The Vikings 2021 schedule, which was announced May 12, will include a pair of road contests to start the season, four prime-time appearances and several intriguing matchups.
Here's a look at the series history, 2020 stats, roster changes and some "icebreakers" for Games 9-12 of the Vikings 2021 season:
Vikings at Chargers | Week 10
3:05 p.m.* (CT) | Sunday, Nov. 14 | SoFi Stadium
Vikings W-L: 7-6 (no meetings in playoffs)
Home: 5-3; Away: 2-3
Last time in regular season: Vikings defeated Chargers 39-10 in Los Angeles on Dec. 15, 2019
Last time in regular season at L.A. Chargers: Vikings defeated Chargers 39-10 in Los Angeles on Dec. 15, 2019
L.A. Chargers offense
Led by NFL Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert, the Chargers posted an interception rate of just 1.59 percent, which was sixth-best in the league.
Los Angeles ranked ninth in third-down conversion percentage (44.2) but 25th on fourth-down attempts (48.0).
Los Angeles Chargers defense
The Chargers allowed just 20.3 first downs per game, which was the NFL's seventh-best defensively.
L.A. held teams to just 223.6 passing yards per game (ranked ninth) and 6.59 passing yards per play (11th). They struggled a bit more against the run, ranking 18th with an average of 119.8 yards allowed on the ground per game.
Chargers Roster Refresher
Added: QB Chase Daniel, TE Jared Cook, OL Matt Feiler, C Corey Linsley, OL Oday Aboushi, LB Kyler Fackrell, CB Ryan Smith
First two picks of 2021 NFL Draft: Northwestern T Rashawn Slater at No. 13 overall and Florida State CB Asante Samuel, Jr., at No. 47
Departed (new team if player has signed or was traded)/contract expired/waived/unsigned: QB Tyrod Taylor (Texans), TE Hunter Henry (Patriots), T Sam Tevi (Colts), G Forrest Lamp (Bills), G/C Dan Feeney (Jets), C Mike Pouncey (retired), DE Melvin Ingram, LB Denzel Perryman (Panthers), LB Nick Vigil (Vikings), CB Casey Hayward (Raiders), S Rayshawn Jenkins (Jaguars)
The Chargers relieved Head Coach Anthony Lynn of his duties after four seasons at the helm. … Brandon Staley was hired as head coach, along with Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi, Defensive Coordinator Renaldo Hill and Special Teams Coordinator Derius Swinton II. … The Chargers were 1-2 in regular-season overtime games in 2020. … The team finished the season with four straight wins. … Herbert led the Chargers in rushing touchdowns with five; Austin Ekeler led the team in rushing yards with 530. … WR Keenan Allen racked up 992 receiving yards and eight touchdowns and has caught 403 passes since 2017. … DE Joey Bosa led the team in sacks (7.5) and tackles for loss (15). … In addition to playing safety, Nasir Adderley averaged 28.9 yards per kick return.
— By @LindseyMNSports
Vikings vs. Packers | Week 11
Noon* (CT) | Sunday, Nov. 21 | U.S. Bank Stadium
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Vikings W-L-T: 55-63-3 (includes 1-1 in playoffs)
Home: 29-30; Away: 26-33-3
Last time in regular season in Minnesota: Packers defeated Vikings 43-34 on Sept. 13, 2020
Green Bay offense
QB Aaron Rodgers was the 2020 NFL MVP, leading the league in touchdown passes (48), passer rating (121.5), completion percentage (70.7) and fewest interceptions (five).
Rodgers' favorite target was WR Davante Adams, who led the NFL in receiving touchdowns (18) and receiving yards per game (98.1). Adams also set a franchise single-season record with 115 catches.
Green Bay defense
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Packers CB Jaire Alexander forced a tight-window throw on 42.3 percent of his targets, the best rate in the league among cornerbacks.
The Packers were stingy near the end zone, allowing touchdowns on just 66.7 percent of the time in opponents' go-to-goal situations. That percentage ranked fourth in the league.
Packers Roster Refresher
Added: LS Joe Fortunato
First two picks of 2021 NFL Draft: Georgia CB Eric Stokes at No. 29 overall and Ohio State C Josh Myers at 62
Departed (new team if player has signed or was traded)/contract expired/waived/unsigned: C Corey Linsley (Chargers), RB Jamaal Williams (Lions), QB Tim Boyle (Lions), RB Tyler Ervin, WR Tavon Austin, OT Rick Wagner, DL Montravius Adams (Patriots) and LB Christian Kirksey (Texans)
Green Bay essentially sat out the free-agency frenzy, instead choosing to re-sign its own players. RB Aaron Jones, TE Marcedes Lewis, NT Tyler Lancaster, CB Kevin King and S Will Redmond all returned. … Jones was a first-time Pro Bowler in 2020 after rushing for 1,104 yards and nine scores. … The Packers have gone 13-3 and claimed the NFC North in back-to-back seasons, but lost in the NFC title game in 2019 and 2020. … Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur is 11-1 against the NFC North in his first two seasons in Green Bay. … Offensive linemen (left tackle David Bakhtiari and Linsley) earned First-Team All-Pro honors in 2020.
— By @Eric\_L\_Smith
View photos of the Vikings 2021 schedule at U.S. Bank Stadium and on the road.
