The Most Challenging Game on Vikings 2022 Schedule

The Most Challenging Game on Vikings 2022 Schedule
Jan 15, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; A Buffalo Bills fan. © Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

While the Minnesota Vikings play the Green Bay Packers twice, plus the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots at home — all tricky opponents — the team’s most challenging game is on the road versus an AFC team.

That’s Week 10 at the Buffalo Bills.

Jan 15, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo has knocked on the door of a Super Bowl two years in a row, but each time, it was rudely tossed aside by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, because of Josh Allen’s development and the feeling of being “this close,” the Bills are favored by oddsmakers to reach and win the Super Bowl.

The 2022 Bills are a team that, even if the Vikings had a crazy record like 8-0 heading to Buffalo, the matchup is still deadly. It won’t be cold-cold in Buffalo on November 13. But in the last two seasons, the Bills are the NFL’s third-best home team, showcasing a 13-4 (.765) record since the start of 2020. Only the Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers have performed better at home.

In the same timeframe, the Vikings are 7-10 (.412) on the road — the 22nd-best mark leaguewide. In short, the Bills are a fabulous home team, whereas the Vikings are a bottom-12 road team, at least as of late.

Longtime Vikings players may have vengeance on the brain. Back in 2018, a season when the Bills were not forecasted to do much of anything, Buffalo waltzed into U.S. Bank Stadium and disemboweled the Vikings during a Week 3 game. Minnesota was still riding on an NFC Championship reputation, Josh Allen was a wait-and-see rookie, and the Bills blasted the Vikings in Minneapolis, 27-6. Allen also pulled off his infamous hurdle during the showdown.

Sep 23, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

One final storyline — Dalvin Cook’s brother, James, now plays for the Bills, a 2nd-Round draft pick from Georgia. Buffalo has experienced ho-hum running back production for a few years, relying on Allen to do the bulk of the damage on the ground, especially at critical junctures of games.

The Vikings and Bills roster could look totally different by mid-November as injuries typically put a dent in depth charts. For now, however, no matter how good the Vikings look in the first half of the 2022 season, traveling to Buffalo for a date with Allen and Diggs represented the trickiest game on the schedule.

On the other hand, if the Vikings can down the Bills in New York, it will be time to get formally excited as a fan.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).