With the NFL releasing its 2023-24 regular season schedule on Thursday, now is the time to suss out where the defending NFC North champion Vikings will go in the year ahead.
Under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell, the Vikings cruised to a 13-4 record a season ago, which was the franchise’s best year-end win total since going 13-3 in 2017.
Ahead of Minnesota’s season opener against the Buccaneers on Sept. 10, it’s worth stacking up which regular season contests could be potential stumbling blocks for the Vikings in the year ahead.
We take a quick break from Minnesota sports betting updates to bring you the toughest stretch of the Vikings 2023-24 NFL schedule.
The Toughest Stretch of Vikings 2023-24 Schedule
MinnesotaBets.com created a point system to determine the toughest three-game stretch of the Minnesota Vikings 2023-24 schedule for the upcoming NFL season. For points, we awarded 1 to 4 points for each grouping of 8 teams in final standings from the 2022-23 season (Chiefs = 4 pts, Bears = 1 point), 2 points for an away game, 2 points for a short week (going into TNF game or coming off MNF), 1 point for a divisional opponent and 1 point for the primetime game.
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Why Midseason Stretch Could Be Most Difficult For Vikings
The stretch between weeks 6 and 8 could well define the Vikings playoff chances, as the franchise squares off against divisional foes Chicago and Green Bay on the road, with a home clash against the 13-4 49ers in between.
The Bears struggled last year, going 3-14, but bring back most of their roster (including third-year quarterback Justin Fields) and are always a tough out at home.
The 49ers are coming off a 13-4 campaign that saw them win the NFC West for the first time since 2019, despite doing so with third-string QB Brock Purdy.
The former “Mr. Irrelevant” went on to throw for 1,374 yards and 13 touchdowns to four interceptions, guiding San Francisco to a 9-0 record during the regular season.
The Vikings’ reward for navigating that two-game gauntlet is another road showdown with the new-look Packers at Lambeau Field, in the first year of the Jordan Love era at quarterback for the longstanding NFC North power.
Should Minnesota escape that three-game stretch in good shape, they’ll likely have the upper hand on securing the Vikings’ third division crown since 2017.
There’s little rest for the weary in the NFL, though, so Minnesota fans should ready themselves for a 17-game gauntlet in the season ahead, with the NFC North looking as competitive as ever with fresh faces under center across the division.
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