The 2017 Vikings schedule was released Thursday evening, and there are a number of notable matchups, including opening the season against the Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium and traveling to London to face the Browns in Week 8.
Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune gave an initial breakdown of the schedule. Krammer opined that it could be a difficult lineup for Minnesota, but the season also holds some sweet spots that the Vikings can capitalize on. He wrote the following of the Vikings road trip to Chicago in Week 5:
In the Vikings first trip to Soldier Field during the post-Jay Cutler era, they’ll hope the nightmares left with him. The Vikings boast only one win in the last nine trips to Chicago, where Mike Glennon is the new quarterback and receiver Alshon Jeffery left for Philadelphia. Glennon, 27, threw for 30 touchdowns and 15 interceptions while in Tampa Bay, but was 5-13 as a starter and didn’t play last season.
Krammer also said the matchup against the Rams in Week 11 could be intriguing.
In what is Jared Goff’s first full season under center, he’ll at least have a solid left tackle after the Rams signed ex-Bengal Andrew Whitworth in free agency. Both Rams running back Todd Gurley and the Vikings run defense are trying to get back on track in 2017. First-year Los Angeles Head Coach Sean McVay, 31, is the youngest in NFL history to hold that position.
In Week 15, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer will coach against his former team. Zimmer was the Bengals defensive coordinator from 2008-13. Krammer said Minnesota should hold the upper hand in the matchup.
Losing left tackle Andrew Whitworth and guard Kevin Zeitler in free agency will be tough for the Bengals to overcome up front, especially against a strong Vikings pass rush. Coach Mike Zimmer will try to take advantage while hosting Cincinnati, where he led the defense for six seasons (2008-2013) as coordinator. The Bengals stumbled through a 6-9-1 record last season.
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