There's potentially a tremendous opportunity waiting for the Vikings in the first four weeks of the season.
If the Vikings beat the Saints and find a way to win in Pittsburgh, they'll be 2-0 with home games against the Buccaneers and Lions in Weeks 3 and 4. It's not an easy task, but 4-0 isn't impossible.
Meanwhile, a loss to the Vikings in Week 4 could put the Lions at 0-4. Detroit starts the season against Atlanta, Green Bay and the Giants. Good luck with those monsters.
A 2-2 start for Green Bay looks very possible, if not likely.
If Green Bay loses its opener to Seattle they could quickly find themselves 0-2 after a road game against the Falcons in Week 2. Then their schedule eases up against the Bengals and Bears.
And then there's the Bears, who probably won't matter at all this season.
It all has to play out just right, but imagine the Vikings with a two-game lead on the Packers and four-game lead on the Lions and Bears just one month into the season.
Of course, none of this fantasy scenario unfolds if the Vikings don't take care of business, and none of their first four games are gimmes.
- Bears vs. Atlanta
- Lions vs. Arizona
- Packers vs. Seahawks
- Vikings vs. Saints (Monday)
- Vikings at Pittsburgh
- Bears at Tampa Bay
- Packers at Atlanta
- Lions at New York Giants (Monday)
- Bears vs. Pittsburgh
- Lions vs. Atlanta
- Vikings vs. Tampa Bay
- Packers vs. Cincinnati
- Packers vs. Bears (Thursday)
- Vikings vs. Lions