The Vikings announced their regular season schedule* *Thursday.
We're breaking it down into groups of four games to break the ice on Minnesota's opponents in the 2016 season.
The second grouping of games includes the Vikings only consecutive road games of 2016 (at Philadelphia, at Chicago) that are bookended by home games against Houston and Detroit. Minnesota's bye week will occur in Week 6.
View images of the Vikings opponents after the 2016 schedule was released on Thursday.
Vikings vs. Texansby @pcraigers
Noon* | Oct. 9 | U.S. Bank Stadium
Home: 1-0; Away: 2-0
Last time in regular season:Vikings won 23-6* *on Dec. 23, 2012
Last time in regular season in Minnesota:Vikings won 28-21 on Nov. 2, 2008
Houston's 2015 offensive rankings
Total yards: 5,564 (19th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,731 (15th); Passing yards: 3,833 (18th); Points/game: 21.2 (tied for 21st); Sacks allowed/pass play percentage: 5.82 percent (12th) Interception rate: 1.94 percent (8th); Average time of possession: 30:48 (14th)
Houston's 2015 defensive rankings
Total yards allowed/game: 310.2 (3rd); Rushing yards allowed/game: 99.8 (10th); Passing yards allowed/game: 210.4 (3rd); Points allowed/game: 19.6 (tied for 7th); Sacks/pass play: 8.14 percent (4th); Interception rate: 2.53 percent (12th)
Icebreakers:The Texans have only had three opportunities, but the newest franchise in the NFL (2002) is the only team yet to post a win against the Vikings. … Houston has four quarterbacks on its roster after re-signing 2012 first rounder Brandon Weeden and plucking 2012 second rounder Brock Osweiler via free agency. Brian Hoyer led the Texans in passing (224 of 369 for 2,606 yards with 19 TDs, 7 INTs and a passer rating of 91.4) in 2015, and the team also has 2014 fourth-round pick Tom Savage. … Regardless of the changeover at quarterback in the past three seasons, 2013 first-rounder DeAndre Hopkins has been a force. Hopkins ranked third in the NFL with 111 receptions and 1,521 yards and added 11 receiving touchdowns in 2015. … Any discussion about the Texans defense likely starts and ends with J.J. Watt, who has posted four straight All-Pro seasons, garnered four consecutive Pro Bowl nods and led the league with 20.5 sacks in 2012 and 17.5 in 2015. In between those seasons, Watt had 10.5 and 20.5 in 2013-14. Watt has 45 passes defended, 15 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries and 74.5 sacks through his first five seasons.
Vikings at Eaglesby @LindseyMNSports
Noon* | Oct. 23 | Lincoln Financial Field
Vikings W-L-T: 13-12-0
Home: 7-4-0; Away: 6-8-0
Last time in regular season:Vikings defeated Eagles 48-30 on Dec. 15, 2013* *
Last time in regular season in Philadelphia:Vikings defeated Eagles 24-14 on Dec. 28, 2010
Philadelphia's 2015 offensive rankings:
Total yards: 5,830 (12th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,743 (14th); Passing yards: 4,087 (12th); Points/game: 23.6 (13th); Sacks allowed/pass play percentage: 5.94 percent (13th); Interception rate: 2.89 percent (25th); Average time of possession: 25:59 (32nd)
Philadelphia's 2015 defensive rankings:
Total yards allowed/game: 401.6 (30th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 134.6 (32nd); Passing yards allowed/game: 267.1 (28th); Points allowed/game: 26.9 (28th); Sacks/pass play: 5.85 percent (25th); Interception rate: 2.37 percent (15th)
Icebreakers:Despite Philadelphia winning five of the past seven games against Minnesota, the Vikings have won the past two and will look to grab a third consecutive victory over the NFC East team. … The Vikings haven't played the Eagles since Dec. 15, 2013. In that offensively dominant matchup, both teams were playing with a quarterback different from their current starter. Former Eagles QB Nick Foles had a big day, throwing for 428 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while former Vikings QB Matt Cassell finished with 382 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. … Vikings RB Matt Asiata led the team on the ground with 51 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Bears.
