The Vikings are expected to have a much-improved season in 2022. New head coach Kevin O’Connell takes the reins of the Vikings after Mike Zimmer was fired after last season. The Vikings odds to win the NFC North are at +300 while the Packers sit at -170. Their odds to win the Super Bowl are at +4,000. Minnesota’s strength of schedule ranks 20th in the league. So, let’s take a look at the schedule shall we?
A Look At The Schedule
The Vikings season starts off with a bang. They host Green Bay week one before traveling east to take on the Eagles. The schedule gets a little easier playing the Lions (home), Saints (road), Bears (home), and Dolphins (road) before getting their bye in week seven. Coming off the bye the Vikings have a tough stretch with the Cardinals (home), Commanders (road), and Bills (road). They follow this up with their easiest part of the season playing the Cowboys (home), Patriots (home), Jets (home), Lions (road), Colts (home), and Giants (home). The Vikings then end the season with back-to-back road games against the Packers and Bears.
Toughest Game Of The Season
The hardest game for the Vikings this season without a doubt has to be at Buffalo on November 13. The Bills are heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl, with the best odds at +650 at numerous sports betting sites. Last season the Bills went 11-6 winning the AFC east. They beat New England 47-17 in the wildcard round before losing to Kansas City in the divisional round 42-36 in overtime. Playing in Buffalo this season will be a tough task for any team, let alone Minnesota. Don’t expect the Vikings to come out of Buffalo with a win.
Hardest Stretch Of The Schedule
The hardest stretch of the Vikings schedule comes after their bye in week eight. During this three week stretch they play the Cardinals (home), Commanders (road), and Bills (road). The teams here went a combined 29-22 with both the Cardinals and Bills making the playoffs. Look for a loss in Buffalo, but don’t be shocked if the Vikings go 2-1 during this stretch. Getting the Cardinals at home and off a bye is a big advantage for the Vikings. The one issue here is that the Cardinals host New Orleans on Thursday in week six giving them ten days off in between (essentially a mini bye). Washington isn’t expected to be good, and they should beat them. At worst expect a 1-2 record coming out of this three week stretch.
Another rough area is the last two games when they have to go to Green Bay and Chicago in January. Green Bay in Lambeau is always hard when it gets cold. Don’t look to come out of the frozen tundra with a win. The Vikings should beat Chicago at Soldier Field, but Chicago always plays them tough. Also, look for both of these games to have any meaning. Are the Vikings and/or Packers playing for anything or not? Will the Vikings even need to play starters against the Bears to end the season? Only time will tell.
Easiest Stretch Of The Schedule
The easiest stretch of the Vikings schedule comes starting week 11 immediately after their hardest part of the schedule. During this six week stretch the Vikings play the Cowboys (home), Patriots (home), Jets (home), Lions (road), Colts (home), and Giants (home). The Vikings only leave the state of Minnesota once during this six week stretch to visit Detroit. These teams last year went a combined 42- 59 with only the Patriots and Cowboys making the playoffs. Look for the Vikings to cruise through this stretch late in the season going 6-0 at best or at worst 4-2. The Colts should put up a fight and could even beat the Vikings. A road game in Detroit and matchups against former playoff teams in the Patriots and Cowboys could potentially put up a good challenge for the Vikings. Expect for a good run by Minnesota late in the season.
Overall, the Vikings have a relatively easy schedule. They have some tough opponents having six teams who made the playoffs last year on their schedule. They have a great six game stretch late in the year where they play five of the six games at home. My prediction for the Vikings is for them to go 13-4 (plus or minus a win). Is that a record good enough for the one seed? With teams like the Rams, Packers, and Buccaneers, all of whom are good enough to have a record at or better than 13-4, expect a good fight for the top seed in the NFC. Minnesota is no sleeper this year and don’t be shocked come the postseason if you see a one by their name.
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