3 Vikings Strengths Heading into 2023

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings surprised many with their 13-4 record during Kevin O’Connell’s first year as head coach during 2022. One of the main strengths during that run in 2022 came via the passing game as O’Connell helped QB Kirk Cousins spend more of his time looking downfield to grab big plays. So, what areas should we expect the Vikings to thrive in during 2023? Here’s a look at 3 Vikings strengths heading into this upcoming season.

Passing Game

3 Vikings Strengths
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and center Garrett Bradbury (56) take practice snaps before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, expect the Vikings to have a superb passing attack. Obviously, many of the main characters are still in play for Minnesota this year such as Cousins, Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, and K.J. Osborn. However, the addition of Jordan Addison to the offense gives the Vikings a cheaper, younger wide receiver than Adam Thielen, and he should step in and play an immediate role for the team.

Addison thrived in the slot during his collegiate career, so if Jefferson and Osborn can man the outside, that could give the young receiver some extra comfortability as he makes the transition to the NFL level.

Offensive Line Continuity

The Vikings Must Improve This Position in 2023
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (56) snaps the football along side of guard Ezra Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

For the first time in a decade, the Minnesota Vikings are trending towards keeping the exact same starters on the offensive line as what they had in 2022. Garrett Bradbury got a new contract this offseason, Ed Ingram seems to be developing nicely at the right guard spot, and Brian O’Neill should be back for Week 1 from his Achilles injury suffered towards the end of the 2022 regular season.

This continuity is something the Vikings have never been able to benefit from during Cousins’ tenure in Minnesota, so the chemistry between these players should be noticeable in Year 2 of O’Connell’s offense.

Pass Rushers

ESPN Analyst Names Vikings Pass-Rushers the Best in the NFL
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) celebrates the win after the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings may have moved on from Za’Darius Smith this offseason, but they still have a number of intriguing talents that can take over pass rushing roles for Minnesota’s defense. Danielle Hunter bounced back nicely in 2022 with a double-digit sack output while the addition of Marcus Davenport and continued development from Patrick Jones II and Luiji Vilain give the Vikings an intriguing group of youngsters in this area as well. Don’t sleep on Andre Carter II potentially fighting his way into the mix, either.

Especially with Brian Flores as defensive coordinator, we can expect to see more of this role from the Vikings linebackers Brian Asamoah and Jordan Hicks with aggressive blitzes. Not only could these players thrive in this role, but they can also take some of the pressure off Minnesota’s inexperienced secondary.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. 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.