The Vikings weren’t expecting it to end that quickly.
Their 2022 season, the first of the Kevin O’Connell era, was a thrilling, emotional rollercoaster ride. 13 wins, 11 of them by one score. Incredible finish after incredible finish. An NFC North title for the first time since 2017. Yes, there were some blowout losses mixed in that raised serious questions about their ceiling, but this Vikings team believed it could make a deep run in the postseason.
Instead, the defense no-showed once again and the offense couldn’t quite make it up for it in a disappointing 31-24 loss to the Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday. And just like that, it’s over — and on comes an offseason that could contain significant change.
For the final time this season, let’s take a look at the power rankings to see what NFL.com thought of the Vikings’ loss and their season as a whole.
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: No. 10
In the end, the Vikings were who so many of their critics thought they were: a good but far-from-great team, the reality of their place in the landscape masked by a 13-4 record and unprecedented success in one-score contests (11-0 in the regular season). On Sunday, the Giants exposed how vulnerable the Vikings truly were, going up and down the field on the Minnesota defense before making the decisive fourth-quarter stop (throw past the sticks, Kirk!) to clinch a 31-24 win for the visitors. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings’ offense wilted in the fourth quarter, but actual improvement in Minnesota goes back to fixing a defense that simply wasn’t good enough. Expect that to be the focus of free agency and the draft.
Hard to argue with that assessment.
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