The Minnesota Vikings have been knocking on the door for the past handful of seasons, nearly getting over the hump and landing in the Super Bowl, but ultimately falling just short. The 2019 campaign ended at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, who defeated them in the divisional round en route to a Super Bowl LIV appearance. As the club turns the page to 2020, it did close the book on the Stefon Diggs era in Minnesota. The club traded him away to the Buffalo Bills for a haul of draft picks, including the No. 22 overall selection that landed them LSU receiver Justin Jefferson.
With one weapon out the door and another coming right in after him, Minnesota's offense will look a bit different heading into the regular season, which we now know precisely after the NFL has released the 2020 schedule. Below, you'll see a week-by-week breakdown of when all of the Vikings games will occur, a list of all the prime-time games and what their strength of schedule looks like.
- Week 1, Sept. 13: vs. Packers (1 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 2, Sept. 20: at Colts (1 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 3, Sept. 27: vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 4, Oct. 4: at Texans (1 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 5, Oct. 11: at Seahawks (8:20 p.m. ET on NBC - Sunday Night Football)
- Week 6, Oct. 18: vs. Falcons (1 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 7: BYE
- Week 8, Nov. 1: at Packers (1 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 9, Nov. 8: vs. Lions (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 10, Nov. 16: at Bears (8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN - Monday Night Football)
- Week 11, Nov. 22: vs. Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 12, Nov. 29: vs. Panthers (4 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 13, Dec. 6: vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Week 14, Dec. 13: at Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 15, Dec. 20: vs. Bears (1 p.m. ET on Fox)
- Week 16, Dec. 25: at Saints (4:30 p.m. ET on Fox, NFL Network and Amazon)
- Week 17, Jan. 3: at Lions (1 p.m. ET on Fox)
The Vikings will open up U.S. Bank Stadium along with the 2020 regular season in Week 1 when they play host to their NFC North rival in the Green Bay Packers. Last year, Minnesota went 0-2 against Green Bay over the course of the regular season, so they'll be looking to get some revenge right out of the gate.
The Pick Six Podcast gang fired up a new episode breaking down every eye-catching aspect of the NFL's schedule release. Give it a listen below, and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
As highlighted above in the week-by-week schedule rundown, the Vikings will be playing two prime-time games in 2020. Neither will happen in the friendly confines of U.S. Bank Stadium, while both of them will happen on the road. In 2019, The Vikings went .500 in prime-time, winning the first two contests (Redskins in Week 8, Cowboys in Week 10) and dropping the latter two (Seahawks in Week 13, Packers in Week 16).
Minnesota's schedule comes out of the gate pretty difficult as they'll face a number of elite quarterbacks including Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. Over the first five week of the 2020 season, they'll also see Ryan Tannehill and Philip Rivers, who shouldn't be overlooked either. Of those first five game, only two will be a home, which does make things even more difficult. If they can get over that hump with a winning record, Minnesota should be sitting pretty.
Strength of schedule
Earlier this offseason, John Breech broke down the 2020 strength of schedule for all 32 NFL teams based on combined opponent winning percentage in 2019. The Vikings will face the 10th-toughest of schedule in 2020. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule, .
However, when basing strength of schedule on the over/under win totals for each team's opponents during the 2020 season at William Hill, the Vikings go from facing the 10th-toughest schedule in the league to the 14th-easiest schedule. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule using this methodology, check out Jared Dubin's full breakdown here.