Minnesota Vikings: 2017 Schedule Breakdown And Analysis

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /
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A week-by-week breakdown of the Minnesota Vikings schedule for the 2017 NFL season

The Minnesota Vikings schedule for the 2017 NFL season was released on Thursday night. Along with the 32 other teams in the league, the Vikes now know what lies ahead. Minnesota will finally host a season-opening game against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football to kick off the year

2017 will be interesting enough to say the least for the Vikings, seeing their lead running back test free agency along with the many changes in all phases. Additionally, it’s another year of Sam Bradford and an up-and-coming defense that could potentially improve off tremendous highs a year ago.

Here we will give a short rundown of each game, and give a few bullet points to look for as the season progresses in quarters.

Week 1: vs. New Orleans Saints (Monday Night Football) 

Kudos to league for setting up an exciting first Monday night of football. Drew Brees and the Saints explosive offensive versus one of the best defenses of last season, this game may come down to the wire.

The Saints traded Brandin Cooks away to the Patriots, but yet they boast a multitude of weapons outside with a quarterback who can deliver. Minnesota’s offense will face a tough front seven, yet they can expose the secondary at will. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game didn’t have a 40+ over/under before kickoff.

Related Story: Minnesota Vikings: Offensive Revolution In Post-Adrian Peterson Era

Week 2: at Pittsburgh Steelers 

A tough first four weeks continues as the Vikings head east to take on Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh. Minnesota hasn’t played the Steelers since 2013, and hasn’t won in Pittsburgh in 22 years. Needless to say, it’s been awhile.

Contemplating his retirement, Roethlisberger decided to return this year and give it one more go. With Big Ben’s career soon coming to a close, look for the Steelers to potentially draft a successor this year or the next. To the game at hand, Minnesota has struggled against the run game, and Bell may be the best in the league. It’ll be a close game, just don’t get your hopes up, Vikings fans.

Week 3: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The quickly rising Buccaneers bring a completely different expectation to Minnesota when they take on the Vikings in 2017. A team that nearly made it into the playoffs a year ago, Jameis Winston, Mike Evans and company will test this Vikings just as the previous two opponents did.

Now, will Adrian Peterson be the running back Minnesota faces come Week 3 or will it be Doug Martin? Or someone else? Two teams on the Vikings schedule are suitors for Peterson’s services. The Vikings will have difficulty running the ball with Gerald McCoy and that front seven, but could succeed through the air. Another intriguing matchup as Minnesota grinds through the first part of the schedule.

Week 4: vs. Detroit Lions

The first matchup on the schedule versus a divisional foe, Mike Zimmer and crew cannot allow this Detroit Lions team to come in and beat them on their home turf again. Over the last six years, the Lions and Vikings have exchanged wins and losses, and nothing will change in this one as both are very similar on both sides of the ball.

Minnesota boasts the better defense statistically, Detroit the better offense. Another showdown of strengths, Sam Bradford will need to prove that he can win games with his arm as the Detroit Lions front seven is very formidable.