When the NFL released the 2021 list of opponents, many bright minds got to work number-crunching to determine strength of schedule, i.e. who faces the toughest opponents and who faces the weakest, based on 2020’s results. The Minnesota Vikings schedule landed near the wrong end of that deal, as it’s deemed as the sixth-toughest in the league.
What’s a Vikings fan to do? Well, before we lament, let’s look at the opposition.
2021 Home Opponents | Minnesota Vikings Schedule
The 2021 Vikings will host the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys.
There really isn’t a surefire win against any of those teams. Well, maybe the Lions…
Six of those opponents are fresh off playoff appearances.
2021 Away Opponents| Minnesota Vikings Schedule
The 2021 Vikings will travel to face the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers.
Of the away teams, the Lions, Bengals and Panthers all have major question marks heading into 2021, but none are gimmes.
Three of these away game opponents made the postseason in 2020.
Both home and away games have playoff opponents.
That’s more than half of the Vikings’ challengers numbered in 2020 playoff teams. Of those who didn’t make the postseason, the Cardinals and 49ers were expected to make it.
Fortunately, the Vikings offense turned it on for the last half of 2020. If Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook can keep the purple points train cruising, and the defense experiences a bounce back year, the Vikings need only edge out the Packers and Bears to get back in the playoffs once more.
Which of these games excites you most? Do you plan to attend a home and away game?