3 Vikings Weaknesses Heading into 2023
The Minnesota Vikings were a surprisingly strong team in 2022, going 13-4 in Kevin O’Connell’s first year as head coach of the group. However, there were a few problems that ultimately ended their playoff run much sooner than many hoped, and a few of those problems remain heading into this upcoming season. Here are 3 Vikings weaknesses to be wary of in 2023.
This could quickly turn into a strength depending on how players like Andrew Booth Jr., Lewis Cine, Akayleb Evans, and 2023 Draft picks Mekhi Blackmon and Jay Ward perform this year. However, as things stand now, Byron Murphy and Harrison Smith are truly the only ‘sure thing’ players in the Vikings secondary.
This has been a bit of a problem in Minnesota for a couple years now, but Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has completely flipped the cornerback room upside down in his first year-plus of being the Vikings general manager. Perhaps this iteration of the secondary can finally be the one that turns things around for the team, but we still have to see it in action first.
The Vikings started 2022 with a rather strong rushing defense, but towards the end of the season, it was the opposite as the team closed the year by allowing 141 rushing yards per game over the final three regular season games they played. In all, Minnesota allowed the 13th-most rushing yards in the league on top of their porous pass defense.
With the loss of Dalvin Tomlinson, we could see more struggles to stop the run in 2023, particularly considering they have to play offenses such as the Bear, Chiefs, 49ers, Eagles, and Raiders, who were amongst the league’s most proficient rushing teams last year.
Interior Offensive Line Depth
If you remember back to 2022, the Minnesota Vikings quickly ran through their offensive line depth. Chris Reed took snaps at center after both Garrett Bradbury and Austin Schlottmann suffered injuries while Oli Udoh spent time at each tackle spot beause of injuries to all three of Christian Darrisaw, Brian O’Neill, and Blake Brandel throughout the season.
The Vikings have continuity at the starting spots of their offensive line heading into 2023, but the fact that there haven’t been any additions made to the depth is a bit worrying, considering Minnesota was an injury or two away from completely running out of players to put out on the field. Hopefully, the injury luck this year is a bit kinder to the group.
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.