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Analyzing Vikings 3rd Quarter of 2020 Schedule: Bears, Cowboys, Panthers and Jaguars

By now, you've seen the entire Vikings 2020 NFL schedule, which was released last Thursday, and know that the 60th season in franchise history is scheduled to open against the Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The third quarter of Minnesota's season will open in Chicago on Monday Night Football in what might be the coldest game for the Vikings all season. It will follow with three consecutive home games against Dallas, Carolina and Jacksonville. It is the first instance of three consecutive home games for the Vikings since 2014 when Green Bay, Carolina and the New York Jets visited the University of Minnesota.

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Here's a look at the series history, 2019 stats, roster changes and some 2020 icebreakers for the third quarter of the Vikings season:

Week 10

Vikings at Bears | by @pcraigers

7:15 p.m. (CT) | Monday, Nov. 16 | Soldier Field

Series Results

Vikings W-L-T: 60-56-2 (includes 0-1 in playoffs)

Home: 37-23; Away: 23-33-2

Last time in regular season: Bears defeated Vikings 21-19 in Minnesota on Dec. 29, 2019

Last time in regular season at Chicago: Bears defeated Vikings 16-6 on Sept. 29, 2019

2019 Stats

Chicago offense

The Bears scored 141 fewer points in 2019 (280) than in 2018 when Chicago put up 421 and won the NFC North. It marked a drop of 20 spots in the rankings for points scored.

Chicago ranked 31st in the NFL in yards per play (4.66), 29th in rush yards per play (3.69) and last in pass yards per play (5.67).

Chicago defense

The Bears defense ranked in the top eight in the NFL in points against (18.6 per game), yards allowed (324.1 per game) and passing touchdowns allowed (17 in the entire season). Chicago was the only team to limit Minnesota to single digits in a 2019 game.

Six of the Bears 32 sacks last season occurred at the expense of the Vikings in Week 4.

Roster Refresher

Added: QB Nick Foles, CB Artie Burns, WR Ted Ginn, Jr., TE Jimmy Graham, OL Germain Ifedi and Edge Robert Quinn

First two picks of 2020 NFL Draft: Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet at No. 43 overall and Utah CB Jaylon Johnson at 50

Departed (new team if player has signed)/contract expired: QB Chase Daniel (Lions), WR Taylor Gabriel, TE Trey Burton (Colts), G Kyle Long (Retired), DT Nick Williams (Lions), LB Nick Kwiatkoski (Raiders), Edge Leonard Floyd (Rams), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (Redskins), CB Prince Amukamara and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Cowboys)


Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy is 20-12 in two regular seasons with Chicago. He was the AP NFL Coach of the Year in 2018. … After playing just four games of the first season in a four-year deal in Jacksonville, Foles was traded to Chicago in March for a fourth-round pick. … Mitchell Trubisky's passer rating dipped from 95.4 in 2018 to 83.0 last season. … Kyle Fuller led Chicago with three interceptions in 2019, which was down from seven the previous season. He made his second consecutive Pro Bowl. … Former Vikings return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson helped Chicago lead the league in kickoff return average (26.6 yards per return).

Week 11

Vikings vs Cowboys | by @LindseyMNSports

3:25 p.m. (CT) | Nov. 22 | U.S. Bank Stadium

Series Results

Vikings W-L-T: 15-16-0 (including 3-4 in the playoffs)

Home: 7-10-0; Away: 8-6-0

Last time in regular season: Vikings defeated Cowboys 28-24 at Dallas on Nov. 10, 2019 (Sunday Night Football)

Last time in regular season in Minnesota: Cowboys defeated Vikings 17-15 on Dec. 1, 2016 (Thursday Night Football)

2019 Stats

Dallas offense

The Cowboys led the NFL with 6,904 yards gained (431.5 per game) and with 6.5 yards per play in 2019. Dallas also ranked sixth in points scored (27.1 points per game) in 2019.

Dallas racked up at least 474 yards of offense in seven games after having one such game in 2018.

Dallas defense

The Cowboys limited opponents to a success rate of just 33.3 percent on third downs, which tied for second in the NFL.

Dallas was one of three teams with 17 takeaways, tying for 25th fewest in the NFL last season. Xavier Woods and Jourdan Lewis each recorded two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Roster Refresher

Added: DT Dontari Poe, DT Gerald McCoy, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, K Greg Zuerlein, CB Daryl Worley, TE Blake Bell and QB Andy Dalton

First two picks of 2020 NFL Draft: Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb at No. 17 overall and Alabama CB Trevon Diggs at No. 51

Departed (new team if player has signed)/contract expired: WR Tavon Austin, WR Randall Cobb (Texans), TE Jason Witten (Raiders), T Cameron Fleming (Giants), G Xavier Su'a-Filo (Bengals), C Travis Frederick (Retired), DE Michael Bennett, DE Robert Quinn (Bears), DT Maliek Collins (Raiders), CB Byron Jones (Dolphins) and S Jeff Heath (Raiders)


The Cowboys will be led by former Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy, who took over in Dallas after the release of longtime Head Coach Jason Garrett; McCarthy did not coach in 2019. … Prescott ranked second in the NFL in 2019 with 4,902 passing yards. … RB Ezekiel Elliott ranked fourth among running backs with 1,357 rushing yards. … LB Jaylon Smith led Dallas in tackles with 142. … Minnesota's exciting defeat of Dallas last season marked the Vikings first road win over the Cowboys since 2000. … The Vikings longest win streak against the Cowboys stretched five games between November 1998 and September 2004.

