The NFL season is truly a grind, and at the end it’s a matter of two things. Who is healthiest, and who is the best. In the 2023 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings were none of those. In fact, some might blame luck. Like, historically bad OMG-are-you-kidding-me type luck.
Fucked And Down Bad
At the beginning of the year, the bad luck reared it’s ugly head game after game. Fumbling was so much an issue for the first few games, and then the slew of backup QB throwing gobs of picks gave the Vikings 34 giveaways this season, 2nd most in the NFL. BARF.
Shit looked so lost that I said that the Vikings were cooked. But with any KOC-lead team, that wasn’t the case. Losing Justin Jefferson and then winning the next 5 games requires some luck, and skill too. Kirk Cousins was balling at an MVP level, and then his Achilles snapped at Lambeau. And then I was bawling, along with every other Vikings fan and Kirk stan.
The backups sure as hell tried, but it wasn’t enough. The Josh Dobbs experiment was cool until it got ice cold. Jaren Hall was not ready for the lights. And Nick Mullens was the best, both at scoring and giving the ball away. But fuck, you gotta feel for the guy. The Vikings just could never recover from the devastating injuries that kept coming in 2023.
Running the ball helps! But that was never a factor. The Vikings ranked close to dead last in almost every rushing category in the NFL. Alexander Mattison seemed like the answer, until about 4 weeks in when we realized he definitely wasn’t. The Vikings traded absolutely nothing to get Cam Akers, and then he popped his Achilles too. Rat shit luck.
And then there’s the Defense. Coming into the season, we didn’t know what to expect from Brian Flores or any of the defensive players. The season for the defense was much like a rollercoaster: boring and slow to start, fun as hell in the middle, and a disappointing end. Now the offseason will see a bidding war for Danielle Hunter, and it does not favor the Vikings. The cap hell continues.
Hang on y’all, there IS a bright side to this…
With the Vikings being as mid and frustrating as they were in 2023, they were awarded with the 11th overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. This is juicy, as the Vikings find themselves in striking distance to potentially select the newest franchise QB. A report over the weekend revealed that the Vikings desperately tried to trade up in the ’23 draft to get Anthony Richardson, so you know Kwesi will be willing to do it again to get a guy in this loaded QB class in 2024.
Money is still an issue, and the Vikings still need to figure out the Justin Jefferson contract. Signing the best WR in football should be the #1 priority, and the Vikings were suuper close to getting a deal done before the season started in September. Now you toss that in with a looming Kirk Cousins extension, and this offseason has the potential to be make or break for the Vikings going forward.
Overall, this season was not a ton of fun. Very unlike the year before, the Vikings seemed to regress back to the mean in 2023. With an interesting offseason ahead and the NFC North getting tougher, the Vikings will have to prove they have the balls to step up and show the NFL and their division who’s game this really is.
Professional Driver. Lover of all things sports. I once cut meat for Paul Allen and Mark Rosen. I talk on a podcast about men hugging each other aggressively.