As the Minnesota Vikings get closer to beginning their training camp this summer, what are some of the team's dream scenarios for the 2023 season?
The Minnesota Vikings are on track to begin the 2023 season with renewed optimism. Several months have passed since the team lost to the New York Giants in the Wild Card round of the 2022 playoffs.
Since then, Minnesota has added exciting new prospects while jettisoning some big names. The hope is that the newest batch of Vikings will help the team reach the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1970s.
In a nod to long-suffering fans of the franchise, here are five dream scenarios for Minnesota in 2023.
Minnesota Vikings Dream Scenario No. 1
Minnesota's defense improves significantly
Minnesota may have ended 2022 with a 13-4 record, but the season could have easily been a bust. Several of the team’s victories were won by a touchdown or less, and the Vikes were blown out in three of their losses.
In a Week 15 contest against the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota was down 33-0 before staging the largest comeback in NFL history and pulling out a 39-36 overtime miracle. The need for such a large comeback was largely due to the Vikings’ defense.
By the end of the year, Minny’s defense was one of the worst in the NFL. The team allowed over 6,000 yards of offense, which ranked the organization 31st overall. The Vikes also had a -3 point differential, the first time that happened to a team with 12 or more wins in league history.
In January of 2023, The Athletic's Alec Lewis posted the Vikings’ defensive success rate at 56.3 percent. That number ranked Minnesota 25th in the NFL, even worse than the team’s 56 percent rate (22nd in the NFL) in 2021.
To address the issue, the Vikings brought in several defensive free agents, got rid of vets such as Patrick Peterson and Eric Kendricks, fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, hired new coordinator Brian Flores, and selected corner Mekhi Blackmon and safety Jay Ward in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Hopefully, these changes will see the Vikings' defense improve to (at least) the top 15 or better in 2023. That should help Minny’s offense from having to stage more epic comebacks.