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Vikings 2017 Schedule Icebreakers: Closing with Division Foes

The Vikings announced their **2017 regular-season schedule** on Thursday.

The final "quarter" of the season is the only one in which the Vikings alternate between a road game and home game twice.

Minnesota will visit Carolina for a second straight season on Dec. 10 before returning to host Cincinnati. The Vikings will close out 2017 with the exact same matchups and locations: at Green Bay, but this time on a Saturday night in a game that will be nationally televised by NBC, and against Chicago.

It will be the third season in a row in which Minnesota has visited Green Bay in the final two weeks and the third time in four seasons that the Bears have ended their season in Minnesota.

Week 14

Vikings at Panthersby @LindseyMNSports

Noon*| Sunday, Dec. 10 | Bank of America Stadium

Series results

Vikings W-L-T: 8-5-0

Home: 6-3-0; Away: 2-2-0

Last time in regular season:Vikings defeated Panthers 22-10 on Sept. 25, 2016* *

Last time in regular season in Carolina:Vikings defeated Panthers 22-10 at Carolina on Sept. 25, 2016

Carolina's 2016 offensive rankings:

Total yards: 5,499 (19th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,814 (10th); Passing yards: 3,685 (tied for 21st); Points/game: 23.1 (15th); Sacks allowed/pass play percentage: 6.39 percent (22nd); Interception rate: 3.37 percent (28th); Average time of possession: 30:50 (8th)

Carolina's 2016 defensive rankings:

Total yards allowed/game: 359.8 (21st); Rushing yards allowed/game: 91.6 (6th); Passing yards allowed/game: 268.2 (29th); Points allowed/game: 25.1 (26th); Sacks/pass play: 7.68 percent (3rd); Interception rate: 2.78 percent (9th)

Icebreakers:The Vikings and Panthers have faced each other three out of the past four seasons and will look to notch a third consecutive win over the NFC South division … The Panthers finished 6-10 in 2016 after going 15-1 in the previous regular season and appearing in Super Bowl 50. … Running back Jonathan Stewart led Carolina last season with 824 rushing yards and nine touchdowns but did not play against Minnesota in Week 3. … Tight end Greg Olsen, who had 10 catches for 64 yards against the Vikings, led the Panthers in 2016 with 1,073 receiving yards and will be entering his 11th NFL season. … The Vikings defense sacked Panthers quarterback Cam Newton an impressive eight times in their most recent meeting. … After ranking No. 1 and No. 2 in points per game and red zone percentage, respectively, in 2015, Carolina finished last season at 15th and 12th in those same categories.

View images of the Vikings opponents after the 2017 schedule was released on Thursday.

Week 15

Vikings vs. Bengalsby @pcraigers

Noon* | Sunday, Dec. 17 | U.S. Bank Stadium

Series results

Vikings W-L-T: 6-6-0

Home: 5-0; Away: 1-6

Last time in regular season:Bengals defeated Vikings 42-14 on Dec. 22, 2013

Last time in regular season in Minnesota:Vikings defeated Bengals 30-10 on Dec. 13, 2009

Cincinnati's 2016 offensive rankings:

Total yards: 5,711 (13th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,769 (13th); Passing yards: 3,942 (15th); Points/game: 20.3 (24th); Sacks allowed/pass play percentage: 7.28 percent (26th); Interception rate: 1.42 percent (7th); Average time of possession: 29:52 (21st)

Cincinnati's 2016 defensive rankings:

Total yards allowed/game: 350.8 (17th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 113.3 (21st); Passing yards allowed/game: 237.5 (11th); Points allowed/game: 19.7 (8th); Sacks/pass play: 5.56 percent (22nd); Interception rate: 2.87 percent (8th)

