Vikings open season at home vs. JaguarsMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings appear to have a nice, cushy start to the 2012 regular season schedule. They better make hay while they can, because the finish is a doozy.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings appear to have a nice, cushy start to the 2012 regular season schedule. They better make hay while they can, because the finish is a doozy.
The Vikings will open the regular season at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, another rebuilding team with a young quarterback, on Sept. 9.
The NFL announced the full schedule on Tuesday evening. Coming off of a 3-13 season, the Vikings will not appear in primetime games on Sunday night or Monday night this season. They do have a Thursday night NFL Network game against Tampa Bay on Oct. 25.
“Just took at look at our schedule for the fall...how crazy is it to see no Sunday Night and no Monday Night games!!” Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell tweeted.
Hard to blame the NFL schedule makers for that one. The Vikings are coming off a second straight last-place finish in the NFC North and their biggest star — running back Adrian Peterson — is recovering from knee surgery and unsure of when he will be back to full speed. They’ve had a very quiet offseason in free agency and if they keep the third pick in the upcoming draft, they are widely expected to take USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil, a position of great need but of little pizzazz at the box office.
The league may not have put them in the bright lights much, but it did take it easy on them at the start. They open the season at home for the first time in four years against the Jaguars, who have second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert coming off an unimpressive rookie season.
Then they travel to Indianapolis, which is moving on from franchise quarterback Peyton Manning and is expected to take quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick. If they’re going to have any chance of turning it around this season, they’d better start fast. They host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 then play their first divisional game of the year at Detroit on Sept. 30.
But the going really gets tough at the end of November. They play the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers four times in the final six weeks, a brutal end to coach Leslie Frazier’s second season on the job. The Vikings have the bye in Week 11 on Nov. 18, then head to Chicago (Nov. 25) and Green Bay (Dec. 2).
The Bears come to town on Dec. 9 followed by games at St. Louis and Houston before the season finale against the Packers at the Metrodome on Dec. 30.
The rest of the schedule includes a home game against Tennessee in Week 5 (Oct. 7), at Washington (Oct. 14), home against Arizona (Oct. 21), at Seattle (Nov. 4) and home against the Lions (Nov. 11).