The Minnesota Vikings are looking for a fourth playoff berth in the last six seasons under coach Mike Zimmer heading into 2020.
Minnesota finished 10-6 and advanced to the NFC divisional playoffs last year, and Kirk Cousins will try to build on that in his third year as the team’s starting quarterback. The schedule is tougher this season — especially on the road — and Gary Kubiak is now the full-time offensive coordinator after Kevin Stefanski left for Cleveland.
Here is a complete breakdown of the Minnesota Vikings’ 2020 schedule, including dates and start times for all 16 games and our early prediction.
Minnesota Vikings Schedule
|1||Sept. 13||vs Packers||1 p.m.||Fox|
|2||Sept. 20||vs Colts||1 p.m.||Fox|
|3||Sept. 27||vs Titans||1 p.m.||CBS|
|4||Oct. 4||vs Texans||1 p.m.||Fox|
|5||Oct. 11||vs Seahawks||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|6||Oct. 18||vs Falcons||1 p.m.||Fox|
|8||Nov. 1||vs Packers||1 p.m.||Fox|
|9||Nov. 8||vs Lions||1 p.m.||CBS|
|10||Nov. 16||vs Bears||8:15 p.m.||ESPN|
|11||Nov. 22||vs Cowboys||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|12||Nov. 29||vs Panthers||1 p.m.||Fox|
|13||Dec. 6||vs Jaguars||1 p.m.||CBS|
|14||Dec. 13||vs Buccaneers||1 p.m.||Fox|
|15||Dec. 20||vs Bears||1 p.m.||Fox|
|16||Dec. 25||vs Saints||4:30 p.m.||Fox/NFLN|
|17||Jan. 3||vs Lions||1 p.m.||Fox|
The Vikings are 35-15 at home under Zimmer, a .700 winning percentage that is the fifth-best in the NFL since 2014. That home record should bode well against a nonconference schedule filled with teams that struggled on the road last season.
Minnesota will have to protect its home-field advantage, too, because the road schedule is tougher than usual. The Vikings have four road games against teams that won 10 or more games last season.
Vikings strength of schedule & prediction
Minnesota’s opponents combined for a 131-123-2 record (.516) last season, which means the Vikings will face the 10th toughest schedule by record. Twelve games are against teams that won seven or more games last season, which means the Vikes will have fewer breaks in their schedule.
Toughest tests: Green Bay, New Orleans and Houston combined for a 20-7 record at home last season, and the Vikings must play all three on the road. It won’t be easy going against Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Deshaun Watson, but those aren’t the only road tests.
Minnesota also travels to Tampa Bay, Seattle and Indianapolis. That means Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers on the road, too. Cousins was 4-4 as a starter on the road last season, although his home and road splits aren’t that different.
Biggest breaks: Dallas, Jacksonville, Atlanta and Carolina combined for a 12-19 record on the on the road last season, and that’s a group Minnesota should be able to take advantage of given its success at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Bottom line: Minnesota is making the playoffs every other year under Zimmer, and that is partially because of an 18-17-1 record in the NFC North in that stretch. The rivalries with the Packers and Bears loom large, and the Lions cannot be taken for granted.
Minnesota enjoyed a fantastic NFL Draft, and that depth should make a difference in those black-and-blue-games. It’s a toss-up with the Packers for the division; it will come down to how Minnesota fares in those tough road contests. Can Cousins go 4-4 again?
Record prediction: 10-6