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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 5 September 2023

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Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

It’s serious now. Winning time!

I am hoping the team will come out strong against the Bucs.

Since yore last open thread ...


Other Vikings News

“This has kind of been a part of my story,” Cousins said. “I walked off the field the last game of my high school career, no scholarship offers. So that whole season, you get the question from the Holland Sentinel, ‘How are you focusing on that? How are you handling that?’ I learned, you’ve gotta focus on winning football games. And if you win football games and do your part and put your work in, the rest will take care of itself.”
The Vikings seem OK with the idea of QB uncertainty. Hey, did you see those college quarterbacks on Saturday? Maybe Kyler Murray will be available. Tom Brady comeback anyone? Oh, the possibilities.
“You always have to be scenario driven in this job,” GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said in July. “Prepared for every potential outcome. When you go to the draft, you have to be prepared for who’s there, who’s available, what happens if they are not available? Trade back, trade up? So, that’s what we do in this job.”

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NFL News

NFL Power Rankings, Week 1: Steelers rising heading into 2023 season; Jets, Patriots fall before kickoff

Rank 15 Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings won 13 games last season despite being outscored (-3 point differential). Going 11-0 in one-score games explains a lot of that, but it also raises the question of whether the Vikings — who parted with some key contributors this offseason and are quite young on defense — can repeat that effort in 2023. They should remain a fairly potent offense this season, but what new defensive coordinator Brian Flores can achieve with a heavily revamped unit could end up determining this team’s ceiling. Harrison Smith should make more plays up in the box, and there are some interesting front-seven defenders, but the cornerback position concerns me. It’s not hard to imagine a drop in wins, even if the defense improves.

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS
The Vikings have not shied away from drafting wide receivers early on. Since 2013, the team has taken a wide receiver four times in the first round, most notably Justin Jefferson in 2020.
Jordan Addison is the latest on the list, selected 24th overall this past April out of USC. Addison had himself a great training camp, particularly in the joint practices with the Arizona Cardinals. He played just 27 snaps in the preseason (all in the opener against the Seattle Seahawks), as the team clearly feels comfortable with where he is at heading into the season.
Addison is a sneaky pick for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He averaged at least 2.9 yards per route run in each of his last two years in college and should produce right away at the NFL level playing opposite All-Pro Justin Jefferson, who is sure to take away the bulk of defenses’ attention.

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NFC North
Lions 11-6
Packers 9-8
Vikings 7-10
Bears 5-12
The Lions have stockpiled enough talent offensively to have a winning record, but it’s their improving and remixed defense powered up front by Aidan Hutchinson that helps them bridge the gap into a division-winning playoff team. The Packers’ defense will rise to better support Jordan Love, who can play well enough to get them a wild card.
The Vikings were inflated with their record last season based on fourth-quarter magic overcoming stats and show more of their true identity with a Giants-like regression to mean under Kevin O’Connell. The Bears will be more competitive with a more confident Justin Fields, but their defense still needs plenty more work around the linebackers.


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