Vikings’ Strength of Schedule a Mixed Bag

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The only consensus gathered from the Minnesota Vikings’ 2024 schedule, which is just a list of opponents without times and dates for now, is that it won’t be easy.

Vikings’ Strength of Schedule a Mixed Bag

The NFL will release the full 2024 schedule next Wednesday, May 15th, though all team-versus-team matchups are already determined. Next week will be about the when.

strength of schedule
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Minnesota finished 7-10 last year, also known as third place in the NFC North. That would usually translate to a favorable schedule, but the Vikings needed to finish in last place — the Chicago Bears did that — to receive that distinction. A third-place schedule in 2024 won’t be a cakewalk.

According to CBS Sports, which adjudicates strength of schedule based solely on teams’ 2023 wins and losses, the purple team has the 16th-easiest schedule. And yes, that’s right in the middle. Teams Minnesota will face this season tabulated a 145-144 (.502) collective record in 2023.

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But that metric — simply using the previous year’s win percentage — isn’t very nuanced. Plenty of teams change during an offseason, so a metric like Sharp Football Analysis might be a better tool. That outfit uses oddsmakers’ win-total projections for each team instead of 2023 wins and losses. Per Sharp, the Vikings have the league’s fifth-toughest schedule, ranked 28th on the list of difficulty. Kirk Cousins’ new team, the Atlanta Falcons, has the easiest lay of the land, according to Sharp.

NFL Elo defines its SoS parameter like this: “One of the most common ways to measure strength of schedule is to look at a team’s upcoming schedule and measure the combined winning percentage of their opponents from the previous season [..] It ignores the fact that teams change in quality from one season to the next. For instance, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 7-9 in 2019, but then acquired Tom Brady from the New England Patriots in the off-season and went 11-5 before ultimately beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. If you only considered the prior year’s standings, you’d underestimate the strength of schedule for all the teams that played the Bucs in 2020.”

And per NFL Elo, Minnesota has the sport’s 12th-hardest schedule.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
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This is the prognosis for those keeping track at home:

  • Per 2023 Win % = 16th-hardest
  • NFL Elo = 12th-hardest
  • Sharp Football Analysis = 4th-hardest

Without any doubt, these are the Vikings’ home opponents in 2024:
(these are not in order)

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • New York Jets
  • San Francisco 49ers

The road opponents:
(these are not in order)

  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • New York Giants
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Tennessee Titans

Minnesota will also play a game in London — that will be counted as a home game — and many expect that to be against an AFC South team.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Overall, the purple team’s schedule has a moderate-to-tough difficulty range.

Vikings rookie minicamp gets underway on Friday.

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