The 3 Nastiest Parts of the Vikings’ 2024 Schedule

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The NFL released the 2024 schedule on Wednesday night, and although the Minnesota Vikings have a third-place slate of opponents, the itinerary isn’t easy.

The 3 Nastiest Parts of the Vikings’ 2024 Schedule

The club technically has nine home games, as allotted to all NFC teams this season, but one is in London. Minnesota also has a rugged first half of the season, at least according to how opponents’ rosters are constructed in May.

Double Digits
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Here’s the full schedule:

  • Week 1 — at New York Giants
  • Week 2 — vs. San Francisco 49ers
  • Week 3 — vs. Houston Texans
  • Week 4 — at Green Bay Packers
  • Week 5 — vs. New York Jets (London)
  • Week 6 — Bye
  • Week 7 — vs. Detroit Lions
  • Week 8 — at Los Angeles Rams (TNF)
  • Week 9 — vs. Indianapolis Colts
  • Week 10 — at Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Week 11 — at Tennessee Titans
  • Week 12 — at Chicago Bears
  • Week 13 — vs. Arizona Cardinals
  • Week 14 — vs. Atlanta Falcons
  • Week 15 — vs. Chicago Bears (MNF)
  • Week 16 — at Seattle Seahawks
  • Week 17 — vs. Green Bay Packers
  • Week 18 — at Detroit Lions

And these are the three nastiest aspects, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = worst part of the schedule).

3. Back-to-Back-to-Back Road Games

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson talks to quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) during the third quarter of a regular season NFL football matchup Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-7. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

Right around the time when Minnesota gets over the hump of a murderous first half of the season, this happens:

  • Week 10 — at Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Week 11 — at Tennessee Titans
  • Week 12 — at Chicago Bears

Those opponents aren’t daunting in a vacuum, but for any NFL team, back-to-back-to-back road games isn’t a cakewalk. And for cake icing, the Vikings may pivot to rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy by then, and three consecutive road trysts will be trial by fire.

Minnesota hasn’t encountered three road games in a row since 2017, when it went 2-1 during the stint.

2. Primetime against the Bears — Again

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Nobody — including Vikings and Bears fans — is too enthused whenever the Vikings play the Bears in primetime. The showdown is typically a slopfest, and records can be thrown out the window. This seemingly annual affair shakes down at Soldier Field, but 2024 is different, and Chicago + Minnesota will do battle at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Indeed, there are 63 years of Vikings-Bears tradition, but the NFL should consider scrapping the mandatory nature of MIN-CHI under the lights of primetime. If both team’s fanbases don’t care about the meeting, why force the general public to suffer?

This Monday Night Football game could also be flexed out of the rotation if both teams are going nowhere by Week 15.

1. Murderer’s Row: Weeks 2-8

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It would be difficult to script a trickier gauntlet than this with a pen and pad of paper:

  • Week 2 — vs. San Francisco 49ers
  • Week 3 — vs. Houston Texans
  • Week 4 — at Green Bay Packers
  • Week 5 — vs. New York Jets (London)
  • Week 6 — Bye
  • Week 7 — vs. Detroit Lions
  • Week 8 — at Los Angeles Rams (TNF)

There’s evidently some solace in playing the 49ers, Texans, and Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium, but if the Vikings get through Week 8 with a 3-4 record, fans might actually celebrate.

No matter the quarterback — Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy — this start of the schedule is unsavory. Even if Kirk Cousins was still the quarterback, folks would cringe at these six games.


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).

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

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