It’s here! It’s here! We’ve finally made it to the start of the 2023 NFL season, as the Minnesota Vikings will play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to start off a brand new season of Vikings football. Here’s everything you need to know in order to be ready for today’s contest.
Date and Time: Sunday, 10 September 2023, noon Central time
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Television Coverage: WCCO-4 in the Twin Cities, CBS affiliates around the country, YouTube TV Sunday Ticket
Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, SiriusXM Channel 230 (Vikings feed), SiriusXM App Channel 820
Line: Vikings -5.5, Over/Under 46
Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 27, Buccaneers 20
1) Get pressure on Baker Mayfield - We know that the Vikings’ secondary is pretty young and inexperienced, and they’re going to face a tall task against the Bucs’ wide receivers in this one. That’s why it’s important for the Vikings’ front seven to get in Baker Mayfield’s face and force him to get rid of the ball earlier than he might like. Can Brian Flores’ new, more aggressive defense get that done?
2) Spread the ball around on offense - The Bucs will almost certainly be keying on Justin Jefferson, as nearly every team will, so it’s incumbent upon the Vikings to take advantage of other targets. Players like T.J. Hockenson, Jordan Addison, and K.J. Osborn will have their opportunities in this one, and they’ll need to make the most of them.
3) Win on special teams - The Vikings kept all of their primary special teams players from last year, with Greg Joseph, Ryan Wright, and Andrew DePaola coming back to comprise that battery for a second straight year. Winning on special teams is always important in the NFL, and when you’re playing a team that you might be better than on paper, mistakes on special teams can be a big difference maker.
Know the Foe: Bucs Nation
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen! The season opener is upon us and we’re glad that you’ve decided to join us for this one. We’ll have a new Open Thread popping up at the start of every quarter, so keep an eye out for those and keep the discussion moving along accordingly.
Here’s hoping that in about three hours or so we’ll all be back here celebrating the Vikings moving to 1-0 for the second consecutive season.