5 bold Minnesota Vikings predictions for Week 18 vs. the Detroit Lions

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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Bold Vikings Prediction No. 5

The Vikings will finish in last place in the NFC North

This seemed unfathomable back in August, but the Vikings have a real chance of finishing in the NFC North’s basement in 2024.

Minnesota is fighting an uphill battle against the Lions, and the Packers could fall victim to an improved Bears team as they look to cement a playoff spot.

If Chicago pulls off the upset, the Vikings could wind up in last place in the division, which would be an interesting crossroads for the franchise.

Minnesota has taken the approach of a competitive rebuild over the first two years of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s tenure as the team's general manager. While it led to an NFC North title a year ago, the foundation that was largely built by the Vikings' previous regime has begun to show cracks this season.

This is an interesting situation compared to the Bears, who could finish ahead of Minnesota in the standings despite going through a full-scale teardown under general manager Ryan Poles.

With more than $60 million in cap space projected for 2024 and the No. 1 overall pick in this spring’s NFL Draft, Chicago could be in a better position to succeed than the Vikings entering the offseason.

With signs mounting toward quarterback Kirk Cousins returning to Minnesota for at least one more season, it’s fair to wonder about the direction of the franchise – especially if they finish last place in the division after Sunday.

This should lead to several hard decisions for the Vikings' front office this spring and could lead to a different look in 2024.