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Vikings Strength of Schedule Tied at '16th Toughest' for 2024

EAGAN, Minn. — The NFL's 2024 schedule release is almost here.

The Vikings have known their opponents for the upcoming season since the 2023 campaign ended.

Minnesota will face the following teams in 2024:

Home (includes one team to be named as playing the Vikings in London): Bears, Lions, Packers, Falcons, Cardinals, 49ers, Colts, Texans and Jets)

Road: Bears, Lions, Packers, Giants, Rams, Seahawks, Jaguars and Titans

Why nine regular-season home games and eight on the road?

Through a format introduced in 2021 when the NFL expanded to 17 regular-season games, NFC teams host nine regular-season games in even-numbered years.

Strength of Schedule

Based on the records of teams in 2023, the Vikings are tied for the "16th toughest" schedule.

Opponents the Vikings face this season were a combined 145-144 for a winning percentage of .502, which is equal to the win percentage compiled by teams the Commanders and Chiefs will face in 2024.

The AFC North filled the top three slots for toughest schedules based on that metric with the Browns (.547), Ravens (.536) and Steelers (.533) ranking ahead of the Texans and Packers, who tied for fourth (.526).

Three NFC South teams are among the four with the easiest schedules. The Saints and Falcons opponents this season combined for winning percentages of .453. The Panthers and Bears opponents this season combined for winning percentages of .467.

Why is there such a difference between the Packers and Bears?

The schedule annually includes home-and-away division games and then uses rotational formulas to determine the other 11 contests.

Green Bay finished second in the NFC North, and Chicago landed in fourth after a tiebreaker with Minnesota put the Vikings ahead of the Bears. The NFL uses a respective order-of-finish to determine three matchups each season. This year, NFC North teams have a home game against an NFC South team, a road game against an NFC East team and a home game against an AFC East team.

NFC North teams' order-of-finish opponents in 2024

Lions: Buccaneers (9-8), Cowboys (12-5), Bills (11-6)

Packers: Saints (9-8), Eagles (11-6), Dolphins (11-6)

Vikings: Falcons (7-10), Giants (6-11), Jets (7-10)

Bears: Panthers (2-15), Commanders (4-13), Patriots (4-13)

Divisional Rotations

The other eight matchups are determined by a divisional rotation pattern.

In 2024, each NFC North team is playing each NFC West and each AFC South team.

Is there any relationship between this metric of strength of schedule and making the playoffs?

Much changes from year to year with every NFL team, but the squads facing the toughest schedules at the start of a season (by this metric) have missed the playoffs in five of the past seven seasons (2017 Broncos, 2018 Packers, 2019 Raiders, 2020 Patriots and 2022 Rams). The exceptions have been the 2021 Steelers, who made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record, and the 2023 Eagles, who opened 10-1 before a late-season swoon.

Four of the past seven teams with the easiest schedules have made the playoffs.

The 2023 Falcons schedule featured opponents with a combined winning percentage of .417 in 2022 games.

The 2022 Cowboys and Commanders were tied for the easiest based on 2021 results. Dallas did make the playoffs, but Washington did not.

Washington also missed the postseason after opening 2019 with the easiest slate. The 2018 Texans, 2020 Ravens and 2021 Eagles all made the playoffs.

View home and away photos of the Vikings 2024 regular season opponents.

2024 NFL Strength of Schedule

  1. Browns, .547 win percentage (158-131) in 2023 by 2024 opponents
  2. Ravens, .536 (155-134)
  3. Steelers, .533 (154-135)

T-4. Texans, .526 (152-137)

T-4. Packers, .526 (152-137)

T-6. Giants, .516 (149-140)

T-6. Bills, .516 (149-140)

T-8. Jaguars, .512 (148-141)

T-8. Raiders, .512 (148-141)

T-8. Patriots, .512 (148-141)

  1. Lions, .509 (147-142)

T-12. Rams, .505 (146-143)

T-12. 49ers, .505 (146-143)

T-12. Cowboys, .505 (146-143)

T-12. Jets, .505 (146-143)

T-16. Bengals, .502 (145-144)

T-16. Commanders, .502 (145-144)

T-16. Vikings, .502 (145-144)

T-16. Chiefs, .502 (145-144)

  1. Broncos, .495 (143-146)

T-21. Colts, .491 (142-147)

T-21. Eagles, .491 (142-147)

T-21. Titans, .491 (142-147)

T-24. Cardinals, .488 (141-148)

T-24. Seahawks, .488 (141-148)

T-24. Dolphins, .488 (141-148)

T-27. Buccaneers, .478 (138-151)

T-27. Chargers, .478 (138-151)

T-29. Panthers, .467 (135-154)

T-29. Bears, .467 (135-154)

T-31. Saints, .453 (131-158)

T-31. Falcons, .453 (131-158)