4 Vikings Schedule Takeaways | 2023

justin jefferson weighsDec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) during the first quarter against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

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December 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end TJ Hockenson (87) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) during the first quarter against the New York Giants at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Not much is happening across the NFL landscape between the start of the draft and training camp. The release of the schedule for the upcoming season is a welcome change. The Vikings play some tough opponents, especially since they finished in first place in the NFC North.

Thereafter, they played other division winners such as the Bengals, 49ers and Eagles. The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and their star quarterback Patrick Mahomes will also visit Minnesota in the upcoming season.

4 Vikings Schedule Pillows | 2023

Minnesota Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, following a 20-17 win over the Washington Commanders in Week 9 of the 2022 regular season.

Here is the Vikings 2023 schedule. Home games are in red:

  • 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 Falcon (11/5)
  • Week 10: Saints (11/12)
  • Week 11: at Broncos (11/19, SNF)
  • Week 12: Bear (11/27, MNF)
  • Week 13: Goodbye
  • 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)

must-win week 1

No season has been decided in Week 1. There are 16 more games to be played after that matchup. However, it is important for the Vikings to win a game at home against the Brady-less Buccaneers. The team lost the greatest player of all time and was replaced by either Kyle Trask or Baker Mayfield. While some fantastic players are still on that roster, including a strong defense and good receiving corps, the Vikings should be the better team.

January 8, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield (17) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports.

Regardless, so it’s a no win game. The Vikings should definitely start the season with one in the win column as the next game is in Philadelphia, one of the toughest teams and stadiums to play in. It’s possible that Vikes can get the win there, but it’s not likely. The Eagles comes off a Super Bowl loss and is a loaded team.

Kevin O’Connell’s operation can’t afford to start the season with an 0-2 record, and he will have to take care of Tampa Bay at home in Week 1 to prevent a 2021-like situation, when the Bengals and the Bengals lost against. The Cardinals never managed to get above a .500 record, ending the season with a disappointing 8–9.

fight for the north

The last two games in 2022 were NFC North matchups. The Vikings played in Green Bay and Chicago. This year, the final three games are within the division, including two home games against the Lions and Packers in Weeks 16 and 17, and a division showdown in Detroit in Week 18.

December 11, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions running back Jamal Williams (30) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) and linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) during the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory credit: David Racinec-USA TODAY Sports.

The Lions are the betting favorites to beat the Vikings, and it could come down to that final game. Detroit invested in their defense, a worse unit than the Vikings. Both teams, the Vikings and the Lions, will look to survive on their offenses if they want to make a run in the post-season.

Green Bay should not be overlooked in Week 17. The Packers are still a talented team, even without Aaron Rodgers under center. They have a good defense, and a strong running game was the attack’s calling card in 2022. If new QB Jordan Love can play at a decent level, they could still be in the running at the end of the year.

‘Easy’ vibe

No game is easy in the NFL. However, some opponents can be defeated more than others. The Vikings need to pile up wins in the middle of the schedule amid a tough start and finally divisional games.

The Packers, Falcons, Saints, Broncos, Bears and Raiders are all beatable opponents, and the Vikings will face them all between Weeks 8 and 14. 13 wins last year, but all six of those teams did not play in the post-2022 season. Two of them are at home.

Last season, the Vikings had a tremendous stretch at the same time, facing and defeating tough opponents every week. This is where the team can build some momentum.

this is going to be a fun season

February 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) passes against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half of Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

No matter whether the schedule is tough or not, the season will be a lot of fun for Vikings fans. We will see the team match up with the elite QBs in football. Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrows face the new defense of Brian Flores. Aaron Rodgers is finally gone and won’t play against the Vikings until they meet his Jets in the Super Bowl. The NFC’s two top teams, the Eagles and 49ers, will also play against the Vikings.

Another wrinkle that will make the season fun is the competitive NFC North. The Packers ran away with the crown for three consecutive years, and the Vikings won in 2022. All four champions won 13 games. Things will be closer in 2023. The division championship and subsequent home playoff games cannot be decided before the final game of the year.

Janik Ekardt is a football fan who loves numbers and statistics. The Vikings became his favorite team, despite the quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking football encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and classic rock is his musical genre of choice. If you like Vikings, follow them on Twitter: @JanikEckardt

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