2023 was supposed to be the year the Vikings ascended to the pinnacle of the NFC North. The departure of Aaron Rodgers was supposed to herald a changing of the guard and a Minnesota romp to the title and many years of dominance.
How could it not? The Bears have been a mess for many years, and still have Justin Fields trying to figure out who he is. The Packers have lost another Hall of Fame QB, and are turning to (not)rookie Jordan Love who is as unproven as any QB in the league. And the Lions? Seriously?
But after just 3 weeks of football the Vikings are 0-3. Kirk Cousins has been sacked 8 times, Alexander Mattison, heir to the Dalvin Cook throne has a paltry 155 yards, and their defence has only 2 takeaways.
VIKINGS DEFENCE IS THE MAIN CULPRIT
New Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores, formerly head coach of the Dolphins has been the biggest part of the problem so far, with his unit ranking 27th in the NFL. Whilst Flores has been keen to continue is cover zero looks, high pressure defence, at the moment he is struggling to find the personnel who can play this way.
He figured it out in the second half of his rookie season with the Dolphins and will need to get it sorted pretty quickly or the Vikings will be quickly facing missing the playoffs.
Having played the Eagles and Chargers in back-to-back weeks things definitely get easier this week as the Vikings face the Panthers, but that is quickly followed by the Chiefs. There is a softening of the schedule in the second half, unless of course it turns out teams like Green Bay and Detour are for real.