Minnesota Vikings 2014 Opponents
The Minnesota Vikings season may have come to a Week 17 end, but it's never too early to look forward to next year. While there is no coaching staff set, no free agent pickups, or any draft picks made, the one part of next year that we know is the opponents.
The NFL has used a schedule rotation since 2002. With the rotation, the Vikings will play games against the NFC South, AFC East, and the two common opponents for the year will be vs. Washington (4th in NFC East 2013), and at St. Louis (4th in NFC West 2013).
Home Opponents: Green Bay, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Carolina, New England, New York Jets, Washington
Road Opponents: Green Bay, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Miami, St. Louis.
The Vikings will be playing outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014. Unlike the past 32 years inside the Metrodome, the Vikings will only play three indoor games next year.
Minnesota went 2-3-1 in the NFC North this past season. The Packers will always be tough to beat with Aaron Rodgers. The Lions have arguably the most talented overall roster in the division, but also are going through a coaching change. As for the Bears, another year in the Trestman system could take them to the next level. Won't be easy for the Vikes.
Last time Minnesota played the NFC South was in 2011. That year, they lost to every NFC South team except for Carolina. Minnesota has lost six straight to Tampa Bay, three straight to New Orleans, two straight to Atlanta, and last season to Carolina.
The AFC East has not been kind to Minnesota. The NFC North and AFC East last crashed in 2010. Outside of a home win to Buffalo in 2010, Minnesota dropped each game against the AFC East that season. In terms of streaks, the Vikings have lost three straight to New England, two straight to Miami, haven't beat the Jets since 1975, and defeated Buffalo in their last meeting.
The two common opponents for next season are Washington and St. Louis. Washington will be coming off an awful 2013 campaign, whereas St. Louis was decent in a tough NFC West. The Vikings are 4-2 against Washington since 2006, and have beat St. Louis the last two times they met.
With the combination of being outdoors, a new coaching staff, questions at QB, and a tough schedule, the 2014 Minnesota Vikings season could be another difficult season to watch. On the bright side, the NFL is filled with uncertainty. Any of these teams could turn into a complete surprise, or become a huge disappointment.