Even though there are still seven games to be played in the 2015 NFL season, it's possible that we might know a part of the Minnesota Vikings' 2016 schedule before we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this week.
Per the folks at NFL UK, the league will be announcing which teams will be playing in London in 2016 this coming Wednesday.
Now, with U.S. Bank Stadium coming online for the start of next season, I think we can be relatively assured that the Vikings would not be the home team in any London-based contest they might participate in. However, that doesn't exempt them from going, and there's one particular reason.
While 31 of the 32 NFL teams don't know for sure that they'll have a game in London next season, there is one that does. That team is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who recently signed an agreement stating that they would play one home game a year in London through the 2020 NFL season. And, wouldn't you know it. . .the NFL's schedule rotation does, in fact, have the Vikings playing a road game at Jacksonville next season. Obviously that doesn't mean they're definitely going to get the game in London. . .and, if they do, it might not necessarily even be against the Jaguars. . .but having a guaranteed road trip to Jacksonville automatically makes it a possibility.
For each of the 32 NFL teams, 14 of their 16 games for next season are set. Each team will play two games against each of the teams in their own division, they'll play all of the teams in another division in their own conference (in 2016, the NFC North will play the NFC East), and they'll play all of the teams in one AFC division (in 2016, the NFC North will play the AFC South). The other two games are determined by divisional finish. So, it isn't entirely unreasonable for the NFL to start constructing the 2016 schedule already.
So, by the time we start carving the turkey on Thursday, we should know whether or not fans in the United Kingdom can prepare for yet another Viking invasion. What do you make of the possibility of the Vikings traveling to the United Kingdom again?