The Vikings Schedule is OUT!!!
The 2020 Vikings schedule is out and IT. IS. A. DOOZY. You were right, Roger, I'm like a kid in a candy store right now. I needed this. WE needed this.
There's a lot to be excited about here, and there are gonna be some really fun games and stretches, but once again the schedule makers have it out for the Vikings. According to the wonderful Courtney Cronin, the Vikings have the second hardest road schedule in the NFL. We knew the opponents were gonna be tough, but seeing it all laid out like this...woof.
But all this information is readily accessible to you; what's not are the insights. So without further ado, I'm gonna break down this year's Minnesota Vikings schedule.
BEST MATCHUP (for a W): Week 13 vs Jacksonville
I mean, put simply, the Jags are gonna be BAD this year. Some of my closest friends are Jags friends and they're all fucking confused about the Jags. They say they're committed to Gardner Minshew, hell I love the fuckin' guy, but Gardner is just not a QB I'm afraid of at this point in time. Yannick Ngakoue is almost certainly not playing for them ever again. If Fournette is even still playing by that point in the season, our defense will eat him alive. Their best receiver is...checks notes... Dede Westbrook? DJ Chark? A rookie on the First Team All-Name squad in Laviska Shenault, Jr.? Even with a lot of question marks at CB, the Vikes will be fine.
TOUGHEST MATCHUP: Week 5 @ Seattle
Stop me if you've heard this one before. The Vikings go into Seattle for a prime time game. Holy shit, for like the 19th (editor's note: fourth) time in the last decade, the Vikes are playing Sunday Night Football at CenturyLink Field. Here's hoping this goes better than literally every other time, but I'm not gonna hold my breath. Then again, we all know the saying. Nobody beats the Minnesota Vikings seven times in a row!
PLEASE GOD LET THERE BE FANS BACK FOR THIS GAME: Week 8 @ Green Bay
For years, Zimmer took pride in kicking the shit out of the Packers. Then we went 0-2 against them last year, in an otherwise pretty successful campaign. If I were a betting man, which I am, I would bet Vikings sweep the Packers this year. Zim will have the whole rest of the off-season to game plan for the Cheese Heads for the home, and season, opener and then he gets a bye week before heading into Lambeau the first week of November. Which is as good a time as any to catch the Packers in Lambeau, since it's cold but not too cold. Also, this game feels like a big time Flex Candidate. Noon game between two heated rivals that could potentially be one or two loss teams compared to the current slate of Dallas @ Philly. Who am I kidding, Dallas isn't getting flexed out of SNF. But I digress. Can you imagine if, for the first time all season, fans are allowed back in Lambeau only to watch their team get absolutely WRECKED by the Zim Reapers? The schadenfreude would be just....... *chef's kiss*
ACTUAL "MOST LIKELY TO BE FLEXED" CANDIDATE: Week 12 Vs. Carolina
The biggest story line surrounding this game is going to be incredible. For the first time as the starting QB for someone else, Teddy Bridgewater returns to the Bank. Sweet, sweet Teddy returns as the face of a new franchise, much to Zim's dismay. The Panthers have had a quietly good off-season, I think there's a pretty good chance they are decent this year. The defense has some question marks trying to replace veteran leadership like Luke Kuechly, but an improved QB situation (over Kyle Allen, not Cam. But that's a different story for a different day) to lead their new offense that's getting retooled on the fly, and arguably the best Head Coach hire of the 2020 off-season in Matt Rhule (and, as an extension of that, Joe Brady) - the Panthers are probably my pick for the most improved team this year. The SNF matchup on this week right now is Bears @ Packers. I really think the Bears are going to be an absolute shit show, so I'll be surprised if by this point of the season, the NBC crew wants to go to Lambeau to broadcast a bloodbath when they could get a much better game with even better story lines for Michelle Tafoya to really dig her teeth into.
TOUGHEST STRETCH: Weeks 1-5 (Vs. GB, @ Indianapolis, Vs. Tennessee, @ Houston, @ Seattle)
The team definitely has their work cut out for them to start the season, and the Coronavirus certainly doesn't help make it any easier. A Packers team that's still in win-now mode, a much improved Colts team with a roster that could go all the way if P-Riv doesn't suck (don't tell Bossman I said that), a Titans team coming off a deep playoff run with most of the same team back (minus Tajae Sharp, amirite!!!!) a Texans team that could be a breath of fresh air unless Deshaun Watson finds a way to win in spite of Bill O'Brien's best efforts to lose, and then the goddamn Seahawks. See above.
PROBABLY THE BEST GAME OF THE YEAR: Week 15 @ New Orleans
Merry Christmas to us! For the 5th time in 3 years, the Vikings and Saints will be playing each other. You may remember some of the games, truly fantastic games, including a Miracle, a playoff win that came down to literally the final play, and an absolute dad dicking of the Saints by Slingin' Sam Bradford (remember him?!)
Anyway, these games tend to be incredible, and now we get to unwrap and watch the latest edition unfold on Christmas Day. Hell yeah.
The season is near. SKOL VIKINGS!