Skip to main content

3 takeaways from the Vikings 2020 schedule

Can the Vikings navigate through a tougher schedule in 2020?
Kirk Cousins

Last season, the Minnesota Vikings were blessed with the good fortunes of the schedule gods. Seeing a schedule that brought six below-.500 teams in their first eight games, the Vikings raced out to a 6-2 start and enjoyed three of their final four games at home (including a pseudo home game in Los Angeles) to close out the season to secure a playoff spot.

But much like Mike Zimmer's tenure in Minnesota, one year's success brings another year's tougher schedule. The Vikings will open up at home for the first time in franchise history against the Packers, but fall into a much tougher slate thanks to a second-place finish in the NFC North.

So what are some things to take note about the early season schedule and where will we see if the Vikings are able to stay afloat or should plan for an early season exit?

A fast start will be extremely tough

Getting off to a fast start is always of importance in the NFL, but the Vikings will have their hands full from the start of the 2020 season. With a roster that currently includes 15 rookies, the Vikings will have to hit the ground running since they will not be able to get on a field during virtual OTAs and minicamp.

This will put Minnesota behind the eight-ball entering a crucial Week 1 matchup with the Packers. Last season, Green Bay took advantage of a Vikings team finding its footing and Minnesota wound up trying to make up for the early season loss the rest of the year.

A similar defeat would really put Minnesota in a hole as it heads on the road for three of their first five games. Four of those games will also be against teams that made the playoffs last season.

Are more primetime horrors ahead?

One of the biggest national narratives is that Kirk Cousins can't win in primetime. While he partially debunked that theory with two primetime wins last season, the schedule makers didn't put the Vikings in as favorable primetime conditions as they did last year.

The NFL's recent obsession with throwing the Vikings in a primetime game in Seattle continues with a Week 5 Sunday Night game in the Emerald City and the Vikings go to their house of horrors in Week 10 with a Monday Night Football matchup in Chicago.

For those keeping score at home, Cousins is 7-15 in primetime games including an 0-9 career mark on Monday Night Football. Thankfully, these are the only two primetime games on the slate, but that could change if a late-season matchup is flexed.

More road games down the stretch

Last year's schedule saw the Vikings get some serious home cooking at the end, but this year will be a much different story with three of the final four games on the road.

A Week 14 matchup with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is intimidating enough but could get worse with the potential to be flexed. The Vikings then return home to face a Bears team they haven't defeated since Week 17 of the 2017 season before heading to New Orleans for a Christmas afternoon showdown with the Saints.

Although the Vikings seem to get a break with the normally submissive Detroit Lions in Week 17, nothing seems to be a given as they'll look to find their way into a loaded NFC playoff picture.

Next Up

Seatbelted driver.

Road deaths involving unbelted people rose again in 2021

This is the second year in a row that the number has gone up.

hennepin sheriff hutchinson screengrab facebook

Hennepin Co. Sheriff Dave Hutchinson on paid leave for health reasons

The sheriff, who was recently convicted of drunk-driving, is set to stand down later this year.

Crane Lake

Flooding expected to worsen in MN's Arrowhead region

Hundreds of private homes are at-risk in northern St. Louis County.

St. Paul Police crash

St. Paul police: Kids in stolen car rammed squad, hid in porta-potty

The incident sent the Minnesota Capitol into a brief lockdown.


Watch: Storm updates after heavy hail slams Twin Cities

Sven Sundgaard is providing an update after Thursday's flash hail storm.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP apologizes over antisemitic sequence in candidate's campaign video

Party leader says candidate didn't know the imagery perpetuated an antisemitic trope.

storm, severe

Tornado, severe thunderstorm watches issued in Minnesota

In addition to possible tornadoes, there is a threat for damaging winds and very large hail.

House sale keys door

High prices, stiff competition putting off homebuyers in Twin Cities

Prices continue to rise in the metro, but there are signs of buyer fatigue.

Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 1.59.51 PM

Series of explosions at manufacturing plant injures 6 in Wisconsin

The blast rocked the Wisconsin town just before 7:45 a.m.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Medford man dies in Le Sueur County crash

The 49-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Denisovan molar

MN researcher part of team behind 'revolutionary' discovery of ancient tooth in Laos

The molar found in a remote cave is believed to have belonged to a Denisovan girl who lived 164,000-130,000 years ago.


Vikings fans, U.S. Bank Stadium

Report: Vikings to open 2020 season against Packers

The Vikings and Packers will reportedly renew their rivalry early this upcoming season.

Anthony Barr

5 takeaways from the Vikings preseason loss to the Colts

The Vikings looked better on Saturday but still have a ways to go.

Adam Thielen

Key takeaways from Adam Thielen's press conference

Thielen talked Stefon Diggs, Justin Jefferson and preparing for the 2020 season.

Kirk Cousins

Offseason preview: What will the Vikings do with Kirk Cousins?

Will the Vikings extend Cousins or put an eye to the future?

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Packers: 5 things you can count on

Do the Vikings stand a chance without Kirk Cousins?

Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson erupts to lead Vikings over Packers

Greg Joseph's game-winner helped the Vikings get back to .500.

Dalvin Cook

Doomsday scenarios for the 2020 Vikings offense

As if 2020 wasn't already negative enough...