Icebreakers:The Bengals are one of three franchises that have not won a game in Minnesota, joining the Ravens (0-1) and the Texans (0-2). … Cincinnati had its streak of five straight trips to the postseason snapped in 2016 when the Bengals finished 6-9-1, which also was the first time that 2011 second-round pick Andy Dalton didn't finish a season with a winning record. … Draft classmate A.J. Green, who missed a career-high six games, finished with fewer than 1,000 receiving yards for the first time (964). … This will be the first time that Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer has faced Cincinnati in a regular-season game. Zimmer was Bengals defensive coordinator from 2008-13. … The Bengals lost tackle Andrew Whitworth and guard Kevin Zeitler in free agency, and DT Domata Peko departed for Denver. Cincinnati added Kevin Minter and reached deals to bring back Brandon LaFell, Dre Kirkpatrick and Eric Winston. After an injury-depleted season in Minnesota, Andre Smith signed to return to the Bengals. … Cincinnati ranked third in the NFL in average starting field position after kickoffs (26.4), just behind Philadelphia (27.2) and Minnesota (26.9) in 2016.

Week 16

Vikings at Packersby @Eric_L_Smith

7:30 p.m. | Saturday, Dec. 23 | Lambeau Field

Series results

Vikings W-L-T: 51-60-2

Home: 27-28; Away: 24-32-2

Last time in regular season:Packers defeated Vikings 38-25 on Dec. 24, 2016, in Green Bay

Last time in regular season in Green Bay:Packers defeated Vikings 38-25 on Dec. 24, 2016

Green Bay's 2016 offensive rankings:

Total yards: 5,900 (8th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,701 (20th); Passing yards: 4,199 (7th); Points/game: 27.0 (4th); Sacks allowed/pass play percentage: 5.65 percent (13th); Interception rate: 1.29 percent (5th); Average time of possession: 31:14 (5th)

Green Bay's 2016 defensive rankings:

Total yards allowed/game: 363.9 (22nd); Rushing yards allowed/game: 94.7 (8th); Passing yards allowed/game: 269.3 (31st); Points allowed/game: 24.3 (21st); Sacks/pass play: 7.01 percent (7th); Interception rate: 2.98 percent (5th)

Icebreakers:This will mark the Vikings annual trip to Lambeau Field. Minnesota will be seeking its 25th road win over the Packers. The most recent road win secured the 2015 NFC North division title in the regular season's final game. … Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen had the best game of his career at Lambeau Field in 2016, catching 12 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. … Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a pair of touchdown grabs against Green Bay last season. … Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks had 2.5 sacks at Lambeau Field last season. … Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is 2-4 in his career against the Packers. … Defensive end Everson Griffen has 9.0 sacks in 14 career games against Green Bay.

Week 17

Vikings vs. Bears by @LindseyMNSports

Noon* | Sunday, Dec. 31 | U.S. Bank Stadium

Series results

Vikings W-L-T: 58-52-2

Home: 36-21; Away: 22-31-2

Last time in regular season:Vikings defeated Bears 38-10 on Jan. 1, 2017, in Minnesota

Last time in regular season in Minnesota:Vikings defeated Bears 38-10 on Jan. 1, 2017

Chicago's 2016 offensive rankings:

Total yards: 5,704 (15th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,735 (17th); Passing yards: 3,969 (tied for 14th); Points/game: 17.4 (tied for 28th); Sacks allowed/pass play percentage: 5.01 percent (8th); Interception rate: 3.40 percent (29th); Average time of possession: 28:07 (30th)

Chicago's 2016 defensive rankings:

Total yards allowed/game: 346.8 (15th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 121.9 (27th); Passing yards allowed/game: 224.9 (7th); Points allowed/game: 24.9 (24th); Sacks/pass play: 6.98 percent (8th); Interception rate: 1.51 percent (28th)

Icebreakers:Minnesota has won four of its past five matchups with Chicago but fell at Soldier Field on Oct. 31, 2016, splitting the season series. … The Bears have not won a game in Minneapolis since Jan. 1, 2012, giving the Vikings a five-game win streak at home. … The Bears have a new starting quarterback for 2017 in Mike Glennon, whom they signed as a free agent on March 10. Glennon was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2013 but lost the starting job to Josh McCown midway through the 2014 season. In 2015 and 2016, Glennon was the backup passer behind Jameis Winston and played only two games. … In the final game of the 2016 season, Minnesota's defense held Chicago to just 10 points and recorded 2.0 sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

  • Time subject to change due to flex scheduling.
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