8 Stimulating Facts about Vikings 2023 Schedule

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings schedule dropped Thursday night, and here’s a peek:

  • Week 1: Buccaneers (9/10)
  • Week 2: at Eagles (9/14, TNF)
  • Week 3: Chargers (9/24)
  • Week 4: at Panthers (10/1)
  • Week 5: Chiefs (10/8)
  • Week 6: at Bears (10/15)
  • Week 7: 49ers (10/23, MNF)
  • Week 8: at Packers (10/29)
  • Week 9: at Falcons (11/5)
  • Week 10: Saints (11/12)
  • Week 11: at Broncos (11/19, SNF)
  • Week 12: Bears (11/27, MNF)
  • Week 13: BYE
  • Week 14: at Raiders (12/10)
  • Week 15: at Bengals (TBD)
  • Week 16: Lions (12/24)
  • Week 17: Packers (12/31, SNF)
  • Week 18: at Lions (1/7)
    Home Games in Red

Kevin O’Connell’s Vikings hope to improve on defense, sustain on offense, and maintain their ‘situational masters’ mantra from 2022.

8 Stimulating Facts about Vikings 2023 Schedule

Along the way, these are eight facts to know about the Vikings 2023 schedule.

1. 2nd-Most Primetime Games in Franchise History

Minnesota Vikings fans celebrate their win. The New York Giants lose to the Minnesota Vikings, 28-10, in NFL Week 5 on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com, North Jersey Record via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Only the 2010 Vikings had more football games under the lights of primetime. Of course, that campaign finished with a whimper, but maybe this time can be different. Minnesota fired up five primetime showdowns in Kirk Cousins’ first season with the club, meandering to a 1-4 record in those games in 2018.

This time, the Vikings will play the Eagles, 49ers, Broncos, Bears, and Packers at night.

2. Vikings-Lions to End Season Could Finally Mean Something

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports.

Four times since the 1999 season, the Vikings and Lions have played to finish a regular season — and none of the games meant a damn thing. Both teams were horrible or mediocre during those end-of-season matchups.

In 2023 (or 2024 on the calendar), perhaps Vikings-Lions to close out the regular season will mean something? It should; the two franchises are forecasted to finish No. 1 and 2 at the top of the NFC North, with oddsmakers giving the edge to Detroit.

3. The Bears Haven’t Played at Minnesota on Monday Night Football since 2010

set for Vikings at Bears
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

If you turn on your television expecting to watch Vikings-Bears on Monday Night Football, the game is usually at Soldier Field.

That changes in 2023, as the Vikings, alas, host the Bears on MNF for the first time in 13 years.

4. Minnesota Has Never Played the Eagles in Primetime in Back-To-Back Seasons

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

Yes, this new stat begins as the Eagles are at the peak of their powers per roster construction. Philadelphia belittled Minnesota last season at the same stadium, but O’Connell and the gang get a crack at vengeance this year in Week 2.

5. The 49ers Will Play a Primetime Game in Minnesota for the First Time in 29 Years

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports.

The last time the Vikings and 49ers met in primetime at the Vikings house was 1994, and the game showcased Sean Salisbury versus Steve Young at quarterback. That later turned into Salisbury against Elvis Grbac, and Minnesota won 21-14. San Francisco won the Super Bowl a month later.

6. The Vikings Haven’t Played the Broncos in Primetime since 1991.

8 Stimulating Facts
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

Indeed, the Vikings and Broncos meet every four years, but it’s virtually never in primetime. On November 19th, Minnesota treks to Denver for a date with Sean Payton under the lights. If you’re curious, the last time the Vikings hosted the Broncos for a primetime game was in 1981.

7. No Cold Weather Games

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Unless you believe Cincinnati will be cold-cold on December 16th or 17th, the Vikings have no cold-weather games. Schedule makers ensured Minnesota would play at Chicago and Green Bay before the doldrums of winter. In the grand scheme of Vikings football, no cold-weather contests is rather strange.

8. The Vikings Haven’t Won Back-To-Back NFC North Titles since 2009

current vikings drawing
Brett Favre. © Dan Powers via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

And in summary, the Vikings seek to win consecutive NFC North crowns for the first time in 14 years. It’s been a while. The Packers have put a stranglehold on the division, with the Vikings and Bears popping up as formidable clubs via one-hit-wonder.

But now Aaron Rodgers plays in the AFC, so the time is now for the Vikings to take over the division.

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 Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.