With the release of the NFL's 2020 schedule, many national analysts have made their own predictions to find out how the Vikings will fare next season. Their answer had the Vikings right on the fringe of the NFC playoff picture near the 10-6 record they had in 2019.
ESPN's Courtney Cronin was one of a pair of analysts to be on the bright side of things, projecting the Vikings to finish with a 10-6 record.
While the Vikings did enough to match their record from a year ago, Cronin has Minnesota falling just short of a return to the playoffs by virtue of a Week 5 loss in Seattle and one game behind the Packers (11-5) in the NFC North.
"The Vikings' path toward getting back to the playoffs includes hosting the Packers in the season opener for the first time in the team's 60-year history," Cronin said. "It also features one of the toughest road schedules in the NFL with three prime-time games away from U.S. Bank Stadium."
Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport also had the Vikings turning in another 10-6 win season and also missing out on the NFC North title to the Packers by one game.
What makes this projection interesting is that the Vikings would be locked in a battle for a wild card spot with Dallas, Tampa Bay and Seattle, who all finish 10-6.
"Like the Packers, the Minnesota Vikings made the playoffs in 2019 and then didn't do much in free agency," Davenport said. "But they also suffered a number of critical personnel losses, including their top three cornerbacks, their No. 2 defensive end and their No. 2 wide receiver."
While 10-6 was the high water mark for the Vikings, their floor doesn't seem that far off. Vikings Wire's Jack White projected Minnesota to finish 9-7 after a 4-2 start heading into the bye week.
Of course, the Vikings will have to play the games in order to make these projections a reality, but it seems like not much has changed as Minnesota looks to break through in 2020.