By just about any measure, the Minnesota Vikings exceeded expectations in 2022, particularly when it came to their win total. They were expected to be a middling team with a record around the .500 mark and not really accomplish a whole lot, but wound up winning 13 games (despite being the “worst 13-win team of all time” or some such nonsense).
Heading into 2023, it looks like the initial expectations are going to be just about the same.
The DraftKings Sportsbook has put together their initial over/unders for NFL team win projections, and they have the Vikings projected to be just about as average as possible with an initial total of 8.5 wins.
Now, it’s obviously really early on in the offseason process. . .we haven’t even had the Draft yet, after all. But given the talent that this team still has, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, even a small improvement defensively should be enough to get the Vikings over that sort of number. Will that improvement happen? Obviously, we don’t know, but we can certainly hope that it will.
That total of 8.5 puts the Vikings second among current NFC North team win projections. The team currently projected to win the North is the. . .Detroit Lions? Yes, the Lions have a projected win total of 9.5 in the initial DraftKings projection. That would be the Lions’ first divisional title since 1993. . .when it was still the NFC Central and consisted of five teams.
As it stands right now, the Green Bay Packers are projected at 7.5 wins, as are the Chicago Bears. That would be a big leap forward for Chicago, who finished with the NFL’s worst record in 2022, and a nice start to the post-Rodgers era in Green Bay.
We’ll see what else the Vikings’ front office has up their sleeves over the next few months as they prepare for the 2023 NFL season, but as it stands right now the expectations are not going to be super high for Kevin O’Connell’s squad.