The State of the Vikings: Week 15
This is Episode 178 of VikesNow, a YouTube channel devoted to daily Minnesota Vikings analysis. This episode examines the state of the Vikings through 14 weeks.
Particularly, the loss in Detroit, the stakes against the Colts, and the 2023 NFL Draft are discussed.
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The State of the Vikings: Week 15 — Watch Below
The Vikings lost to the Detroit Lions, 34-23, in an underwhelming Week 14 performance for Minnesota. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was in peak elite form, but the team’s defense refused to follow suit, allowing 464 yards to the Lions in total offense. Minnesota’s NFC North title celebration was delayed.
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson was otherworldly, tallying 11 receptions, 223 receiving yards, and no touchdowns. Jefferson shattered the Vikings single-game receiving yards previously held by Sammy White. He is now on pace for 1,962 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns.
The Vikings are four-point favorites returning home this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15, a team that was crushed by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13, 54-19. Indianapolis had a bye in Week 14.
The Packers also had a bye and still seem convinced they can “run the table” and sneak into the postseason. But the Packers and Bears playoff hopes are all but vanquished. The Vikings are the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind the Eagles and would host a home playoff game versus the New York Giants if the playoffs started today.
The Vikings should welcome back Harrison Smith on defense against the Colts and perhaps left tackle Christian Darrisaw. Both men, plus Garrett Bradbury, were out at Detroit, and it turned out they were sorely missed.
A 1-3 or 0-4 record the rest of the way would plop the Vikings in the postseason. Of course, winning the division is preferred, but subpar football, as a worst-case scenario, would net a playoff berth. That’s the perk of a 10-3 start. The Vikings have a 99% probability of reaching the postseason, per FiveThirtyEight. They can wrap up the NFC North with a win over the Colts.
The Vikings haven’t beaten the Colts in 25 years.
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 with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).