The big waves of free agency are over. The draft is complete. Now, all eyes are on the upcoming NFL season. Few teams offer as much underrated potential as the Vikings, who just missed the playoffs in 2021 and now employ former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell atop the staff. With playmakers like Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson still in tow, it's possible Minnesota could make a return to the postseason sooner rather than later.
First, they'll have to make it through their 2022 opponents. Below, find a complete look at the teams set to square off with the Vikings this year, as well as a rundown of their 18-week regular-season schedule (once announced).
Bears: Coming off a 6-11 season, Chicago is still in rebuild mode, with new coach Matt Eberflus looking to keep young QB Justin Fields and a stripped-down roster afloat. Barring an MVP-level breakout from Fields, they don't look all too threatening.
Bills: If they're not AFC favorites, they're close. Josh Allen and Co. are fresh off an AFC Championship bid, and now they've got added reinforcements at pass rusher (Von Miller) and cornerback (Kaiir Elam). They should be a consistently tough out.
Cardinals: Is Kyler Murray under center (and happy)? If so, Arizona should still be a threat offensively, even with DeAndre Hopkins suspended to start the year. They may not be true contenders, but they've got the talent to make another playoff run.
Colts: Another year, another QB. This time Matt Ryan's under center, and while he's past his prime, he should bring enough savviness to a solid run-first offense to keep them in the mix for an AFC South title. They can't be slept on.
Commanders: They've been scrappy at times, and Carson Wentz and Jahan Dotson should give them more offensive upside. Still, this is a volatile organization with question marks at key spots. They shouldn't be pushovers, but they look beatable, too.
Cowboys: A year after squandering a division title with a one-and-done playoff bid, Mike McCarthy may or may not be on the hot seat. Even without Amari Cooper, they've got a lot of playmakers. But can their line hold up to help Dak Prescott make a leap?
Dolphins: Quietly one of the most intriguing teams in the NFL after their hire of Mike McDaniel and splashy play for Tyreek Hill, their threat level boils down to Tua Tagovailoa's development under center. They could easily be challengers.
Eagles: While QB Jalen Hurts must still improve as a passer, they added plenty of pieces to build off their wild-card run. They can run, play physical and now have added reinforcements on defense after the draft. They should be scrappy at the very least.
Giants: Onto the next regime after the Joe Judge era came to a screeching halt, they're banking on Brian Daboll turning Daniel Jones into a reliable QB. The talent has certainly improved, largely through the draft, but they remain in transition.
Jets: The draft alone (Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson II) could enable them to take a big leap from their 4-13 finish a year ago. QB Zach Wilson remains a question mark, but his supporting cast on both sides of the ball is much improved.
Lions: Is Jared Goff still the QB? As of now, yes, which means, despite the speed additions of D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams, their offensive ceiling is limited. But they were scrappy under Dan Campbell, and that should remain the case.
Packers: They lost a huge playmaker in Davante Adams, but as long as Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur are in town, they'll remain easy NFC North favorites. Their defense also got an injection of youth through the draft, keeping them formidable.
Patriots: If you can count on one thing, it's Bill Belichick guiding a feisty defensive team. No one's sure what their ceiling is, with Mac Jones still growing at QB, but they're never not a tough opponent out of the AFC East.
Saints: They've got a new coach (kind of) in Dennis Allen, but the pieces are generally there for them to be competitive again. Can Jameis Winston stay healthy and upright? That's the biggest X-factor.
Full 2022 schedule
vs. Saints (in London)
9:30 a.m. ET
vs. Patriots (Thanksgiving)