The 3 Easiest Games Remaining on Vikings Schedule

Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) catches a pass against the Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings began the 2023 campaign with three consecutive losses, Kevin O’Connell’s second season in charge.

But the club won last weekend, providing a glimmer of hope that this season can turn around.

The 3 Easiest Games Remaining on Vikings Schedule

A turnaround, generally speaking, is unlikely to encounter luck this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs, but soon thereafter, the schedule lightens up.

These are the Vikings three easiest remaining games, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = easiest).

3. at Raiders (Dec. 10)

The 3 Easiest Games
Nov 13, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

The Raiders aren’t silly-bad or anything of the sort, but their team DVOA through four weeks ranks 30th, also known as third-worst in the business. Only the Chicago Bears (No. 31) and New York Giants (No. 32) are worse squads, according to DVOA.

Moreover, Jimmy Garoppolo always gets hurt, and by the time Minnesota travels to Sin City, rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell could be in charge.

Las Vegas still has talent on the roster — Davante Adams and Maxx Crosby can attest — but in terms of Vikings remaining opponents, the Raiders game will be a must-win.

2. at Falcons (Nov. 5)

Sep 24, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) hands the ball off to running back Bijan Robinson (7) during pre-game warmups before their game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Falcons are goofy. They used premium draft capital on Kyle Pitts and Drake London in the last few drafts and then just don’t use them like a normal NFL offense.

Meanwhile, Desmond Ridder isn’t maturing too quickly, ranking 33rd per QB DVOA of 36 qualifying passers. Ridder may not be awful, but a) He isn’t a quarterback to fear heading into a Sunday b) He doesn’t throw to his top pass-catching playmakers in Pitts and London as most quarterbacks would.

What’s more, the Falcons defense ranks 23rd per DVOA heading into Week 5. Put simply, Atlanta is not a playoff-bound football team, and the Vikings play several playoff-bound clubs in 2023.

Barring injury, Minnesota’s trip to Atlanta should feel like relief, at least per schedule strength.

1. vs. Bears (Nov. 27)

Viking Joins Bill
Nov 20, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) reacts with offensive tackle Riley Reiff (71) after running for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

We’re not dumb enough to put the Vikings at Soldier Field on this list, as that game always gets zany, no matter either team’s record. Make no mistake, Minnesota must win that game, too, in eight days, but traveling to Soldier Field is usually some form of a nightmare for the purple team.

At their own house, though, the Vikings should take care of business after Thanksgiving. It’s a genuine mystery right now if the Vikings will be a playoff contender by that time — maybe, maybe not — but if they are, Chicago absolutely must be beaten at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Bears looked quite good on Thursday Night Football in Week 5, but Washington also played buffoonishly.

Minnesota doesn’t have many gimmes on the schedule, but this is the closest thing to one, chiefly because it’s in Minneapolis.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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