Photo USA Today
Minnesota Vikings in NFL 2021: Full Schedule, Toughest Matchup, Key Games. Photo USA Today

NFL 2021 Vikings Schedule







at Bengals

Sept. 12

1 p.m.



at Cardinals

Sept. 19

4:05 p.m.



vs. Seahawks

Sept. 26

4:25 p.m.



vs. Browns

Oct. 3

1 p.m.



vs. Lions

Oct. 10

1 p.m.



at Panthers

Oct. 17

1 p.m.





vs. Cowboys (SNF)

Oct. 31

8:20 p.m.



at Ravens

Nov. 7

1 p.m.



at Chargers

Nov. 14

4:05 p.m.



vs. Packers

Nov. 21

1 p.m.



at 49ers

Nov. 28

4:25 p.m.



at Lions

Dec. 5

1 p.m.



vs. Steelers

Dec. 12

8:20 p.m.



at Bears

Dec. 20

8:15 p.m.



vs. Rams

Dec. 26

1 p.m.



at Packers (SNF)

Jan. 2

8:20 p.m.



vs. Bears

Jan. 9

1 p.m.


Vikings Key Games

Week 15 at Bears: Chicago has long been a tough out because of its defense, and now the Bears just might have Justin Fields to trot out under center. The Vikings will probably require at least one victory over their rivals if they want a shot at the division.

Week 9 at Ravens: It's out of conference, so the divisional consequences may not be massive. But this is still a playoff-caliber test for the Vikings, with Lamar Jackson and a boosted receiving corps set to play host in Baltimore.

Week 16 vs. Rams: The Vikings have faced Matthew Stafford aplenty over the years, but not when he's had this kind of supporting cast. Los Angeles has all kinds of firepower. A home win over the Rams could be season-altering.

Team Needs

Photo Fox9
Photo Fox9

Offense: Left Tackle, Left Guard, Tight End

The Minnesota Vikings spent their one of their two first rounds pick last season on Justin Jefferson, which was a tremendous selection. Jefferson became one of the best rookies in the league, recording 88 receptions for 1400 yards and seven touchdowns. The Vikes will be trying to find another star on offense, specifically on the offensive line.

Defense: Defensive End, Linebacker, Cornerback

The Vikings could use their first round selection to upgrade any level of their defense. Last season, they drafted two rookie cornerbacks, who were under fire on a weekly basis. Minny could also use their pick on the defensive line as they need to find another pass rusher to play opposite of Danielle Hunter. The linebacker spot is not in bad shape with Anthony Barr and Erik Kendricks as starters.

Dream first pick

The Vikings decide to wait until Day 2 to address the defense and use their first round pick on the offensive line. Minny would love to get Christian Darrisaw, but he might be off the board before then. Therefore, the Vikes go grab Rashawn Slater out of Northwestern.

The Kansas City Chiefs acquired cornerback Mike Hughes in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.

The Chiefs traded a 2022 sixth-round pick to Minnesota while the Vikings sent a 2022 seventh-round pick to Kansas City in the deal.

Hughes was drafted by the Vikings in the first round (30th overall) of the 2018 NFL draft. The Vikings declined to exercise the fifth-year option in Hughes' rookie contract, meaning he will be a free agent after this season.

Hughes will be given the chance to compete for playing time with the Chiefs immediately. One starter from last season, Bashaud Breeland, is a free agent and remains unsigned.

Hughes will join a group of cornerbacks that includes Charvarius Ward, a starter the past two seasons, and L'Jarius Sneed, a fourth-round draft pick last year who played well as the third cornerback.

New Players, Old Teams

Photo Norseman
Photo Norseman

It's not uncommon for NFL players to go up against former teams during their career. But it will be especially fresh for a handful of players on Minnesota's roster this season.

Mackensie Alexander, who spent the first four seasons of his career with the Vikings before signing with the Bengals in 2020, re-joined Minnesota this offseason – and will face Cincinnati Week 1.

A nearly identical situation will happen Week 6, when the Vikings and Stephen Weatherly visit the Panthers. Weatherly also played four seasons for Minnesota, signed with Carolina for a season and returned to the Vikings.

Defensive tackle Michael Pierce signed with the Vikings as a free agent in 2019 but ended up opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. He will play against the Ravens for the first time since leaving Baltimore.

**READ MORE: 2021 NFL: Full Schedule, Predictions, 32 Team News and Key Games

Vikings Toughest Matchup

Week: 12| Date: Nov. 28 | Time: 4:25 p.m.

Opponent: at San Francisco 49ers

On top of marking a big trip to the West Coast, this one just feels like a tall task because of the 49ers' inevitable rebound. San Francisco has a D-line more than capable of giving Minnesota's reshuffled front some trouble, and Kyle Shanahan has the smarts and weapons to capitalize on the Vikings' moving parts throughout a "D" still dependent on some younger starters.


The Minnesota Vikings could not replicate their success from the 2019 season this past season. The Vikings finished the season with a record of 7-9 and in third place in the NFC North.

The Vikings’ issues were not on the offensive side of the ball, instead it was the defense that plagued them. Minny’s defense allowed 258.8 passing yards per game, which was good for 28th in the league. They also had trouble on the ground, giving up 134.4 rushing yards per game and 19 touchdowns. The Vikings have the 14th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, where they can address multiple spots on the defense, reported DK Nation.

General manager Rick Spielman had one of the better showings in the 2021 NFL draft. The Vikes clearly saw their need for improvement on the offensive line and managed to get two good options by trading back in the first round, taking Christian Darrisaw with the 23rd pick and getting Ohio State's Wyatt Davis with the third-rounder they picked up in the trade, cited bleacherreport.

Still, the fact that those two could wind up being the starting duo on the left side of the line doesn't bode well in 2021. They will each take their lumps adjusting to life in the NFL.

The good news is the Vikings have one of the best trios in Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. Kirk Cousins is good enough to post winning numbers with that skill around him.

The season's overall success is going to rely on a defense that was ranked 27th in efficiency in 2020. Losing Danielle Hunter to injury and breaking in multiple defensive backs didn't help matters. Come the offseason, they lost Ifeadi Odenigbo on the defensive line and Anthony Harris at safety, so some of those problems could continue.

Mike Zimmer will have to tap into his defensive background to unlock the potential of this roster.

Prediction: 9-8

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