EAGAN, Minn. – Adam Thielen might be a little confused in Week 3 when U.S. Bank Stadium hosts the Seahawks for the Vikings 2021 home opener.
"I don't know what it feels like to play Seattle at home," Thielen quipped. "[It seems like] every year it's at Seattle, Monday Night Football."
Thielen shared his thoughts with Vikings.com's Gabe Henderson on Minnesota’s 2021 schedule, which was released Wednesday.
"That'll be a little different, but I'm excited about it," Thielen added of the Seahawks matchup.
Fans aren't the only ones who look forward to the NFL's annual schedule release. After knowing since January what opponents will be in the lineup, the final anticipated question – when – is answered in the spring.
In addition to Thielen's videoconference with Henderson, a number of other Vikings reacted to the news on social media.
Patrick Peterson, who signed with the Vikings in free agency after 10 seasons with the Cardinals, told fans via Twitter that he was tuning in to NFL Network for the schedule release.
After finding out he'll be playing his former team in Arizona Week 2, Peterson also expressed excitement about the Vikings four scheduled prime-time games in 2021:
"Prime-time games get your blood flowing in this league," Thielen told Henderson. "Just that extra motivation, playing in front of all your peers – you know that guys across the league are watching, fans across the league are watching, and those are exciting games."
Former Vikings linebacker turned analyst Ben Leber also weighed in on the Vikings 2021 slate, putting a personal spin on the schedule:
As Minnesotans, I think we can all relate to Leber's "face freeze" designation for late-season road games against the Bears and Packers.
There are plenty of storylines around the Vikings Week 1 game at Cincinnati, where Mike Zimmer spent six seasons as the Bengals defensive coordinator before taking the helm in Minnesota.
If there's one Viking who's most excited about this one, though, it might be Justin Jefferson. The receiver will "reunite" (from opposing benches) with former LSU teammates Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase, the latter of whom was drafted No. 5 overall last month. Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick a year ago, is recovering from a torn ACL that forced him to miss the final six games of 2020.
Jefferson couldn't resist interacting with the Bengals tweet about the season opener:
On the opposite end of the schedule, new this season will be a Week 18 showdown added when the league expanded the regular season – and shortened the preseason – by a game.
Stop me if you've heard this before: The Vikings will host the Bears for the team's regular-season finale.
"Looking back over my seven, going on eight, years, it seems like we always end up playing the Bears the last game of the season – and there [can be] some huge playoff implications on the line," Thielen said. "I'm sure that one will be no different and will be a huge game for us.
"Each one of these games is so important," he added, "and that's what's so great about the NFL."