NFL Prediction: The Minnesota Vikings Won’t Make The Playoffs After Winning 13 Games Last Year

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Getty Image / Hannah Foslien

Last season, the Green Bay Packers’ control of the NFC North was finally broken.

After dominating the division for the previous 3 seasons and winning 8 division titles in 11 years, they were knocked down to 3rd place by the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.

Now Aaron Rodgers is gone and teams outside of Green Bay winning the division could become the norm.

Unfortunately, there is probably only one that team that will actually benefit from that new normal in the NFC North.

Last season, the division got very close to having two teams in the playoffs.

The Vikings put together a very strong season last year, winning 13 games to win the division crown and easily get into the playoffs.

In Detroit, the Lions went from one of the NFL’s worst teams to actually having a shot at the playoffs in the last week of the year. They did their part and beat the Packers at Lambeau Field to eliminate them from playoff contention.

Unfortunately for the Lions, the Seahawks got an overtime win against the Rams to take the last playoff spot on a tiebreaker.

This year, the division will only have two contenders for a playoff spot and it’s likely that only one of them will actually make it to the postseason.

The team that will succeed is the Detroit Lions. They showed major improvements in the second half of last season on their way to a 9-8 finish.

This offseason, they drafted Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta to give Jared Goff more weapons on offense. They signed David Montgomery to replace Jamaal Williams. They’ll have Jameson Williams back for the last 11 games of the season.

On the other side of the ball, they signed Charles Gardner-Johnson.

The Lions are the team to beat in the NFC North.

The Minnesota Vikings are heading in the opposite direction.

Despite winning 13 games last season, the Vikings started moving on from veterans this offseason.

They released Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, and Dalvin Cook. They didn’t re-sign Dalvin Tomlinson or Patrick Peterson. The team also ended up being forced to trade away Za’Darius Smith.

They brought in Byron Murphy Jr and Marcus Davenport to help fill the void left by some of their departures, traded for Myles Gaskin, and drafted Jordan Addison.

Still, there is no doubt that their team is worse heading into 2023 than they were in 2022.

Alexander Mattison isn’t a great replacement for Cook. Jordan Addison is a rookie who is going to need some time to develop.

The was bad last year. It will be worse this season. Now they don’t have an offense that can make up for it.

To make the situation even tougher, the Vikings have to face a 1st-place schedule.

They have to travel to Detroit, Cincinnati, and Philly for tough road games.

Trips to Carolina and Denver could be losses as well.

Even their home schedule isn’t particularly inviting. They get visits from the Chiefs, Chargers, and 49ers.

Even if they get 3 wins out of those 8 games, they’d still need to go 6-3 the rest of the way just to finish above .500 and those 9 other games include a visit from the Lions and plenty of road trips.

Even last year, the Vikings were an underwhelming 13-win team. 11 of their 13 wins were by 8 points or less.

This year, their close game success rate should regress and they’ll likely be looking at quite a few more losses.

The follow up to last year’s success is going to be a disappointment as the Minnesota Vikings look unlikely to make it back to the postseason.

It will likely be Kirk Cousins’ last season in Minnesota and at this time next year, we could even be looking at a rebuild for the Vikings.