Vikings at Bearsby* *@EricLSmith
7:30 p.m. | Oct. 31 | Soldier Field
Vikings W-L-T: 57-51-2
Home: 35-21; Away: 22-30-2
Last time in regular season:Vikings defeated Bears 38-17 on Dec. 20, 2015, in Minnesota
Last time in regular season in Chicago:Vikings defeated Bears 23-20 on Nov. 1, 2015
Chicago's 2015 offensive rankings:
Total yards: 5,514 (21st in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,851 (11th); Passing yards: 3,663 (23rd); Points/game: 20.9 (23rd); Sacks allowed/pass play percentage: 6.50 percent (20th); Interception rate: 2.29 percent (18th); Average time of possession: 31:01 (10th)
Chicago's 2015 defensive rankings:
Total yards allowed/game: 345.4 (14th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 120.9 (tied for 22nd); Passing yards allowed/game: 224.6 (4th); Points allowed/game: 24.8 (20th); Sacks/pass play: 6.84 percent (12th); Interception rate: 1.56 percent (30th)
Icebreakers:The Vikings are seeking their fourth consecutive win over the Bears, which would tie the third-longest winning streak against Chicago in team history. … The Vikings showcased a fourth-quarter rally last season at Soldier Field, helping Minnesota notch its first win in Chicago since 2007. … Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has rushed for 1,562 yards and 14 touchdowns in 14 games against Chicago. The Vikings are 8-6 against the Bears with Peterson in the lineup. … Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is back with the Bears after he caught 54 passes for 807 yards and four touchdowns in nine games. … Chicago recorded just eight interceptions in 2015, tied for second-fewest in the league. … Bears linebacker Christian Jones led the team with 86 total tackles while linebacker Lamarr Houston was first on the team with 8.0 sacks. … Chicago averaged 27.0 yards per kickoff return, good for third in the league behind Minnesota and Detroit.
Vikings vs. Lionsby @pcraigers
Noon* | Nov. 6 | U.S. Bank Stadium
Vikings W-L-T: 71-36-2
Home: 39-14-1; Away: 32-22-1
Last time in regular season:Vikings defeated Lions 28-19 on Oct. 25, 2015 in Detroit
Last time in regular season in Minnesota:Vikings defeated Lions 26-16 on Sept. 20, 2015
Detroit's 2015 offensive rankings:
Total yards: 5,547 (20th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,335 (32nd); Passing yards: 4,212 (9th); Points/game: 22.4 (18th); Sacks allowed/pass play percentage: 6.96 percent (22nd) Interception rate: 2.22 percent (15th); Average time of possession: 31:05 (9th)
Detroit's 2015 defensive rankings:
Total yards allowed/game: 349.6 (18th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 112.8 (19th); Passing yards allowed/game: 236.8 (15th); Points allowed/game: 25.0 (23rd); Sacks/pass play: 8.14 percent (3rd); Interception rate: 1.70 percent (26th)
Icebreakers:The Vikings are seeking their third win in a row against the Lions for the first time since a six-game streak from 2007-10. … Detroit will attempt to fill the void created by the retirement of Calvin Johnson, the second overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft who totaled 731 receptions, 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. Johnson made six Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro three seasons. No. 81 had 81 career receptions for 1,095 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games against the Vikings. … Golden Tate ranked 10th in the NFL with 90 receptions and had 813 yards and six touchdowns in 2015. … Glover Quin recorded four interceptions, but the Lions team finished with nine picks on the season. … Ziggy Ansah led the NFC and finished third in the NFL with 14.5 sacks after combining for 15.5 in his first two seasons.
All listed times are Central.
- Game time subject to the NFL's flexible scheduling procedures.