The Minnesota Vikings fell one game short of the ultimate goal in 2017. After a successful regular season that included a 13-3 record and a division title, the Vikings were unable to become the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. A miraculous postseason win was overshadowed by a blowout loss in the NFC Championship Game. Despite a deep playoff run, the season ended on a sour note.
In an effort to “put the team over the top,” as the cliché goes, the Vikings acquired two of the best free agents on the open market, quarterback Kirk Cousins and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. By capping off a strong 2017 season with what was perhaps an even more impressive offseason, expectations in Minnesota have now reached an all-time high. Will 2018 be the year?
Back in March, an Eagles reporter goofed and told everyone that the Vikings would face the Super Bowl 52 Champion Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL’s season opener on September 6th. That report turned out to be false. Instead, the Vikings will travel to Philly to play the Eagles in Week 5.
The official schedule for the upcoming season was released Thursday night. For the Vikings, the road to Atlanta (home of Super Bowl 53) starts Sunday, September 9th at U.S. Bank Stadium. The home opener is against Jerick McKinnon, Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers.
Although Minnesota finished first in the division last season, the Vikings are tied with the Bears as having the “easiest” slate of games for teams in the NFC North. In terms of opponent winning percentage in 2017, the Packers have the toughest schedule of any NFL team, then it’s the Lions (tied for second) followed by the Vikings and Bears (tied for eighth).
The Vikings will be featured in four primetime games this season in contrast to last season when they were featured in three. Below is a look at the official schedule (with primetime games in bold), via the team’s website. All times are in the central time zone.
Week 1 | Sunday, September 9 | vs. San Francisco 49ers | NOON, FOX
Week 2 | Sunday, Sept. 16 | at Green Bay Packers | NOON, FOX
Week 3 | Sunday, Sept. 23 | vs. Buffalo Bills | NOON, CBS
Week 4 | Thursday, Sept. 27 | at Los Angeles Rams | 7:20 PM FOX, NFLN
Week 5 | Sunday, Oct. 7 | at Philadelphia Eagles | 3:25 PM, FOX
Week 6 | Sunday, Oct. 14 | vs. Arizona Cardinals | NOON, FOX
Week 7 | Sunday, Oct. 21 | at New York Jets | NOON, FOX
Week 8 | Sunday, Oct. 28 | vs. New Orleans Saints | 7:20 PM, NBC
Week 9 | Sunday, November 4 | vs. Detroit Lions | NOON, FOX
Week 10 | BYE
Week 11 | Sunday, Nov. 18 | at Chicago Bears | NOON, FOX
Week 12 | Sunday, Nov. 25 | vs. Green Bay Packers | 7:20 PM, NBC
Week 13 | Sunday, Dec. 2 | at New England Patriots | 3:25 PM, FOX
Week 14 | Monday, Dec. 10 | at Seattle Seahawks | 7:15 PM, ESPN
Week 15 | Sunday, Dec. 16 | vs. Miami Dolphins | NOON, CBS
Week 16 | Saturday, Dec. 23 | at Detroit Lions | NOON, FOX
Week 17 | Sunday, Dec. 30 | vs. Chicago Bears | 12:00 PM, FOX
- This is the third time in the last ten years Vikings have opened the season at home (2012, 2017, 2018)
- Minnesota will close out the season against the Bears for the third consecutive year
- The Vikings are NOT playing on Thanksgiving for a third consecutive year
- Minnesota’s first game against division rival Green Bay is Week 2 at Lambeau Field
- Week 1 marks the reunion for former Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon, now with the 49ers
- Week 2 against the Packers will mark the first start for Aaron Rodgers against the Vikings since he was injured by Anthony Barr in Week 6 of last season
- The Vikings will get a look at Cordarrelle Patterson in the Week 13 showdown against the Patriots
The schedule is finally out! Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Also, cast your vote in the poll below. How many wins do you see on the Vikings’ 2018 schedule?