To say this team kept fans on the edge of their seat last season would be an understatement. It’s difficult to understand the lack of hype surrounding this team as they not only won the division last year but did so in convincing fashion at 13-4. Being involved in eleven one score games, this team had luck on their side coming back to win it in the fourth quarter in eight of them. The playoff game had an ugly ending with a third-and-eight pass well short of the sticks yet this was also a one score game. This Vikings team may look slightly different than the one we last saw with a multitude of changes being made in the off-season. The most recent of these involved last years free agent signee Za’Darius Smith being dealt. It seems this Vikings team is putting a lot of faith into their new faces such as Davenport, Murphy, and Addison in hopes it pays off. The one constant however will be Cousins and with that, this team should be every bit as exciting as they were the season prior. The Vikings 2023 record might not be too far off their 2022 mark.
Minnesota Vikings 2023 Record Prediction: Every Game On The Schedule
Week 1: v Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ 12 PM
The Vikings will likely want to put the last game in their home stadium behind them and will come out swinging. Everything about this match could lead towards an offensive explosion for the Buccaneers. Mayfield will likely want to prove himself against a Vikings defense full of holes. Mike Evans towers over the entire defensive backfield and Chris Godwin is a stellar possession receiver who is not afraid to make a catch over the middle. Flores face a difficult task in his first chance to prove himself to this Vikings staff. If he can start off on the right foot here however it could go a long way for this team down the stretch. On the offensive side, as long as the interior of the offensive line can hold against Vea and Kancey to keep Cousins upright the Vikings should pull away with a convincing win at home.
Vikings Win, 1-0 Record
Week 2: @ Philadelphia Eagles @ 7:15 PM (TNF)
In classic Vikings fashion after an impressive win, they will implode in Primetime. The Eagles defense is perhaps what most people identify them with but this Super Bowl runner up is so much more than that. On the other side of the ferocious pass rush is the best offensive line in the league. Winning battles in the trenches will be just the beginning of how this Eagles team will dominate. The offense will torment this Vikings team in every which way. Cousins will continue to struggle when the lights are bright, Slay will continue to have Jeffersons number, and the Eagles will continue to get the better of this Vikings team.
Vikings Lose, 1-1 Record
Week 3: v Los Angeles Chargers @ 12 PM
The Chargers are a team that is very similar to Minnesota in a couple of different ways. Both have explosive offenses, both have star running backs potentially on the move, and both have one of the best young left tackles in the league. As both Herbert and Jefferson were the front runners to win offensive rookie of the year they entered the league, both will play their absolute best to prove themselves. The shots by the Chargers social media team will not go unanswered. Cousins will bounce back and lead this team back from a prime time meltdown.
Vikings Win, 2-1 Record
Week 4: @ Carolina Panthers @ 12 PM
After an up and down first couple of weeks some may seek refuge in this game as an ‘easy win’. This Panthers team will likely be a challenging matchup for the Vikings on both sides of the ball. Last time these teams played the Vikings faced a similar scenario and got more than they bargained for. Ending in an overtime thriller, hopefully Minnesota has learned their lesson not to underestimate Carolina. If Dalton starts this offense will be a test for the Vikings defense with Thielen looking to have his revenge game. Burns will make life difficult for Cousins and Jefferson will have his hands full with up-and-coming corner Jaycee Horn. Vikings could find themselves winning another one score game here almost falling victim to a trap game.
Vikings Win, 3-1 Record
Week 5: v Kansas City Chiefs @ 3:25 PM
Anyone predicting a Jerrick McKinnon revenge game here, very much a possibility. If McKinnon has a game similar to the stretch, he went on towards the end of the season this defense is in trouble. Many should have this game circled as a measuring stick of how far this team can go in the playoffs. Everyone tries to bring their A-game against the defending world champs. With the Vikings hosting them and attempting to mold their offense into a unit that can go blow for blow with a team like this, it will provide the test they need. Vikings fall likely fall short but not by much.
Vikings Lose, 3-2 Record
Week 6: @ Chicago Bears @ 12 PM
Vikings have got the better of their division rivals in the past six matchups winning five of them. This Bears team is growing this season and the Vikings got a sneak peek at that last season. Justin Fields is a home run threat from anywhere. They also received a haul for the first overall pick and a stud wide receiver in D.J. Moore. The Vikings will do their best however to knock them out of their game plan by taking deep shots early. The Bears defense features a talented back seven, however they lack a dominant pass rusher that they have been accustomed to in years past. Without a Mack or Quinn disrupting the pocket, Cousins should shine.
Vikings Win, 4-2 Record
Week 7: v San Francisco 49ers @ 7:15 PM (MNF)
In between Shanahan eyeing Cousins up and down the sideline the Vikings will likely struggle to get anything going against a stout Niners defense. Whether it’s Purdy, Lance, or Darnold under center or perhaps a Frankenstein combination of all three, they will have this Vikings team on their heels. Being able to dominate in the trenches behind Trent Williams on the offensive side of the ball and Nick Bosa on the defensive side, the Vikings will get their share of humble pie in this game. Cousins once again will shrink under the lights of prime time as the 49ers continue their roll of dominance.
Vikings Lose, 4-3 Record
Week 8: @ Green Bay Packers @ 12 PM
The Vikings and Packers have split the past six matches. The first game of the season they played against each other last season looked like the Vikings were going to go for the sweep only for the Packers to flip the script for the Vikings later in the season. This Jefferson versus Alexander matchup is building to be one of the best in the league and potentially one of the all-time great matchups. This Packers team without Rodgers is vulnerable and in order to take the place of dominating the division like they have for the past decade, the Vikings first step is beat them at Lambeau. Cousins leads the Vikings to a key win here prior to the tougher part of the schedule.
