5 nightmare scenarios for the Vikings in the 2024 season

Justin Jefferson
Justin Jefferson / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

On paper, the 2024 Minnesota Vikings are tough to form realistic expectations about. The team has new players taking over several key positions and will need to work hard to make things cohesive and be competitive as a team.

The ideal situation is that the new players fit well into the Vikings' schemes and the transition from last year's team to this year's is smooth. However, fans in Minnesota know that nothing rarely ever happens in an ideal way for the purple and gold.

While it's nice to look at the team and hope for the best, Vikings fans also need to prepare for the worst. This season could exceed everyone's expectations, it could be a solid year that isn't disappointing, or it could be a disaster.

5 nightmare scenarios for the Vikings in the 2024 season

What are some of the worst realistic things that could happen to the Minnesota Vikings this season and what could those things mean for the team going forward? Here are five nightmare scenarios fans should be hoping to avoid.

1. An extremely cold start to the season

The Vikings' 2024 NFL season could hinge a lot on their Week 1 game against the New York Giants. A win would give Minnesota momentum and confidence while a loss could be crushing and start a domino effect of losses against tough teams. There are scenarios where the purple and gold might not get a win until Week 8 or later, and that would make for an extremely miserable season.

2. Injuries to the team's major contributors

Injuries will already be an issue for the Vikings in 2024. T.J. Hockenson could start the year on the PUP list but Minnesota has enough depth at tight end that they should be able to get by until he returns. Meanwhile, injuries to the offensive tackles, secondary, and other positions are much less easy to cover. Staying healthy will need to be a priority this year.

3. The rookies are ineffective

Minnesota invested a lot to get J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Even though they can't be fully evaluated based on their performance as a rookie, the media will be all over them if they get significant playing time and don't appear to live up to the potential of when they were drafted. A lot of hype can be a terrible thing if it is not lived up to. The same can be said for rookie kicker Will Reichard.

4. The pass rush can't get home

Vikings fans have gotten used to seeing Danielle Hunter consistently get after opposing quarterbacks. Now that he's in Houston, Minnesota needs Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel to replace that production. Both had career years last year, but don't have an extended track record of pass rush success like Hunter has. If the pass rush struggles, a lot of pressure will be put on Brian Flores' secondary.

5. Getting swept in the NFC North

Looking at the upcoming season, there are some huge obstacles facing the Minnesota Vikings. One of them is playing in the NFC North, a division where two teams made the playoffs last year and the other won five of their last eight games. It is entirely possible that the purple and gold don't win a single game against their division, which would make interacting with fans of those other teams an absolutely miserable experience until the 2025 NFL season comes around.

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