Vikings Watch: 12 More Days

August 29th, 2023

The Vikings, the Bucs’ opening day opponent, probably set or tied an NFL record last season by being outscored yet finishing 13-4.

It’s a mindblowing stat.

Yes, it speaks to how the Vikings won 11 one-score games, a new NFL record.

And then Minnesota management looked at the roster and made sweeping changes. Makes you wonder.

Joe listened to Pete Bercich last week, the former Vikings linebacker (1994-2000) and assistant coach (2002-2005) who now works in the Minnesota media. He’s a great authority on all things Vikings.

He said what sums up the Vikings this offseason is “a lot of question marks.” Specifically, Bercich noted running back and cornerback as huge unknowns.

The Vikings are banking on fifth-year running back Alexander Mattison to replace team heartbeat and Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook. Interesting to Joe is Bercich unsure of whether Mattison has put enough on film to get a starting gig — yet Mattison’s 2021 numbers are nearly identical to those of Rachaad White last season for the Bucs.

Like 24-year-old White, Mattison, 25, was a third-round draft pick.

“How much better is that defense going to get?” is the question across Vikings country, Bercich said.

Minnesota was a miserable defense last season, so bad that the offense was taking chances to keep the defense off the field. The defensive coordinator was fired and Brian Flores was brought in to rebuild the unit.

One x-factor for the Vikings? He’s a foe familiar to the Bucs, free agent signee Marcus Davenport, the former Saints edge rusher.

The way Bercich talked about the shaky and young Vikings secondary, Joe sure hopes Baker Mayfield is ready to shake his rough record on opening days.

Join Ira Kaufman and Bucs fans on opening day at the Big Storm Brewing Co. taproom in Clearwater, on 49th St. just south of Ulmerton Road. It’s a 1 o’clock kickoff and Ira will be hanging out starting at 11:45 a.m. 

Beautiful covered patio with strong sightlines and audio. Indoors, too! Cocktails, Florida’s best craft beer and more. 

22 Responses to “Vikings Watch: 12 More Days”

  1. Hodad Says:

    He was familar with the Bucs, this is a completely different offense.

  2. SlyPirate Says:


    Bucs DL/OLB are going to feast!
    >Vikes gave up 47 sacks last year. No OL changes.
    >Vikes let Cook walk! No new RB.

    Baker, Evans, Godwin going to go off!
    >Vikes had the worst pass defense in the NFL
    >They’re going to put a rookie and tier 2 CB on Evans and Godwin

  3. All_da_way Says:

    Bucs just have to limit Jefferson and make sure to bottle up Mattison. At that point the Bucs offense just needs to be put up a 24 points and it is a win.

    Failure to do that and the Bucs are in danger of letting the Vikes hang around to win another close one.

  4. DS Says:

    It’s a stay away betting wise

  5. SlyPirate Says:

    DS Says:
    August 29th, 2023 at 7:24 pm
    It’s a stay away betting wise


    I’m betting the Bucs at 6.5

  6. BucU Says:

    Lots of injuries right now. 12 days to go. Any chance we go those 12 without seeing another injury?

  7. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Our OC has been waiting for his chance to be a play caller for years. He is going to throw everything at minn defense (Otton benn’d around) he can think of. No one has any tape on him yet. By 4:25 on Sep 10 everyone will know who D.C. is.

  8. Lowest Common Denominator Says:

    Dalvin Cook was not the Vikings heartbeat. That would be Justin Jefferson.

  9. ScottyMack Says:

    The first two games, including the Vikings, are about as easy as it gets for the Bucs this season. I expect the Vikings to finish 3rd or 4th in their division – they are going to be pretty bad. The Bucs couldn’t ask for a much easier opponent to start their season against.

  10. Jp3 Says:

    I agree with what Dewey said. Bucs will be balanced. and unpredictable.

  11. Jp3 Says:

    I thought Kyle Trask won the job. No, I’m not a gators fan a lifelong Seminole fan if Baker starts to resemble our last Heisman Trophy, winning quarterback pull the plug and Kyle will show why he should have gotten the job to begin with

  12. J Says:

    @Joe…Sean Tucker named RB2 just now.

  13. Buccos Says:

    This is a must win game. I know that sounds crazy but think about it. If we can’t beat Minnesota then who can we beat. And going 1-0 is so much better than 0-1 for Bowles, Mayfield and our entire community. Go Bucs!!

  14. adam from ny Says:

    vikes were the worst 13-4 team ever…

    they were more of a 10-7 type team that kinda got lucky…

    so let’s spank them !

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I expect to lose this game.

    Bucs defense almost always starts a season slow…probably because of the limitations in training camp.

    I do think Baker Mayfield can develop a little chemistry with evans and godwin, but that offensive line…he’s going to be under pressure a lot, and he makes mistakes when that happens.

    The only thing I am 100% sure of? The first offensive play will be an attempted run up the gut.

  16. Jeffrey Becker Says:

    Is there some way we can roster/afford center Ben Jones? The Titans re-signed him to a two-year, $14 million contract last offseason and he was set to earn a base salary of $5 million but was released this off-season. He started all 12 of the games he entered in 2022. I don’t know much about him, but he’s highly ranked on all the free agent lists, on one he’s even third behind Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry, and Playoff Lenny. In 2022, Jones appeared in 12 games for the Titans, starting all of them at center.

  17. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Bucs win.

  18. Beeej Says:

    CD III made Jamarr Chase inVISIible last year, no reason he can do that to Jefferson

  19. Divis Says:

    Johnny Wilson to the Bucs.

  20. Jp3 Says:

    Oops NOLES

  21. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    This is good. Keep the Vikings news coming. It will be good to be familiar with our opponent.

  22. JimBobBuc Says:

    I’m with Jack, any info about the Vikings weaknesses?