AnalysisGeneral NewsNFL Draft 2012OpinionSpeculation

2013’s Opponents Are Known

It feels wrong to already cast a gaze towards next season with a playoff game only four days away, but I wanted to point out that next year’s opponents are known.

Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers

Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals

There are a few things that jump out to me about this schedule.  First, it should be noted that the “home” game against the Steelers will indeed be played in London.  Obviously, that means home field advantage will not be at its normal heights and, in fact, the international stardom that the Steelers possess could mean the crowd is affecting the game in their favor.

Second, I can’t help but notice the plethora of mobile quarterbacks that will (most likely) face the Vikings.  Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers will of course be on the schedule twice.  Outside of them is RGIII, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, and Russell Wilson.  I’m not including Michael Vick because he is likely to be out in Philadelphia and I have no idea where he’ll end up.

Mobile quarterbacks have been an issue for the 2012 Vikings.  They lost games to Rodgers, Cutler, Andrew Luck, RGIII, Josh Freeman, and Wilson.  For the mathematicians in the group, all six of the Vikings losses were delivered by these shifty signal callers.

Of course, more recently, the Vikings have found success against Cutler and Rodgers at home, but otherwise their victories came against quarterbacks that aren’t really considered major flight risks.

The 2013 schedule pits us against running quarterbacks in nine matchups and I suspect this will need to be a point of emphasis this offseason, both in coaching current players and deciding which ones to add.

I suspect that Antoine Winfield, if he decides to continue playing, will be paid his $3 million salary without question from the Vikings.  They will also need to bolster the middle of their defense with smart and athletic players that can play instinctively against these quarterbacks, and have the range to shut down their attempts.

I already thought that defensive tackle, linebacker, and strong safety were needs this upcoming offseason.  After seeing this schedule, I am even more sure that upgrades will be needed.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. Middle Linebacker is definitely a priority!
    Strong safety is also a glaring need
    If Phil Loadholt asked for big money, Right tackle might be another priority too.
    A stud D-tackle in draft would solidify that middle of the interior line.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Craig, and welcome to VT!

      I agree pretty much on all fronts. The Vikings have bounced between Brinkley and Henderson on passing downs all season long and have been unable to find a true solution with either of them. Middle Linebacker has been a strong point when it comes to our run defense, but our passing defense has taken a hit because of that position. I like Brinkley, but finding a guy that can play the pass better will only help us against big tight ends and allow Williams to mix in some more looks and blitz packages.

    2. Welcome Craig!

      A good list of glaring needs, no doubt, but no mention of wide receiver help?

      1. That would seem like it should be of most importance. As it seems we might have found our QBOF. Right?

  2. I still dont get this London crap? Who’s the idiot that schedules that in the first place? Who picks the teams and who the home team is? This is just plain dumb in so many ways.

    1. All about the money, Johnny. Plus, when the decision was made the Vikings still didn’t have a lease for 2013 to play at the Dome and, unless I am missing something, still don’t. The Wilf’s are “the idiots” that volunteered to make the trip.

      1. Adam, I still dont understand the money part of the London deal? Did the Wilfs use this as payback for not getting the stadium deal they wanted? I dont see how the Wilfs could make more money volunteering to pay for the team to fly to London?

        1. Play one game in the same market as you always do or play somewhere you have never before played in a stadium with way more seats than the dome? All the ticket sales. All these Brits that don’t already own a 28 jersey. It is a huge moneymaker for a team that will need the revenue bump between now and the grand opening of the new stadium. A lot will be lost playing at TCF.

      2. yeah, they want more money. they go to canada, too, don’t they? nfl europe failed, they prefer soccer. they prolly see basketball grow and think they can do the same, but i don’t think it’s working

        1. Hopefully I will be able to show up, that takes the entire home field adv. away from the steelers right there!

  3. Agree Johnny, screws us out of a home game. Adam is right, Home field will be for the Steelers.
    That road schedule looks tough. Agree on MLB being a need. Brinkley is decent vs the run, but…
    Any good prospects in the draft?

