the off-season and the moves that have taken place have changed the outlook of the conference in Minnesota’s favor.

Some of the larger moves that took place this off-season have centered around players from the NFC moving over to the AFC, a welcomed sign for the Vikings as it has cleared some talent out of the conference while shifting that over to the other side of the league. Star players like Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Davante Adams, and others left their 2021 teams to move to the AFC, while some other NFC teams have taken a bit of a step back in talent as well. With the shift in the landscape in the NFL, at least one or two playoff spots will be even more up for grabs in the NFC this season, with the Vikings eying one of those positions.

The Wild Card is always an option, but Minnesota also has its eyes on winning the NFC North for the first time since 2017. And in 2022, the Vikings could make a serious run at doing just that.

If Aaron Rodgers would have left Green Bay this off-season, that would have swung the door wide open for the Vikings to claim the division. Even with Rodgers’ return to the Packers, the talent alongside the veteran quarterback has diminished, meaning Green Bay might not be as powerful as in previous years. Minnesota should be viewed as the second-best team in the NFC North, with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions likely to finish in the bottom two spots in the division once again this year.

The Vikings haven’t reached the postseason the last two seasons, a streak they hope to end in 2022. With an NFC North title on its mind, Minnesota should at least be in the hunt for a Wild Card spot in the new year. And experts also believe that, predicting a return to the playoffs for the purple and gold this season.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images