Vikings near the basement for 2023 defensive rating

October 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; New Orleans Saints defensive end Latavius ​​Murray (28) runs for 1 yard in the third quarter as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Tay Govan (31) defends during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Saints with a score of 28-25. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If the Minnesota Vikings can push their defensive strength from near the bottom of the league in 2022 to somewhere around 2023, the sky really is the limit.

But some people just don’t think it’s going to happen, especially after the offseason departures of Eric Kendricks, Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley and Za’Darius Smith.

Vikings near the basement for 2023 defensive rating

is one such voice Pro Football Networkand particularly Arif Hasan, previously Viking territory. Hasan authored 2023 NFL Defensive Ratings this week and Minnesota ranked 26th.

for the basement
October 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (97) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

Last year, the club ranked 27th in defensive DVOA, 30th in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed. According to EPA/Play, however, the Vikings interestingly finished 16th. Then, the franchise fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatelli after just one season, shortly after a playoff loss to the New York Giants, and hired Brian Flores a few weeks later. Based on offseason form, Minnesota is backing Flores as a treatment option.

Hassan wrote about the Vikings’ seventh-worst ranking. “The Vikings are slated to improve defensively, but not tremendously. They improved their secondary, which helps, but the turnovers they’ve had make it difficult to project them. Losing Za’Darius Smith is a pretty big blow to their hopes, but they’ve improved overall. Where they come from wasn’t great at first.”

August 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Sea (6) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Also, Minnesota will have a slew of new starters depending on the summer camp battles. Some may include:

  • Marcus Davenport For Za’Darius Smith – OLB
  • Khiiris Tonga For Dalvin Tomlinson – DT
  • Dean Lowry For Jonathan Bullard – DT
  • Brian Asamoah For Eric Kendricks – ILB
  • Byron Murphy For Chandon Sullivan – CB
  • Andrew Booth For Patrick Peterson – CB
  • Aquileb Evans For Duke Shelley – CB
  • Lewis Sin For Camryn Bynum – S:

None of the predictions are definitive. But the problem is that Hassan and others do not believe in them improvements.

Must sign Veteran CB
October 9, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) against the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota’s offense, on the other hand, will have extreme continuity, with only Adam Thielen, who left for the Carolina Panthers in free agency, rookie 1st rounder Jordan Addison and perhaps another team with Dalvin Cook. It’s the same quarterback, offensive line, TE1, plus Alexander Mathison that re-signed in March.

The Vikings’ defense took a thorough beating in the postseason at home against the Giants, so much so that the offseason turned into a massive facelift. Flores was hired in February, and his defensive philosophy is the opposite of Donatelli’s. The 2022 Vikings defense has shown “bend but don’t break,” while Flores is noticeably more aggressive and blitz-happy. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has also pushed the affordability button on youth, speed and experience.

Minnesota opens the season at home on Sept. 10 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

5 reasons to be excited for the 2023 Vikings

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow:. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday Raun Sauh and: Sal Spice:. His Viking obsession dates back to 1996. Mentioned guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, The Sopranos, Basset Hounds and The Doors (band).

All statistics are provided Pro Football Reference / Stathead:; All contractual information provided by

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