Week 12

Vikings vs Panthers | by @pcraigers

Noon (CT) | Sunday, Nov. 29 | U.S. Bank Stadium

Series Results

Vikings W-L-T: 8-6-0

Home: 6-3; Away: 2-3

Last time in regular season: Panthers defeated Vikings 31-24 at Carolina on Dec. 10, 2017

Last time in regular season in Minnesota: Vikings defeated Panthers 31-13 on Nov. 30, 2014

2019 Stats

Carolina offense

The 633 pass attempts by the Panthers last season ranked second in the NFL and their own division (behind 684 by Atlanta).

Carolina ranked 31st in turnovers committed (35) and passing touchdowns (17) last season.

Carolina defense

The Panthers rank of 31st in the NFL in points against (470) was the worst in team history (since 1995). The total points against broke a franchise record of 429 in 2011.

Opponents rushed for 31 touchdowns against the Panthers last season, placing Carolina last in the league at stopping rushing touchdowns.

Roster Refresher

Added: QB Teddy Bridgewater, DE Stephen Weatherly, LT Russell Okung, OL Michael Schofield, WR Robby Anderson, WR Pharoh Cooper, WR Seth Roberts, TE Seth DeValve and LB Tahir Whitehead

First two picks of 2020 NFL Draft: Auburn DT Derrick Brown at No. 7 overall and Penn State DE Yetur Gross-Matos at 38

Departed (new team if player has signed)/contract expired: QB Cam Newton, QB Kyle Allen (Redskins), WR Chris Hogan, TE Greg Olsen (Seahawks), G Trai Turner (Chargers), G Greg Van Roten (Jets), T Daryl Williams (Bills), DT Dontari Poe (Cowboys), LB Luke Kuechly (Retired), DE Mario Addison (Bills), DL Vernon Butler (Bills), DE Bruce Irvin (Seahawks), DT Kyle Love, CB James Bradberry (Giants), CB Ross Cockrell, S Colin Jones and S Eric Reid


There's a whole lotta new in Carolina, starting with Head Coach Matt Rhule, who was hired from Baylor, and QB Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater, the 32nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Vikings, went 5-0 for New Orleans when Drew Brees was injured in 2019. … RB Christian McCaffrey totaled 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards last season, joining Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the only players in NFL history to have 1,000-plus in both categories during one season. … D.J. Moore ranked second on the team with 87 receptions (behind McCaffrey's 116). Moore led the Panthers with 1,175 yards through the air. … Brian Burns, the 16th overall pick of 2019, had 7.5 sacks, the most of any returning player. … Carolina became the first team since the first common AFL-NFL Draft in 1967 to have at least seven selections and use each on a defensive player.

Week 13

Vikings vs Jaguars | by @pcraigers

Noon (CT) | Sunday, Dec. 6 | U.S. Bank Stadium

Series Results

Vikings W-L-T: 5-1-0

Home: 3-1; Away: 2-0

Last time in regular season: Vikings defeated Jaguars 25-16 at Jacksonville on Dec. 11, 2016

Last time in regular season in Minnesota: Vikings defeated Jaguars 26-23 on Sept. 9, 2012

2019 Stats

Jacksonville offense

The Jaguars only threw eight interceptions in 2019 and ranked sixth in the NFL with an interception rate of 1.36 percent.

Jacksonville ranked 31st in the league in red zone percentage (40.4 percent) and last in goal-to-go percentage (45.5 percent).

Jacksonville defense

"Sacksonville" ranked fourth in the NFL with a sacks-per-pass-attempt rate of 9.09 percent, finishing behind Pittsburgh, Carolina and San Francisco.

The 23 rushing touchdowns allowed by Jacksonville ranked 31st, only ahead of the 31 allowed by Carolina.

Roster Refresher

Added: TE Tyler Eifert, DL Rodney Gunter, CB Rashaan Melvin, LB Joe Schobert, C/G Tyler Shatley, RB Chris Thompson, DT Al Woods, CB Darqueze Dennard, DE Cassius Marsh and DE Aaron Lynch

First two picks of 2020 NFL Draft: Florida cornerback CJ Henderson at No. 9 overall and LSU edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson at No. 20

Departed (new team if player has signed)/contract expired: QB Nick Foles (Bears), TE Geoff Swaim, T Cedric Ogbuehi (Seahawks), DE Calais Campbell (Ravens), DT Marcell Dareus, LB Jake Ryan (Ravens) and CB A.J. Bouye (Broncos)


After going 10-6 and reaching the AFC Championship in Doug Marrone's first full season as the Jaguars head coach, Jacksonville has gone 11-21. Rookie Gardner Minshew II stepped in for Nick Foles at QB and went 6-6, recording three comeback victories. … RB Leonard Fournette led Jacksonville in rushing with 1,152 yards and added 522 receiving yards but only reached the end zone three times. DJ Chark boosted his numbers as a rookie from 14 receptions, 174 yards and no touchdowns to 73 for 1,008 yards and eight scores last season. … The Jaguars used the franchise tag on Yannick Ngakoue, whose 8.0 sacks ranked second on the team last year.