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Lunchbreak: Spotlights 'Marquee Matchups' for Vikings in 2024

With Wednesday evening's release of all 32 teams' schedules for the 2024 season, league pundits are offering their critiques and breakdowns. asked some of its writers to provide takeaways for schedules across the league, and Jeffrey Chadiha looked at Minnesota’s.

Chadiha highlighted three "marquee matchups" on the Vikings schedule, all in the first five games. He pointed to Week 2 against the 49ers, Week 3 against the Texans and Week 5 against the Jets – which will take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

One of Chadiha's "biggest takeaways" for Minnesota is that the Vikings "easily have one of the toughest starts to their season." He wrote:

After traveling to play the Giants in the season-opener, they will play six straight games against playoff contenders: the 49ers, Texans, Packers, Jets, Lions and Rams. It already will be interesting to see how long Minnesota keeps rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy on the bench. With a slate like that, it's probably best to allow him to watch Sam Darnold under fire.

Chadiha also noted "Kirk's comeback" in Week 14, when the Vikings host the Falcons.

He said there "wasn't any bad blood" when Cousins departed in free agency but added "the narrative around this game will still be compelling."

The Falcons also drafted quarterback Michael Penix, Jr., with the eighth overall selection in April. If Cousins is struggling for some reason, maybe we see the rookie on the field much earlier than expected.

Finally, Chadiha noticed "familiar endings" on Minnesota's schedule.

The Vikings won't be the most hyped team in the NFC North, but they will have talent. The question will be whether they can do enough earlier in this season to control their fate late. Minnesota finishes with three division games in the final four weeks of the season, hosting Chicago and Green Bay before traveling to Detroit in the finale. If the Vikings can linger around .500 until then, that will be their chance to make a run at a playoff spot.

Brian Flores to represent Vikings at Coach Accelerator program

Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores will be attending the 2024 Coach Accelerator program from May 20-22 at the Spring League Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, the team announced Thursday.

The Accelerator aims to help strengthen the pipeline of diverse coaching candidates throughout the NFL.

The Spring Accelerator is the league's fifth iteration since the program was launched in 2022. It follows the Front Office Accelerator Program held in Dallas, Texas, this past December.

The Accelerator serves as a platform for clubs and owners to engage with qualified coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds. Candidates can build relationships with club owners and executives and further develop and hone their leadership skills. To date, the program has successfully contributed to an increase in diverse candidates being interviewed for open positions, and many past participants have been promoted and hired into more senior coaching positions.

In addition to networking and personal development programming, the league will provide coaches with insight to future initiatives, both on and off the field, to contextualize how the game will continue to develop and where the NFL is evolving.