Vikings 2023 Schedule Shaping up as Murderous

First-place teams place first-place schedules in the year after a first-place finish. That sounds like a Maddenism, but it is the truth.

The 2022 Minnesota Vikings are mere days, perhaps weeks, from winning the NFC North for the first time since 2017, so next year’s schedule will be a bit murderous.

Most of the 2023 schedule was known months, if not years, ago. NFL scheduling is a round-robin affair, leaving mystery about a handful of games until the regular season plays out. Well, 13 weeks of the 2022 schedule is in the rearview, and the Vikings have a reasonable indicator of the identity of the “mystery opponents.”

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Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Because of Minnesota’s probable first-place finish inside the NFC North, the franchise is likely to travel to Philadelphia in 2022, plus a road game against the Baltimore Ravens or Cincinnati Bengals — and a home game versus the San Francisco 49ers. Those teams are trending toward first-place finishes in their respective divisions, and the NFL will consequently line them on the Vikings calendar.

Ergo, here is the Vikings 2023 home schedule, in all likelihood:

  • vs. Kansas City Chiefs
  • vs. Los Angeles Chargers
  • vs. San Francisco 49ers
  • vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • vs. New Orleans Saints
  • vs. Green Bay Packers
  • vs. Detroit Lions
  • vs. Chicago Bears

And the probable away schedule:

  • at Philadelphia Eagles
  • at Baltimore Ravens – or – Cincinnati Bengals
  • at Denver Broncos
  • at Las Vegas Raiders
  • at Atlanta Falcons
  • at Carolina Panthers
  • at Green Bay Packers
  • at Detroit Lions
  • at Chicago Bears
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Of note: the order of the schedules will not be announced until next spring. Furthermore, if the Eagles collapse and lose the NFC East lead to the Dallas Cowboys, the Vikings would travel to Dallas. And the Ravens-Bengals cliffhanger will play out in the next five weeks. The Vikings will travel next year to whichever team wins the division.

Much can change roster-wise between now and next September, but the Vikings are on tap for a significantly more difficult schedule in 2023 and 2022.

That’s the cost of doing business for a 10-2 record through December 5th.

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 Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).