    1. I’m trying not to get too far into my draft stuff yet, CC, since we are still alive and all… BUT… Alec Ogletree (Georgia), Kevin Reddick (NC) and Kevin Minter (LSU) among others. We’ll see who declares but I’ll be sure to weigh in on some of these guys when the time comes.

      1. No love for Shayne Skov? He’s probably my favorite mlb up there with T’eo. I like T’eo but he will go too high and there are questions about his speed in the nfl(im hearing 4.7-4.8 40 time). Skov is athletic and has great instincts, he excels in the pass and outside run(perfect fit in my opinion).

        1. Sorry i should clarify, Skov is best as a spy or blitzing on passing downs. He’s average in coverage but could help vs scrambling was my thinking.

  4. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, draftniks…AFTER the postseason, we start thinking about next year…BEFORE we start talking draft, we need a comprehensive list of FA possiblities.

    Adam, I trust this is on your radar? Being as I’m way too lazy to go get this information myself, I’m counting on you!

    1. Free agency? Here’s your preview: Spielman signs 8 fullbacks and 6 tight ends.

      Just kidding. Of course that’ll be coming as soon as the door closes on this season.

      1. I don’t think your too far off there Adam, who will be the big name we get? Craig Dahl? Speilman doesn’t seem to like free agents but if he keeps drafting like last season we won’t need any.

    2. And don’t worry tomb, i haven’t thrown in the towel on the season. The draft is my favorite event, I have been looking at this years draft since August.

  5. Winfield hit escalators in his contract, so I believe they’re looking at $7 million, not $3 if he chooses to come back.

    1. Good call, Dan:

      According to ESPN 1500 Twin Cities, Vikings CB Antoine Winfield will keep his scheduled base salary for 2013 at $7.25 million if he plays 80 percent of the defensive snaps this season.To this point, Winfield has played 96.2 percent of the snaps in an All-Pro caliber season. He could also earn 2012 incentives of up to $3 million by playing 75 percent of the snaps. The 14-year veteran has earned every penny and has reportedly told confidants that he wants to play 15 years in the NFL. Fri, Nov 30, 2012

      1. That’s too bad, i love ‘toine and would like to keep him 15 years but not at 7+ million. At 3 million, Truck Yeah.

        1. That is the article I had read that in. I don’t think it’s a kiss of death though, I could see him agreeing to restructure and meet somewhere in the middle at $5 million…or maybe they’ll just pay him. They paid K-Williams this year because they knew they didn’t have any better options.

  6. I don’t know if anybody has said this on here already. So I apologize ahead of time. This year has shown that the NFL can change in a hurry. The 3 lowest teams, record wise, last year, made the playoff this year. Colts, Redskins, and Vikings. Pretty amazing.

    1. Very good point, WTF. Makes a good case for the value of high draft picks, as all three teams are certainly benefactors of their high picks in all the rounds. This is also why strength of schedule can be so misleading. While some might say that is partly the reason they are in, I offer the fact that the Vikings this year had more 2012 playoff teams on their schedule (7) than they had 2011 playoff teams (5).

    2. Point of contention:

      Redskins weren’t “record wise” in the bottom 3; they traded their future to get into the bottom (or top, if you’re talking draft) 3 to get RG3.

      1. Tomb is challenging the ruling on the field that Washington had the 3rd worst record in the NFL last year. After further review, the ruling on the field is reversed. The Redskins finished tied with Jacksonville for the 6th worst record in 2011 at 5-11, behind Cleveland, Indy, the Vikes, Tampa Bay and the Rams. Of course, in WTF’s defense, do records between 2-14 and 5-11 really amount to anything other than crap? Your point remains well taken, WTF, yet we all sleep better knowing that Tomb stands on that wall, allowing no inaccuracies here on his watch.