EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings will host the Buccaneers at noon (CT) Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium to open the 2023 regular season.
Here are all the ways to catch the action, followed by three things the Vikings.com editorial staff will be watching for during the game.
CBS (WCCO in the Twin Cities)
Kickoff: Noon (CT)
Play-by-Play: Andrew Catalon
Analysts: Tiki Barber and Matt Ryan
Sideline: AJ Ross
Fans who live in the blue areas shown on the map from 506sports.com will be able to watch the game on their iOS mobile devices with the Vikings app or Vikings mobile site (Safari browser only). The Yahoo! Sports app for smartphones and tablets offers another method for viewing live local and prime-time NFL games.
KFAN (100.3-FM), KTLK 1130-AM and the five-state Vikings Radio Network
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen
Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline reporter: Ben Leber
Note: The pregame radio show on the Vikings Radio Network will begin at 10 a.m. (CT).
Audio Streaming Option: Catch the audio broadcast on your smart devices through the KFAN channel on the iHeart app.
Catch the Vikings on Tico Sports at WREY "El Rey" 94.9 FM and 630 AM in the Twin Cities and on Tico-Sports.com, elrey949fm.com and Vikings.com.
Play-by-Play: Gabriel Rios
Analyst: Isaias Zendejas
Tampa Bay: SiriusXM 121 or 388/829 in the app
Minnesota: SiriusXM 108 or 230/820 in the app
Click here for the full bevy of options that include over-the-air, cable, satellite, over-the-top and streaming methods.
View photos of U.S. Bank Stadium transformed into Vikings Classic ahead of the 2023 season opener.
NFL+ AND NFL+ PREMIUM
Start your free trial of NFL+ today to watch Vikings preseason games live or on-demand.
NFL+ and NFL+ Premium provide all the action when you are on the go. It is available in the NFL app and at NFL.com/plus.
NFL+ is available for $6.99/month or $39.99/year and offers the following:
· Live out-of-market preseason games across devices
· Live local and prime-time regular-season and postseason games on your phone or tablet
· Live game audio (home, away & national calls) for every game of the season
· NFL Films' on-demand content, ad-free
NFL+ Premium is available for $14.99/month or $79.99/year and offers all the NFL+ features and the following:
· Full game replays across devices (ad-free)
· Condensed game replays across devices (ad-free)
· Coaches film (ad-free)
THREE THINGS WE'LL BE WATCHING
Young Vikings corners facing veteran receivers | By Ellis Williams
The last time I covered a game involving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, receiver Mike Evans caught 10 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns. He and Tom Brady (432 passing yards and four total touchdowns) torched an inexperienced Carolina Panthers secondary, winning 30-24.
Much, however, has changed for Evans and the Buccaneers offense. Brady retired, and the team made a change at offensive coordinator, hiring *Dave Canales *in place of Byron Leftwich.
New Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores said he's familiar with Canales. He anticipates the Buccaneers offense will have some tricks ready for the Vikings secondary.
"We got a great challenge this week. Part of the game planning is watching guys like Mike Evans make catch, after catch. … This guy is one of the best players at his position and will definitely be a major test for us," Flores said. "I have a lot of respect for [Canales]. He's been in this league a long time. He's earned this opportunity. And I think he's a very good coach."
It'll be on new Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield and Canales to crack Flores' attacking defense. Flores praised Evans, Mayfield and receiver Chris Godwin. Last season, Godwin caught nine balls for 95 yards in a loss versus the Steelers with Flores working for Pittsburgh as a senior defensive assistant.
The Vikings young cornerbacks group features newcomer Byron Murphy Jr., Akayleb Evans, Andrew Booth Jr., Mekhi Blackmon and NaJee Thompson. Evans, Booth, Blackmon and Thompson are either rookies or second-year players.
There are unknown elements for both teams, but it's a challenge Flores believes his group is ready for.
"I think early in the season, we're all trying to find our way. And that's for us defensively, and them," Flores said. "Offensively, I think they have an idea of what they want to be just like we have an idea of we want we want to be. But at the end of the day, it comes down to execution."
Looking for a stout OL | By Lindsey Young
I'm going to be watching the trenches against Tampa Bay.
The Vikings offensive line certainly has continuity, returning all five starters from the 2022 season. But that said, Ed Ingram was the only one of those five who took snaps in any of Minnesota's three preseason games. Christian Darrisaw, Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, Ingram and Brian O'Neill have been practicing together as of late, thanks to O'Neill's return to injury after an Achilles injury on Jan. 1, but they'll have a tough task ahead of them in Tampa's defensive line.
Buccaneers nose tackle Vita Vea is an absolute force up front, coming off a season with 6.5 sacks in 2022. And he's bookended by Logan Hall, who impressed last season as a rookie out of Houston, and 2023 first-round pick Calijah Kancey, a 22-year-old who shined at Pitt and earned 2022 ACC Defensive Football Player of the Year honors.
Minnesota's offensive line will work to protect Kirk Cousins against a Buccaneers team that tied for ninth in the NFL last season in pass defense.
"They just have fast players. They've got a great rush. It's a great scheme with [Head Coach Todd] Bowles," Cousins told media members Wednesday. "They were a playoff team and division champs last year for a reason, and they've just got a lot of great players in their defense. So, we expect them to really test us, and we've gotta be at our absolute best."
Opportunities on special teams | By Craig Peters
The Vikings returned their three specialists — long snapper Andrew DePaola, kicker Greg Joseph and punter Ryan Wright — from last season, but there are important opportunities awaiting among the group.
Second-year pro Ty Chandler is first in line to return kickoffs while Kene Nwangwu is on Injured Reserve.
Free-agent acquisition Brandon Powell is at the ready to return punts, and undrafted rookie NaJee Thompson is ready as a gunner on punt coverage.
Special Teams Coordinator Matt Daniels said Thursday that a first cousin at Georgia Southern helped him learn more about Thompson.
"I actually found this player his junior year," Daniels said. "When we were in draft meetings, I was speaking highly on him, and [they said], 'Hat, he's not even coming out this year.' I'm like, 'Shoot. Well, next year, we've got to have this guy.' "
Daniels said Thompson just needs to carry a quieted mind from doing well and preparing properly at practices and in preseason games into his NFL debut.
"He knew what he had to do to make this team, and he did it," Daniels said. "So, as you look to really fill that [Kris] Boyd role that left there, he's stepping into some shoes that's going to be big to fill, but I'm excited. He's excited. He comes up and meets with me and Coach D.G. (assistant special teams coach Dalmin Gibson) about what the practice plan is, what we're looking for from him and how intentional he has to be to get the job done, so I'm excited for that player."