4 Vikings Schedule Takeaways | 2024

Justin Jefferson Weighs in
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Between the draft and the start of training camp, not much is happening in the NFL landscape besides a few days of organized team activities. A welcome change is the release of the schedule for the upcoming season. The Vikings have a third-placed schedule, meaning they will face three division’s third-placed teams, and the entire NFC South and the AFC East, in addition to the three division foes.

4 Vikings Schedule Takeaways | 2024

4 Vikings Schedule Takeaways
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, after a 20-17 win over the Washington Commanders in Week 9 of the 2022 regular season.

Here’s the Vikings 2023 schedule. Road games are in red:

  • Week 1: at Giants
  • Week 2: 49ers
  • Week 3: Texans
  • Week 4: at Packers
  • Week 5: Jets (in London)
  • Week 6: BYE
  • Week 7: Lions
  • Week 8: at Rams
  • Week 9: Colts
  • Week 10: at Jaguars
  • Week 11: at Titans
  • Week 12: at Bears
  • Week 13: Cardinals
  • Week 14: Falcons
  • Week 15: Bears
  • Week 16: at Seahawks
  • Week 17: Packers
  • Week 18: at Lions

Must-Win Week 1

Starting the season on a high note is always important. Every year, 16 teams enter the second week with a 0-1 record; one loss doesn’t define a season. However, the Vikings could be in trouble if they can’t snatch the first content from the New York Giants. It is, at least on paper, the easiest opponent of the early stretch.

vikings schedule
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

The problem is that Minnesota will continue with games versus the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers; both are in contention for the Super Bowl, with the 49ers coming off an excellent season until Patrick Mahomes handed them a loss in the Super Bowl. Houston showed outstanding promise last year with young phenom passer C.J. Stroud and acquired former Vikings Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter, which even improved his supporting cast.

In Week 4, the Vikings face the Green Bay Packers, an up-and-coming team that will again be the league’s youngest group and could make another step after a surprisingly solid 2023 season. While the Vikings can obviously win one of those three games, losing all of them is also possible.

That tough stretch shouldn’t be encountered with a 0-1 record. The New York Giants must be beaten in Week 1, although facing them on the road doesn’t make life any easier.

Battles for the North

Like in the last three years, the two final games of the 2024 campaign are against two NFC North opponents: the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 and the Detroit Lions in the season finale.

Mullens Not
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Theoretically, the purple team could still be in the division race, which might come down to those matchups. They are the underdogs to reclaim the title, but everything is possible in the NFL. Detroit’s odds lead the pack, and their trip to the NFC Championship Game, where they barely lost to the 49ers, was impressive. In the offseason, addressing the subpar secondary was the priority, and GM Brad Holmes added some promising players to his roster. Chicago and Green Bay have young teams with some uncertainties but also plenty of talent.

Some Old Friends Return

Rarely have this many high-profile players made a return to Minnesota with their new organizations. In 2024, though, Kirk Cousins and his Atlanta Falcons make a return in Week 14, trying to beat his successors Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy.

Danielle Hunter
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Texans employ the aforementioned Diggs and Hunter, as well as 2017 star and fan favorite Case Keenum, who is Stroud’s backup. That crew will clash with the Vikes in Week 3. Last year’s two-week star Joshua Dobbs signed with Darnold’s former team, the 49ers, who will travel to the Twin Cities in Week 2.

Aaron Rodgers could’ve returned, but the game versus the New York Jets will take place in London.

Early Bye Week

Because of the London game in Week 5, the Vikings will have the following week off. That is notable for various reasons.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Rookie quarterbacks are often inserted into the starting lineup after the bye week because they can work twice as long on the game plan and have more time to prepare. That is not the rule, but many teams choose that route. McCarthy’s first start could come in Week 7 versus the Lions.

Tight end T.J. Hockenson might miss time early in the year. If that is the case and he is out for the first half of the season, he would play one extra game compared to a late bye week. It buys him some more time if his recovery is delayed.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt