Latest Standings Prediction Says the Vikings Will Finish 2nd in the NFC North

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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

As the 2023 NFL season approaches, many national entities have been predicting how the season will end with standings predictions across each division.

In the NFC North, many of these predictions have resulted with the Detroit Lions winning the division. If this were to occur, it would be the first time that the Lions have won their division since 1993 when they went 10-6 and won the then NFC Central. They would go on to lose in the Wild Card round to the Green Bay Packers.

Bleacher Report was the latest to predict a Lions division crown in 2023, forecasting Detroit for an NFC North title and a 10-7 record. The Vikings landed in second place with a 9-8 record, the Green Bay Packers in third at 8-9, and the Chicago Bears last at 6-11.

Standings Prediction
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell encourages players at warm up during training camp at Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility in Allen Park on Monday, July 24, 2023.

The prediction was written by Gary Davenport, and this is what the writer had to say of the Minnesota Vikings heading into 2023:

Predicting a four-game drop for the Vikings isn’t going to go over especially well with the “skol” crowd, but last year’s 13-win Vikings team was a mirage with a negative point differential. The Minnesota offense should be able to score plenty of points, but last year’s 31st-ranked defense doesn’t look markedly better than last year’s unit. Get ready for lots of shootouts in the Twin Cities.

Gary Davenport on the 2023 Vikings

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) passes the ball to quarterback Kirk Cousins (not pictured) during the first quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The criticisms of the 2022 Vikings are certainly warranted. This is especially so considering the team lost in the Wild Card round to the New York Giants, immediately ending their playoff run as it was beginning following a 13-4 regular season.

We also have to see the Vikings defense in action before we can truly say it will be better than the unit that ranked among the bottom of the league in just about every category. With the departures of veterans like Cam Dantzler, Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, Za’Darius Smith, Chandon Sullivan, and Dalvin Tomlinson, there is a large number of holes to be filled in the starting lineup.

The positive is that it truly can’t get much worse on defense for the Vikings. Even if the new prospective starters like Brian Asamoah, Marcus Davenport, Akayleb Evans, and Byron Murphy don’t light the world on fire, Minnesota can’t go much further down the rankings than they already were.

Aug 3, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Brian Asamoah II (33) during training camp at TCO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, we also have to keep in mind that the Detroit Lions are the “sweethearts” of the NFL right now. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a fan base (outside of the NFC North, at least) that isn’t rooting for Detroit to have success this season.

Their head coach, Dan Campbell, is one of the quirkiest personalities in the league, and folks got a first-hand glimpse into the team during their appearance on Hard Knocks last summer.

Detroit’s defense also looks markedly better on paper after finishing the season in the same realm as the Vikings in 2022. They made the acquistion of Cam Sutton to shore up their cornerback spot, and they landed intriguing defenders in LB Jack Campbell and S Brian Branch during this spring’s draft.

It certainly looks like the NFC North will be a dog-fight between all four teams in 2023. Davenport’s prediction suggests that as well with all three of Detroit, Minnesota, and Green Bay finishing within two games of each other in the standings. Hopefully, the purple team can end out on top for the second year in a row.

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.

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