The Vikings Playoff Odds in 2023 Are Slightly Better than a Coin Flip, Says ESPN

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Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell looks on during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of the 2023 season, ESPN has once again released their Football Power Index projections and rankings for each team. This is a metric that the media giant uses to determine who will find the most success each season based on roster talent as well as quality of opponent.

This year, ESPN‘s math determines that the Vikings playoff odds are slightly better than a coin flip. Apparently, Minnesota’s chances of making the tournament are 51.8%, sitting at sixth-best in the NFC. Interestingly, the teams ahead of them are Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas, and New Orleans.

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Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN has also determined that the Vikings have a 2.3% chance of winning the Super Bowl this year, giving them the 13th-best odds at raising the Lombardi Trophy this season. They are sandwiched between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks at 12th and 14th.

So, why do they have the Vikings in the middle of the pack once again? It appears to come down to a similar concern as last year’s: the defense. The media giant projects the Vikings to have a top-10 offense once again in 2023, but their defense comes in as the 11th-worst in the power index score.

Pair that with the 15th-toughest schedule in the league, and the Vikings seem to average out to a team that finishes closer to .500 than their 13-4 record in 2022.

Vikings Playoff Odds
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (6) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It makes sense that there would be some concern with the defense, given the inexperience in the secondary for Minnesota. However, with Brian Flores at the helm now, the hope is that the linebacker group will be much more aggressive in blitzing than Ed Donatell’s defense was, thus taking a bit of pressure off all the young CBs.

In all, ESPN has the Vikings with a win-loss record of 8.6-8.3, suggesting that Minnesota will squeak out a second consecutive winning season at 9-8 or perhaps finish exactly .500 at 8-8-1. This would be reminiscent to the last time they had back-to-back winning seasons in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, of course, they would make the NFC Championship Game after going 13-3 in the regular season, before going 8-7-1 in 2018 and just missing out on the playoffs.

Hopefully, Minnesota finds a way to outperform these projections, but we’ll have to wait and see. Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 10th is 110 days away.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.