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NFL adds 17th regular season game; Vikings face Chargers

The preseason has been shortened.
Dalvin Cook

Football fans get an extra week of regular season action beginning next season as the NFL confirmed Tuesday that it has shortened the preseason from four to three games and added a game to the regular season. 

The Vikings' Week 18 opponent will be the Chargers, with the game in Los Angeles. All AFC teams will be the home team this season. 

NFC North teams will face teams from the AFC West, with the matchups based on where each team finished in their division the previous season. Minnesota and the Chargers finished third in their respective divisions last season. 

Here's the Vikings' 2021 opponents (the official schedule has not been released): 

The 8 home opponents:

  • Detroit Lions
  • Chicago Bears
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

The 8 road opponents:

  • Detroit Lions
  • Chicago Bears
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Cincinatti Bengals
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Los Angeles Chargers

The season will still start Sept. 9, but the regular season has been extended to Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. 

There won't be an extra bye week for every team, though there will now be two weeks between the end of the preseason and the start of the regular season. 

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