After the initial four games in the schedule prediction, the Minnesota Vikings are sitting at 3-1. All things considered, 3-1 heading into the Sunday night game in Seattle would be a tremendous success. Things become more difficult in the second quarter of the season; these next four games will give NFL fans a clear picture of Minnesota’s ability to threaten for a Super Bowl. (For a look at the full schedule, take a look here).
Week 5: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks – Sunday, Oct. 11 @ 8:20 p.m.
In what is essentially an annual tradition, the Vikings will travel to Seattle for a night game. Seattle regularly offers one of the loudest stadiums, so the limited fans should help the Vikings. Even still, the Vikings will have a difficult time securing a win on the road. Russell Wilson is among the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and the Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Will Dissly trio is formidable. If Mike Hughes can’t cover Lockett, the Vikings may be forced into a lot of zone, which may be the game plan anyhow given Wilson’s ability to scramble.
Prediction: Seahawks 27 – Vikings 13
Week 6: Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings – Sunday, Oct. 18 @ 1 p.m.
Last season, Mike Zimmer got his ideal win by beating the Falcons 28-12. Kirk Cousins threw the ball a mere ten times as the Vikings accumulated more than 150 yards on the ground. The Falcons will be much tougher in this round. Matt Ryan is a good quarterback, and the Julio Jones & Calvin Ridley combo will be difficult to defend. Zimmer will likely try to eliminate one or two options for Ryan, a strategy that has worked well for the Vikings in the past. On offense, Kirk Cousins will likely need to throw the ball more than ten times, but expect Gary Kubiak to lean on the run game as they head into the bye week.
Prediction: Vikings 24 – Falcons 14
Week 7: Bye
Week 8: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers – Sunday, Nov. 1 @ 1 p.m.
The Vikings have two critical divisional games coming out of the bye. By this point, we’ll know which teams in the NFC North are legitimate contenders for both the division and the conference. Under normal circumstances, each team would receive a distinct advantage by playing at home, but it’s unclear how the lack of fans will impact games. Nevertheless, the expectation here is that the Packers will win. In six seasons as Minnesota’s head coach, Zimmer is 2-4 coming out of the bye.
Prediction: Packers 31 – Vikings 21
Week 9: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings – Sunday, Nov. 8 @ 1 p.m.
The issue in Detroit isn’t talent, or lack thereof. There’s a good argument to be made for Matthew Stafford being the best QB in the North, and their receivers will give Zimmer’s young corners all they can handle. The primary issue in Detroit is the coaching. Expect Gary Kubiak to develop a game plan that keeps Stafford off the field while Zimmer creates plenty of pressure when Stafford is on the field. The Vikings should also be able to exploit the interior of Detroit’s defensive line. Dalvin Cook & Friends should have a big day.
Prediction: Vikings 28 – 17
Record After Opening Half of The Season: 5-3
We continue the Minnesota Vikings schedule prediction next week with the third quarter of the season.