Vikings' favorable first half could turn into a nightmare down the stretch

The Vikings barely leave the state until the schedule gets rocky after the Week 9 bye.

The Vikings have a great chance to start hot in 2017 thanks to the NFL schedule makers giving them five home games in the first seven weeks of the season, and then a pseudo road game against the Browns in London in Week 8. That's super friendly, but then it's gets dicey.

After a Week 9 bye, the Vikings play four of five on the road: at Washington, at home against the Rams, at Detroit on Thanksgiving, at the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons and at the 2015 NFC champion Carolina Panthers. It's easily the toughest part of the schedule.

Sports Illustrated ranked it the eighth-worst schedule in the NFL.

Minnesota gets a welcomed home game in Week 15 against the Bengals followed by a potential winter wonderland game with the Packers at Lambeau Field two days before Christmas. That's a Sunday night game, so there's potential for snow and cold.

Other notable schedule information:

  • Bears get 10 days rest for Week 5 MNF against the Vikings. Their Week 4 game is TNF.
  • Vikings are at Washington a week after the Redskins play at Seattle. Beat up factor in play?
  • Ravens play Thursday Night Football four days after playing the Vikings.
  • Lions-Vikings on Thanksgiving is four days after the Lions play at Soldier Field.
  • Falcons play Thursday Night Football four days after playing the Vikings.
  • Weather Spark says the average temp is in the low 20s after 7 p.m. on Dec. 23 in Green Bay.
  • The game in Green Bay Week 16 is likely Minnesota's only cold-weather game.
  • Vikings play 10 games against teams with scoring defenses ranked 19th or worse last season.

Here's how the Vikings' schedule stacks up against the Bears, Lions and Packers.

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