The NFL recently released the schedules for all 32 teams, including your Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings ended with 13 wins last season under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell, and look to repeat their success from last year. I know fans are counting the days until the Vikings kick off week one at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, but I am going to take a look at the most intriguing games this year for fans to keep their eyes on.
I’ll start with the week 2 heavyweight bout with the Philadelphia Eagles. This game should be intriguing to fans for multiple reasons. One, they kicked our teeth in last year, so I hope the team is ready to go for the rematch in Philly this year. And secondly, two of the most high-powered offenses in the league should make for an interesting game, although, I think we forgot our offense on the bus last year in Philly. I’m excited to see how KO reflects and adjusts to the big away game showdown, and hopefully, just hopefully, we can keep this game a bit closer. Expect to see more pressure looks and loaded fronts against the best offensive line in the league in hopes to bring pressure to Jalen Hurts and company. Can the Vikings pull off the upset win in Philly this year?
The next game to keep an eye on this year is the home game against the defending world champion, Kansas City Chiefs. Whenever you have a game against the best, you want to see how your team stacks up against them. This will be a true test for our young secondary who has to face the best quarterback in the league, maybe the best of all time. It will be interesting to see what Flores does in this game schematically. I would have to think that we bring tons of pressure to fluster their lackluster offensive line. Other than that, it’s up to our backers and secondary to keep Patrick Mahomes from throwing for 500-plus yards. This game has the potential to be an absolute shootout if they catch the Vikings' offense at full strength. Do you think the Vikings can knock off the defending Super Bowl Champions?
The last game I’d like to bring to your attention would be the last game of the year. Week 18 is in Detroit this year, where many are assuming, will be for the NFC North Title. The Kitties always give the Vikings a scare at least once a year, sometimes twice. This Detroit team, however, is a bit different than the Lions of old. The Lions are starting to take on the gritty personality of head coach Dan Campbell. Coach Campbell has this team in a position to be where it hasn’t been since I can remember. This team is filled with talent, offensively and on defense. The Lions also just had a great draft, so they added some fresh young talent to an already hungry group of guys. Kirk Cousins vs Jared Goff doesn’t sound like an attractive matchup on paper, but football guys know that this could be the showdown of the year. Two division rivals facing off in the last week of the regular season always brings more intensity, but when the two teams both figure to make the playoffs, only one can win the division. Who do you think comes out on top of this primetime matchup in week 18 against the divisional foe?
I’m aware there are some bigger names on our schedule this year like Cincinnati or San Fransisco, or even Las Vegas or Denver, but the games I chose to focus on have a bigger meaning than just good teams. The game in Philly because it’s one of the toughest places to play in the NFL and against a team who just made it to the Super Bowl. The second game against the Chiefs I chose because they are the Champs, and I’d like to see how we stack up against the best. And the last game in Detroit because I believe it will be for the Division Title and have seeding implications for not only us but other NFC playoff teams as well. Let me know if you all are as excited as I am for these games, or which games you are all excited for.
Honorable Mention game: @ Las Vegas because everyone loves Vegas and that new stadium looks immaculate.