As we approach the end of the 2015 regular season in the National Football League, we already have a bit of insight into the schedule for the Minnesota Vikings for 2016.
Fourteen of the Vikings' sixteen opponents for next season are already set in stone. Next season, the Vikings will match up with the two divisions that, at least in 2015, are the NFL's worst in the NFC East and the AFC South. Granted, a lot can change between now and the start of the 2016 season, but it certainly looks a lot less intimidating than what we were looking at going into this season.
Here is what the slate will look like for next season.
Home Games - Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts
Road Games - Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans
The Vikings will also have a home game against an NFC West opponent and a road game against an NFC South opponent, but those games will be determined after the season finale on Sunday. If the Vikings win on Sunday and finish first in the NFC North, they will host the Arizona Cardinals and travel to play the Carolina Panthers. If they finish second in the North, they will have a home game against the Seattle Seahawks and a road game against the Atlanta Falcons.
This also gives us a bit of a chance to start speculating about who the Vikings' first regular season opponent at the new U.S. Bank Stadium will be. I think that a lot of folks assume that it's going to be the Packers, and it wouldn't be the least bit surprising if it was. . .and hey, maybe being the first game at the new stadium would keep a lot of the "fans" that think that selling their tickets to Green Bay fans is a wonderful idea from doing so. (Seriously, if you're selling your tickets to fans of other teams, you're not actually a Vikings fan. Just putting that out there.)
The Vikings still have plenty of business to take care of in 2015, but now we have a glimpse into what 2016 is going to offer our favorite football team.