Image courtesy of Fox 9
The Vikings are coming off a tough 43-34 loss to their biggest rivals, the Green Bay Packers at home.
The way their defense played even without Danielle Hunter was a huge surprise.
Should these next three games be considered must wins for the Vikings?
Maybe not quite must win, but definitely very close.
It is only week two of the season, but each game is critical and you especially never want to start 0-2. The 2008 team lost in week two to the Indianapolis Colts to fall 0-2 and later were 1-3. Yes, they did finish the season 10-6 and won the division, but you never want to start a season slow, especially when your schedule gets tougher later too.
The Vikings travel on the road to play the Colts this week, return home to face the Tennessee Titans and then head to Houston to face the Texans. In week five they travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks, which could very well end up being the toughest game on the schedule this season.
These next three games are very winnable, but the Texans game currently looks like the toughest matchup and could perhaps be a loss. Any given week though.
The Vikings also have road games at Green Bay and Chicago as always. The Packers are still a very good team as we saw last week and the Bears no matter what are always very difficult for the Vikings to beat at Soldier Field. They also will travel to play the Saints and Buccaneers. Beating the Detroit Lions on the road may be tougher this year than the previous two years.
The Vikings are usually fairly good at home, but the game against the Dallas Cowboys will not be an easy matchup.
If the Vikings want to compete for a playoff spot again (they certainly have the talent to do so) and have a shot at the division, they need to respond well these next three games.
Starting the season 3-2 won’t be bad. Starting 2-3 could possibly hurt them going forward and may be a tough hole to climb out of. Being 1-4 would especially be very tough.
Mike Zimmer’s team has a good shot of finishing the regular season at 10-6 or perhaps 11-5. These next three games could very help determine whether they can achieve either record.
Part of what makes league so exciting though is how unpredictable it is. How many thought the Vikings would upset the Saints last year in the playoffs? You just never know.