After having roughly 30 seconds to digest the Vikings regular season schedule, I wanted to pass along some of my initial thoughts. Be sure to chime in yourself in the comments section!
Don’t Sleep In!: Not too surprisingly, the 2012 schedule makers didn’t see the Vikings as an attractive option for prime time matchups. In fact, the only nighttime game scheduled is the week 8 game against Tampa. That will be on the NFLN’s Thursday Night Football. 13 of their games are scheduled to be played in the early time slots.
Hopes Up: Jacksonville and Indianapolis aren’t exactly the world’s most dangerous football teams. Even with the additions of high draft picks, such as Andrew Luck, the Vikings might be able to get our hopes up by starting the season 2-0 against a soft beginning to the schedule.
Resting Late: The Vikings have a week 11 bye week. I personally like the late byes, as that is when most rosters could really use the opportunity to rest and heal.
In The Hunt Until Late: Things would have to go very poorly for the Vikings in the first half of the season in order for us to feel fully eliminated from the playoffs heading into week 10. Of the last seven games of the season, five of those will be played against divisional opponents. Beating our NFC North foes is the best way to climb into playoff contention, so hope is likely to cling for quite some time this season.
Bring Your Boot Warmers: In the winter months of November and December the Vikings will be playing outdoor football at Seattle, Chicago, and Green Bay. This equates to a pretty darn good chance that they will need to prepare themselves for some cold old fashioned snow bowls.
Last Ever?: The Vikings are not expected to be playoff contenders. They also aren’t expected, at this point, to have a stadium deal in place in 2012. That could (could) mean that the December 30th game would be the last Vikings game ever to be played in Minnesota. Who do we play? The Packers. How nice.