Minnesota Vikings 2021 Opponents: The Home Matchups

The Minnesota Vikings already know their 2021 opponents and destinations. They don’t know when the games will be played yet, but we can look ahead and have an idea of how difficult the schedule will be. The Vikings play their six division games, the AFC North, the NFC West, and then the third-place teams in the NFC East (Cowboys) and NFC South (Panthers). Today we’ll look at the home opponents. 

The Matchups

Green Bay Packers: The Vikings have yet to defeat the Packers at home since coach Matt LaFleur arrived in 2019. Aaron Rodgers lit up the Vikings in the 2020 season opener in Minnesota as Green Bay won 43-34 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score showed. Green Bay will likely be a contender once again in 2021.

Chicago Bears: Minnesota has also struggled at home against Chicago since coach Matt Nagy took over in 2018. The Vikings have lost all three matchups, two of them essentially ending the Vikings’ playoff hopes. Despite getting to the playoffs in 2020, Nagy and company enter the 2021 season on the hot seat and are not much better than the Vikings.

Detroit Lions: The one constant for the Vikings- and the rest of the NFC North for that matter- has been beating up on the Lions. Minnesota has won their previous three matchups at home against the Lions. Detroit will have a new coach in 2021, but until they prove otherwise, this has normally been a win for the Vikings outside of the Jim Caldwell era.

Cleveland Browns: Among the more intriguing of the Minnesota Vikings 2021 opponents is Cleveland. The Browns and Vikings will face off for the first time since 2017. At London’s Wembley Stadium, Minnesota defeated the Browns 33-16. This time, the game will be played on US soil. The Browns will also bring in several familiar faces, most notably head coach Kevin Stefanski, the long-time Vikings assistant. The Browns appear to be on an upward trajectory and can be even better than their 10-6 squad in 2020.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The last time these two teams played, Case Keenum made his first start in a Vikings uniform. The Steelers won comfortably by a score of 26-9. Unlike the Browns, the Steelers appear to be heading the wrong direction. The Steelers lost four of five to end the regular season. They then got embarrassed in the first round of the playoffs by the Browns. Ben Roethlisberger’s future is uncertain, so this game may not be the meatgrinder that it appears to be on paper.

Los Angeles Rams: The Rams come to US Bank Stadium for the first time since 2017. The 20-7 Vikings victory officially opened up Super Bowl talk for the squad. However, when the teams played in 2018 out in LA, the Rams won 38-31 and put up 556 yards of offense. Don’t expect the same offensive output, though. The Rams are a defensive team now and this will be more of a slugfest.

Seattle Seahawks: It’s a miracle! For the first time since 2015, the Seahawks come to Minnesota. And for the first time since 2017, the Vikings don’t play a primetime game in Seattle. The Vikings haven’t beaten the Seahawks since 2009, even though they have come close in each game since the Blair Walsh miss. Seattle is vulnerable, and Minnesota might finally get some needed revenge in 2021.

Dallas Cowboys:

The Cowboys return to Minnesota for the second consecutive season. The Vikings gave up an 11-play, 61-yard touchdown drive to end a 28-24 loss to the lowly Cowboys in 2020. The loss ended a three-game winning streak that had put the Vikings back in the playoff hunt. Dak Prescott could be back for this matchup, though, and head coach Mike McCarthy knows Mike Zimmer as well as anyone.

On Sunday, we will take a look at the opponents the Vikings will face on the road in 2021.