With the end of the regular season now past us we can now know for certain the Minnesota Vikings slate of opponents in 2016. We also know who they will play in their shiny new home and where they will be traveling to play their away games.
Luckily for us, this news is secondary to the impending playoff game at TCF Bank Stadium, but the schedule is always worth monitoring.
There are the obvious games against our NFC North rivals that take place every year, and here is the remaining 2016 lineup:
HOME GAMES: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Arizona Cardinals
AWAY GAMES: Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, and Carolina Panthers
Six games will be played against teams appearing in the 2015 playoffs, but I also see a number of teams on this list that under-performed this year and could rebound nicely in 2016 if health and/or organizational issues work themselves out. It is way too early to glean much insight, at this point, but I do not see this as a cakewalk list of assignments like the current standings might suggest.
Of course the order in which these opponents are played will impact things greatly, but it does seem like potential for cold weather games in 2016 will be limited to Green Bay, Chicago, Philadelphia, and outside chances from a couple other away games.
The home opener at the freshly built U.S. Bank Stadium will likely be a marquee matchup featuring a popular team such as Green Bay or Dallas.
For now, however, I’m thrilled we get to play one more game at TCF Bank Stadium and that fact alone should bring considerable optimism to the 2016 season for Minnesota fans.