EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – For the first time since 2012, the Vikings will open their season at home.
The Vikings will host the Saints for a Monday Night Football showdown on Sept. 11, the early game in a prime-time double-header to start the season.
It will mark just the third time Minnesota has opened on home turf since 2007 and the first home opener at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“I think it’s fun,” Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer told Vikings.com. “We get to open at home, and I think the fans will be really excited about the game.”
The Vikings have played eight of their past 10 season openers on the road. Their most recent Week 1 home matchup was a 26-23 win in overtime against the Jaguars to start a 2012 season that Minnesota finished 10-6.
Since 2000, Minnesota is 9-8 in its season openers and 4-2 in games that kicked off in Minneapolis.
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The Vikings are 18-10 all-time against the Saints and will look to notch a win after four consecutive losses to New Orleans, dating back to the 2009 NFC Championship game that took place on Jan 24, 2010. After the Vikings fell short 31-28, New Orleans hosted Minnesota for the following season’s opener on Sept. 9, 2010. The game was a defensive slugfest in which the Saints pulled out a 14-9 win.
The Monday Night Football matchup will be just the second time the Vikings and Saints have faced off since Zimmer took the helm in 2014. In Zimmer’s first season as a head coach, the Vikings played at New Orleans on Sept. 21 and suffered a 20-9 loss.
Both rosters look different than they did for the teams’ last meeting in which Brandin Cooks and Greg Jennings were the Saints and Vikings top offensive performers. Neither receiver remains with the respective clubs.
Of current players, Vikings linebacker
The 2017 season will mark the 17th for Brees, who finished the 2016 season with 5,208 passing yards. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a regular season more than once; Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford have each accomplished the feat a single time. Brees has passed the benchmark five times (2008, 2011-13, 2016).
Seven years and two days since their last time starting the season against Brees, the Vikings will have a chance to turn the tables and open with a victory over a team that’s become a high-energy, non-division rivalry.
“New Orleans is a great team,” Zimmer said. “Hall of Fame quarterback, a Super-Bowl-winning coach, so it should be a lot of fun.”
Vikings 2017 Schedule
Week 1: Monday, Sept. 11 | New Orleans | ESPN | 6:10 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17 | at Pittsburgh | FOX | Noon
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24 | Tampa Bay | FOX | Noon
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1 | Detroit | FOX | Noon
Week 5: Monday, Oct. 9 | at Chicago | ESPN | 7:30 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15 | Green Bay | FOX | Noon*
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22 | Baltimore | CBS | Noon*
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 29 | at Cleveland (in London) | NFLN | 8:30 a.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5 | BYE
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12 | at Washington | FOX | Noon*
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19 | Los Angeles Rams | FOX | Noon*
Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 23 | at Detroit | FOX | 11:30 a.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3 | at Atlanta | FOX | Noon*
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10 | at Carolina | CBS | Noon*
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17 | Cincinnati | CBS | Noon*
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 23 | at Green Bay | NBC | 7:30 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31 | Chicago | FOX | Noon*
(All times are Central; *Time subject to change due to flexible scheduling)