The 2023 NFL season is about 4 months away and it seems as if we know most of our starters on both sides of the ball. So today, I came up with some team award predictions. My predictions include: Team MVP, Most Improved, Comeback Player, Rookie of the Year and more.
Team MVP: Kirk Cousins, QB
Kirk is going to have to be better than ever this year as the Vikings are expected to take a massive hit to their running back core very soon. Without Dalvin on the team, I can see the team struggling to run the ball with the likes of Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, and even rookie Dewayne McBride. Without the ability to run the ball as effectively as we have with Cook, expect for more to be put on Kirk's plate.
Stat predictions: Yards- 4,850 Touchdowns- 33 Interceptions-12 Completion %- 71
Most Improved: Ed Ingram, OL
A lot of people overlooked the fact that Ed played every game for the squad last year as a rookie. He has the size and skill to be a better-than-average guard in this league. As a rookie, Ed only had four total penalties but allowed eleven total sacks. I believe the former second-round pick of the Vikings is in for a big year with the same group of guys as last year. The Vikings didn’t draft any offensive linemen, which basically means they’re okay with where the group is at. Look for more of a mauler this year out of big #67!
Come Back Player OTY: Lewis Cine, S
As most of you know by now, Cine suffered a gruesome compound fracture of his left leg in the week 4 win over the Saints in last year's win in London. An injury like this is considered to be very serious and probably would have ended his career if the medical profession hadn't been developed so well over the years. Reports out of the Vikings camp are suggesting that he is making a full recovery, and a recent video emerged of him running around the practice field with some of his teammates. Cine was known as a hard-hitting safety that has great ball-hawking skills. This year under new defensive coordinator Brian Flores could really open up the field for Cine and he should have all the ability in the world to showcase his talents and remind everyone in Minnesota why we spent an early pick on him in last year's draft.
Stat predictions: Interceptions- 4 Sacks- 3 Tackles - 85
Rookie of the Year: Jordan Addison, WR
Well, this one was pretty much a no-brainer. Im not sure any other rookie will come close to Addison in playing time, but Jordan has a chance to be great in a potent offense. The former Biletnikoff Award winner for College Footballs most outstanding receiver plans on bringing his paintbrush to Minnesota, as he describes his route running “like art.” With the running game in question as Dalvin Cook’s not expected to be a part of the team, Minnesota might have to air it out even more than they did last year. And if that’s the case, Addison should flourish with Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson taking most of the heavy looks.
Stat Predictions: Catches- 88 Yards- 1,100 TD- 9
DPOY: Byron Murphy Jr.
I can see Byron being a big boost to a very young inexperienced secondary. Not only do I think brings a fresh face to a struggling secondary, I think Bryon is poised for his best season yet. Under the Vikings' new defensive coordinator, Brian Flores, I believe the aggressiveness of the scheme will tailor to Byron’s game perfectly. Byron Murphy can play any and everywhere on the defensive side making him one of the most versatile DBs in the NFL. It will be interesting to see where he plays the majority of his snaps, but no matter where he lines up, he will be the X factor to our defense.
Stat Predictions: Interceptions- 7 Sacks- 2 Tackles- 90
Well, there you have it. My predictions for this upcoming season for the Minnesota Vikings. Note that all these awards are team-based and not throughout the entire NFL.