Vikings Win, 5-3 Record
Week 9: @ Atlanta Falcons @ 12 PM
This could be another trap game as the Vikings come off an emotional win against division rival Packers and fellow NFC rival Saints is the following week. Bijan Robinson adds a layer of danger to this Falcons team that they have missed since Julio Jones left town. Atlanta may fly under the radar but towards the end of the season, teams will fear playing this offense. Vikings will likely try to push this game out of Bijans hands however by continuing to keep their foot on the gas once they get a lead. If A.J. Terrell sticks to Jefferson it may be up to Hockenson or Addison to save the day. Vikings fight for a close one here to stack another win and continue to seek revenge for 1998.
Vikings Win, 6-3 Record
Week 10: v New Orleans Saints @ 12 PM
One of the most underrated rivalries in the NFC gets another match here. Without Sean Payton however, this rivalry does not have the same juice. From the Minneapolis Miracle to the Rudolph game winner, the Vikings have had the Saints number in recent years. This Saints team is somewhat of an enigma entering this season with Derek Carr under center. No one is sure what the Raiders will be when this team comes to play. Lattimore could give Jefferson some trouble but the rest of this offense will open up around that. Signals point to not having another Alvin Kamara six touchdown game however, Vikings should continue to build momentum with an expected win here.
Vikings Win, 7-3 Record
Week 11: @ Denver Broncos @ 7:20 PM (SNF)
Riding the high from beating Sean Payton’s former team, they now get the real thing. No one is sure what Wilson will look like this season but frankly it matters very little whether he can return to his former dominance. Payton’s scheme, football IQ, and overall leadership will drag this Broncos team into being competitive this season and no longer the doormat of the AFC. Some of Payton’s greatest misfortunes have come at the hands of Minnesota, you wouldn’t expect him to hold a grudge would you? Broncos country rides over the Vikings in a primetime showdown.
Vikings Lose, 7-4 Record
Week 12: v Chicago Bears @ 7:15 PM (MNF)
Back-to-back primetime games for Kirk Cousins? The schedule makers have to know what they are doing here. While they got the better of them in the previous match, the Bears should be surging at this point in the season while the Vikings are still licking their wounds from the tough part of the schedule. The Bears look to turn this into more of a rivalry for years to come snatching a win for themselves here. As Fields runs all over this defense, the Vikings will be kicking themselves for not addressing the holes in the defense this past off-season. This game will be all they need to justify going defense in the first round next year.
Vikings Lose, 7-5 Record
Week 13: -BYE-
Week 14: @ Las Vegas Raiders @ 3:05 PM
The Raiders and Vikings both had extremely frustrating seasons to a certain degree last year. The Vikings tried to give every fan a heart attack by the sheer amount of comebacks and one score games they were involved in last season. The Raiders time after time failed to put games away after having a convincing lead. If these teams are even moderately similar to how they were last year the script lines up perfectly for the Vikings to seize the day. Offensively this Raiders group could do some damage behind Josh Jacobs but Cousins will expose this mediocre secondary. Vikings get a key win to keep them ahead of the competition as the season winds down.
Vikings Win, 8-5 Record
Week 15: @ Cincinnati Bengals (TBD)
Usually, the promo for games features both quarterbacks. Cousins versus Burrow is an intriguing match, but the promo for this entire week will be Jefferson versus Chase. Both will live up to the hype and this should be a high scoring shoot out going back and forth until late in the forth quarter. The Bengals have proven they are more equipped to come up with a key stop when they absolutely need to giving them the edge. Look for this game to be just as exciting as the last time these teams met and the game ended in an overtime thriller. Burrow and Chase will get the better of their former LSU teammate in this matchup.
Vikings Lose, 8-6 Record
Week 16: v Detroit Lions @ 12 PM
Detroit and Minnesota are in the same tier of lackluster defenses. The Lions may have a few more intriguing pieces defensively such as Hutchinson, Campbell, and Gardner-Johnson but that still does not erase the fact how historically awful they were last season. The Lions are also putting a lot of eggs in the Jared Goff. While he had a good season last season, he was allowed to pass more when he was down big. I would put more stock into what offensive genius Sean McVay thinks about him, as well as the rest of his career. Even if this ends up in a shoot out with both quarterbacks playing their absolute best, I’m taking Cousins and Jefferson over Goff and St. Brown every single time. Vikings get an early edge on their division rival and assert their claim to run the division.
Vikings Win, 9-6 Record
Week 17: v Green Bay Packers @ 7:20 PM (SNF)
Love should have a far better command of this offense going into this game and being the Vikings will be walking on a tight rope here this will be a great game to throw in primetime. We saw last season when the Vikings needed to beat the Packers late in the season they ended up imploding and Jefferson was shut down by Alexander. To exorcise their demons from last season Jefferson must get the best of Alexander, Cousins must win in primetime, and the Vikings must sweep the former kings of the north. In all honesty the Vikings can do whatever they want in the offseason whether they are met with immense criticism or support, these are the games that truly decide how they judge their season.
Vikings Win, 10-6 Record
Week 18: @ Detroit Lions (TBD)
Hockenson may be ready to make the Lions regret trading him in the division. Dan Campbell can bite kneecaps all he wants but the objective of the game of football is to score more points than the opposition. Goff and the Lions no longer have a final game of the season to play spoiler towards the opposition to and will likely be playing for their jobs. Hooker will be healthy next season and depending on how the Lions season goes you may see him here. Regardless of who is lining up under center for the Lions, the Vikings will complete the sweep of their division rival heading into the postseason.
Vikings Win, 11-6 Record
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