Vikings at 49ers | Week 12
3:25 p.m.* (CT) | Sunday, Nov. 28 | Levi's Stadium
Vikings W-L-T: 23-24-1 (includes 1-5 in playoffs)
Home: 15-9; Away: 8-15-1
Last time in regular season: Vikings defeated 49ers 24-16 in Minnesota on Sept. 9, 2018
Last time in regular season at San Francisco: 49ers defeated Vikings 20-3 on Sept. 14, 2015
San Francisco offense
The 49ers had three different quarterbacks start multiple games in 2020. Nick Mullens started eight games, while Jimmy Garoppolo started six and C.J. Beathard started twice.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, 49ers RB Raheem Mostert had the two fastest speeds recorded by a ball carrier in 2020. He reached 23.09 mph on an 80-yard touchdown run in Week 2, and topped out at 22.73 mph on a 76-yard touchdown catch the week prior.
San Francisco defense
49ers DE Nick Bosa, The Associated Press' 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, missed all but two games in 2020 due to a torn ACL.
San Francisco ranked fifth in yards allowed per game (314.4) in 2020, and ranked in the top-seven in both passing yards (207.9; fourth) and rushing yards (106.4; seventh) per game. But the 49ers ranked 17th overall in points allowed per game at 24.4.
49ers Roster Refresher
Added: QB Nate Sudfeld, RB Wayne Gallman, WR Mohamed Sanu, WR Trent Sherfield, C Alex Mack, DE Arden Key, DT Maurice Hurst, Jr., DL Zach Kerr, LB Samson Ebukam, LB Nate Gerry, S Tavon Wilson
First two picks of 2021 NFL Draft: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance at No. 3 overall (after trading up) and Notre Dame G Aaron Banks at 48
Departed (new team if player has signed or was traded)/contract expired/waived/unsigned: QB C.J. Beathard (Jaguars), RB Tevin Coleman (Jets), RB Jerick McKinnon (Chiefs), WR Kendrick Bourne (Patriots), WR Marquise Goodwin (Bears), WR Chris Thompson, TE Jordan Reed (retired), C Ben Garland, DE Ezekiel Ansah, DE Ronald Blair, DE Solomon Thomas (Raiders), DT Kerry Hyder (Seahawks), CB Richard Sherman, C B Ahkello Witherspoon (Seahawks)
The previous two regular-season matchups occurred in Week 1 (2015 and 2018), but this will be the seventh November game in the history of the series and first since . … The 49ers used the No. 3 overall pick on Lance, a Minnesota native who hails from Marshall. … San Francisco re-signed left tackle Trent Williams this offseason, inking him to a multiyear deal. … San Francisco's secondary mostly stayed intact as CBs Jason Verrett and K'Waun Williams stayed with the 49ers this offseason, as did safety Jaquiski Tartt. … 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan is 29-35 overall entering his fifth season in charge. … 49ers GM John Lynch is among eight members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
— By @Eric\_L\_Smith
Vikings at Lions| Week 13
Noon* (CT) | Sunday, Dec. 5 | Ford Field
Vikings W-L-T: 78-39-2 (no meetings in playoffs)
Home: 42-16-1; Away: 36-23-1
Last time in regular season at Detroit: Vikings defeated Lions 37-35 on Jan. 3, 2021
Detroit performed well inside the red zone last season, scoring touchdowns on 66.0 percent of its trips inside the opponent's 20-yard line. That success rate ranked ninth overall in the NFL. The team ranked eighth overall in goal-to-go with an 80.7-percent success rate.
The Lions had a sacks-per-pass-attempt rate of 7.2 percent, which ranked 22nd in the league. Matthew Stafford was sacked 38 times in 2020.
The Lions had an interception rate in 2020 of just 1.26 percent, which ranked 30th in the league. Only the Panthers (1.2) and Texans (0.6) had a lower rate of picked-off passes.
Detroit allowed opponents to score an average of 32.4 points per game, which ranked 32nd in the NFL. The next-closest team was Jacksonville, which allowed 30.8 points per game.
Lions Roster Refresher
Added: QB Jared Goff (via trade), RB Jamaal Williams, WR Breshad Perriman, TE Josh Hill, DE Charles Harris, DT Michael Brockers (via trade), LB Alex Anzalone, CB Quinton Dunbar, K Randy Bullock
First two picks of 2021 NFL Draft: Oregon T Penei Sewell at No. 7 overall and Washington DT Levi Onwuzurike at No. 41
Departed (new team if player has signed or was traded)/contract expired/waived/unsigned: QB Chase Daniel (Chargers), QB Matthew Stafford (traded to Rams), RB Adrian Peterson, WR Jamal Agnew (Jaguars), WR Danny Amendola, WR Kenny Golloday (Giants), WR Marvin Jones (Jaguars), WR Mohamed Sanu (49ers), TE Jesse James, DE Everson Griffen, LB Jarrad Davis (Jets), CB Justin Coleman (Dolphins), CB Darryl Roberts (Wash. Football Team), CB Desmond Trufant (Bears), S Duron Harmon (Falcons), S Miles Killebrew (Steelers), K Matt Prater (Cardinals)
After a trio of consecutive losing seasons under Matt Patricia, the Lions in January hired Dan Campbell to take over as Detroit's head coach for the upcoming season; former Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn was hired as the Lions offensive coordinator, and Aaron Glenn was hired as defensive coordinator. … Two defenders (Jamie Collins and Romeo Okwara) forced three fumbles apiece last season. … With the departures of Golladay, Jones and Amendola, the Lions will be trying to make up for 142 receptions, 1,918 yards and 11 touchdown catches. … 2019 first-round draft pick T.J. Hockenson was Detroit's second-leading receiver with 67 catches for 723 yards and six touchdowns.
— By @LindseyMNSports