The countdown to the 2019 season is on, as the Vikings have 142 days until they open the season at home against Atlanta on Sept. 8.
There will be plenty of ebbs and flows for each team until then, with the draft, spring practices and training camp all still on the horizon.
But at first glance, those around the league seem to like the Vikings chances for a successful 2019 season.
Courtney Cronin, the Vikings beat reporter for ESPN, recently tabbed Minnesota to go 10-6 on the upcoming season.
View images of who the Vikings will play for home and away games during the 2019 regular season. For information on 2019 Vikings tickets, please visit vikings.com/ticketalerts.
After missing the playoffs in 2018, the Vikings' path to the postseason includes a manageable slate of home games, despite only two-back-to-back games at U.S. Bank Stadium at the end of the season. There's a brutal stretch on the road, including all four of their away games in the second half of the season against teams that made the playoffs in 2018. The Vikings play three NFC North games on the road in the first seven weeks.
Then things get really difficult with a handful of stretches that could decide the season for Minnesota. One to keep an eye on is back-to-back road games at Kansas City and Dallas in Weeks 9 and 10. For a dome team, the second half of Minnesota’s schedule is ideal. The Vikings play two outdoor games after Nov. 3, in Seattle and Los Angeles, but both are slated for Monday and Sunday night, respectively.
Additionally, Matthew Coller of SKOR North radio also had the Vikings reaching 10 wins on the season.
Coller has Minnesota going 5-3 in each half of the season, but noted that the Vikings will need to make hay early on with three tough road games looming from Weeks 9 to 13 with Kansas City, Dallas and Seattle.
If we’re judging the difficulty of the schedule by quarters (as teams say they do), you might rank them this way: third quarter, fourth quarter, first quarter, second quarter. The third quarter includes three road games against three 2018 playoff teams and arguably the best quarterback in the NFL.
The Vikings full 2019 schedule can be found here.
Graff lists Vikings-Seahawks as must-watch game in 2019
Minnesota’s 2019 schedule has some similarities to the 2018 version, such as a Week 2 road game at Green Bay and the season finale at home against Chicago.
The Vikings will also travel to Seattle for another Monday night affair, but this time it’s in Week 13 instead of Week 14 on the slate.
And it’s that prime-time showdown in the Pacific Northwest against a conference foe that Chad Graff of The Athletic wrote is Minnesota’s must-watch game in 2019.
Graff noted that because Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer made a coaching change after the 2018 contest, the 2019 version will serve as a measuring stick to where Minnesota’s offense is at almost a year later.
A year ago, the Vikings playoff hopes derailed with a December Monday Night Football loss in Seattle. The next day, Mike Zimmer fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. Almost one year to the day, the Vikings return again to Seattle for Monday Night Football, offering a glimpse into for how far they have or haven’t come with Kevin Stefanski and Gary Kubiak now leading the offense.
The game against Seattle is one of five prime-time contests the Vikings have scheduled in 2019.