Minnesota Vikings 2024 schedule: Record predictions from NFL experts

The Minnesota Vikings had their schedule released on Wednesday night and somehow had a lackluster video to release it to the public.

Now that the schedule has been released, we can move our focus toward the 2024 season. In 2023, the Vikings missed the playoffs after dealing with a lot of injuries to key players. They finished 7-10 and third place in the NFC North behind the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.

The Vikings will enter the 2024 season with a rookie first-round pick at quarterback for the first time in a decade with J.J. McCarthy. When he will play will be a big determining factor as to what the Vikings record is going to be.

What do the experts think about the Vikings’ record? I had predicted the Vikings to go 7-10 in my initial predictions and other experts were of similar thinking.

Vikings record predictions

Fox Sports’ Carmen Vitali: 8-9

I think Minnesota will be better this season than many other people think. Yes, it’s a transition year for the Vikings. They brought in who they hope will be their quarterback of the future in J.J. McCarthy, but they also got themselves a bridge QB in Sam Darnold — and paid him handsomely for it. You don’t give a guy $10 million without expecting him to start a fair number of games. This is the smart play, too, as it affords patience with McCarthy, who has the least tread on his tires of the major rookie quarterbacks this year. 

He’s a project, one who couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot given the offensive talent, a defense that should be one of the best in the NFL and a former quarterback as a head coach. The Vikings’ selection of McCarthy was perhaps the biggest vote of confidence in Kevin O’Connell the organization could have given him, and I’m betting their gamble pays off. It still puts them in the cellar of the division but with a respectable record and an upward trajectory. 

The 33rd Team’s Marcus Mosher: 6-11

J.J. McCarthy couldn’t have walked into a better situation as a rookie. The Minnesota Vikings have playmakers all over the field and one of the league’s top offensive lines. 

Plus, Kevin O’Connell is a fantastic play-caller and consistently puts his quarterback in optimal situations. However, it will still take time for a rookie quarterback to learn the offense, and Minnesota’s defense leaves a lot to be desired. Expect the Vikings to be more competitive than their record indicates.

Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton: 8-9

The Minnesota Vikings are a serviceable quarterback away from playoff contention.

Last year, the Vikings cycled through backup signal-callers to fill in for Kirk Cousins (torn Achilles) as their playoff hopes slipped away. This offseason, Minnesota lost Cousins to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, signed quarterback Sam Darnold and moved up one spot in the first round of the 2024 draft for Michigan signal-caller J.J. McCarthy.

After the draft, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said the team won’t rush McCarthy’s development, which is the right move. The two-year starter at Michigan posted modest passing numbers, so he may not be ready as a rookie to maximize all the offensive talent around him.

If Darnold starts, Minnesota will probably have to accept the inconsistency in his game. In 66 NFL appearances (including 56 starts), he’s thrown for 63 touchdowns and 56 interceptions with a 59.7 percent completion rate.

Darnold may not be much better than Nick Mullens, who turned the ball over at an alarming rate last season. The Vikings’ passing offense, which features All-Pro receiver Justin Jefferson, budding second-year wideout Jordan Addison and two-time Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson, may have a lower ceiling with Darnold or McCarthy.

McCarthy has the offensive personnel and play-caller in head coach Kevin O’Connell to become a Pro Bowl-caliber starter. But we may have to wait until his second year to see evidence of it.

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