One Metric Sees the Vikings Having a Daunting Strength of Schedule in 2024

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

After going 13-4 and winning the NFC North in 2022, the Minnesota Vikings took a pretty major step backwards in 2023.

The team went 7-10 and missed the playoffs entirely last season, including losing six of their final seven games. Now, with a new future in place behind the draft selections of QB J.J. McCarthy and OLB Dallas Turner, Minnesota is hoping to begin working back towards their success in 2022.

However, some do not see a particularly easy road in front of Minnesota as they attempt to make that happen.

One Metric Suggests the Vikings Have a Daunting Schedule

NFL: Combine
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell speaks during a press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There are a number of different metrics that are utilized to calculate strength of schedule in the NFL. For instance, some simply utilize the previous season’s combined record of opponents to determine the strength of schedule.

John Breech of CBS Sports suggested the Vikings are exactly in the middle of the NFL in terms of strength of schedule because their opponents went a combined 145-144 during the 2023 season, tying the Vikings for the 16th-hardest strength of schedule in 2024.

However, some metrics dive a little deeper to tell a different story. Sharp Football Analysis utilizes projected 2024 wins to determine strength of schedule rather than relying on the previous year’s records. Taking that into account, and the Vikings are projected to have the fifth-hardest schedule in 2024.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) runs after the catch against the New Orleans Saints in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Only the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers are projected to have harder schedules than the Vikings in 2024. This makes sense seeing as Baltimore, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh all lie within a very competitive AFC North and thus will play each other multiple times this year.

Interestingly, the Vikings are slated to have the toughest schedule in the entire NFC North by a pretty wide margin despite finishing third in the division last year, finishing ahead of only the Chicago Bears. The Bears have the third-easiest schedule, Green Bay holds the 19th-easiest, and the Detroit Lions hold the 21st-easiest.

Vikings
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo Mensah during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins’ new team, the Atlanta Falcons, are slated to have the easiest schedule in the league after the veteran QB left Minnesota in free agency this offseason.


Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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