Predicting All 17 Games on the Vikings Schedule

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports.

After another disappointing campaign in 2021, the Minnesota Vikings are a new-look franchise in 2022. New GM, new coaching staff, new defense, and new energy. Expectations for this squad are as high as they’ve ever been, but can they live up to them? Correctly predicting a full NFL schedule never really goes well, especially for a franchise like the Vikings that can just never get out of their own way, but we’re doing it anyway. Here are my full predictions for how the Vikings will fare in the 2022 NFL season.

Starting Strong

  • Week 1 vs. Packers: WIN (1-0)
  • Week 2 @ Eagles: LOSS (1-1)
  • Week 3 vs. Lions: WIN (2-1)
  • Week 4 “@” Saints: WIN (3-1)

The Minnesota Vikings don’t have it easy to start the 2022 season by any means. Two divisional games, a road matchup with an Eagles team that is trending upwards, and an international game are all on the docket in the first month of the regular season. That said, I think Minnesota will finally buck the trend of slow starts.

Amidst the names of teams that have had recent playoff success, they catch a break by getting the Packers and Saints early in the season. These two teams rebuilt much of their offensive personnel this offseason, and New Orleans is also introducing Dennis Allen’s head coaching scheme. Philly could be a sneaky tough team, especially with a mobile QB in Jalen Hurts, but I have the Vikings winning three of their first four.

The ‘Trap” Game

  • Week 5 vs. Bears: WIN (4-1)
  • Week 6 @ Dolphins: LOSS (4-2)
  • Week 7: BYE
  • Week 8 vs. Cardinals: WIN (5-2)
  • Week 9 @ Commanders: WIN (6-2)

As competent a QB as Kirk Cousins is, there has to be a game where he doesn’t perform as well as expected. It happens every year, and if I had to harbor a guess, I think it will happen in Miami. The Vikings will be coming off a London game and the first Bears matchup in back-to-back weeks. After a great start, Minnesota could be looking ahead to the bye week following the Chicago game. Miami is the scheduled loss before getting on track against the Cardinals post-bye, but Washington could be another sneaky tough road matchup as well.

Hitting a Skid

  • Week 10 @ Bills: LOSS (6-3)
  • Week 11 vs. Cowboys: LOSS (6-4)
  • Week 12 vs. Patriots: LOSS (6-5)
  • Week 13 vs. Jets: WIN (7-5)

The toughest three-game stretch of the Vikings season comes during these four weeks. Luckily two of them are at home, but this feels like the point of the season where Vikings fans start biting their nails. Games in Buffalo will always be tough to win, and Dallas is a franchise that, for whatever reason, has given Minnesota fits ever since Brett Favre led the blowout playoff win against them in January 2010.

On top of all that, you get Bill Belichick’s Patriots on a short week. I think the Vikings will set themselves up well enough that they can afford a couple losses, but if they have an unforeseen early season blunder, this could be the stretch that makes or breaks the 2022 campaign.

Smooth Sailing to the Finish

  • Week 14 @ Lions: WIN (8-5)
  • Week 15 vs. Colts: WIN (9-5)
  • Week 16 vs. Giants: WIN (10-5)
  • Week 17 @ Packers: LOSS (10-6)
  • Week 18 @ Bears: WIN (11-6)

As long as Minnesota takes care of business in games they should win (certainly not a foregone conclusion in recent years), they should be able to cruise to a playoff berth down the stretch of the season. In fact, the Week 17 matchup in Lambeau on New Year’s Day could certainly decide the NFC North if the cards fall right. It’s hard to see them winning that game in Green Bay, especially if the stakes are that high, but the mission in 2022 is simple: take care of business and the homestretch of the season should be rewarding.

At the end of the day, I predict the Minnesota Vikings will go 11-6 in 2022, and they will earn a wild card berth. It’s hard to predict how far they will go in the playoffs without knowing the matchups, but perhaps they play spoiler again in a road playoff game.