Vikings 2022 benefits program cannot be overstated
December 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) is introduced before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn – USA TODAY Sports
The 2022 NFL schedule begins Sept. 8 as Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium. It’s the best NFL prediction for a Super Bowl game, so fans are in for a treat right off the bat.
The Minnesota Vikings have brand new leadership after the franchise dumped its general manager and head coach in January. The team has succumbed to a combined 15-18 (.454) record over the past two years, missing the playoffs twice while professing “all-in” stakes.
Fortunately, for the new leadership regime, the 2022 calendar is not a monster. Here’s why.
9 Home. 7 Outside. 1 Neutral.
Minnesota will host nine regular-season games for the first time ever, travel to seven cities for road games and battle it out on the road in a neutral-site contest against the Saints. Three other teams have this configuration of 9 home, 7 away and 1 neutral – the San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks.
The Packers also play in London, but they are the residence crew.
If the Vikings can restore US Bank Stadium to an exposed fortress of dominance from 2016-2019, the team will be in good shape. Home-field advantage for the team has dropped in 2020 and 2021, finishing 8-8 (.500) at Minneapolis the past two years. Prior to that, from 2016 to 2019, the Vikings had the NFL’s second-best home record behind Tom Brady’s New England Patriots.
If Minnesota were to be feared again on their home turf, keep serve on the road and win in England, the playoffs could be on their way.
13th “easiest” strength of the schedule
On the way to the 2021 season, the Vikings have set a daunting schedule. Based on opponents’ winning percentage the previous season, Minnesota’s schedule strength last year was the fifth toughest in the NFL.
This year is different.
While nothing should be taken for granted, the Vikings will face the league’s 13th-easiest schedule based on opponents’ winning percentage in 2021. Minnesota’s opponents were 138-149-2 in 2021.
4 matches against DET, CHI
Listen, Detriot Lions are trending up. They built their trenches wisely and added offensive firepower – almost quietly – since Dan Campbell took over. Nonetheless, Detroit still employs Jared Goff, and he can only be feared to a degree.
The Bears, however, appear to be beginning a rebuild with a young quarterback who should already be feeling the fruit of a rebuild — not the beginning of the process. Of course, the Bears usually play the Vikings, so no game between the clubs is “easy.”
However, compared to the duos of the other divisions, the Lions and the Bears do not scare. If Minnesota is a promising football team in 2022, they should be 4-0 or 3-1 against Detroit and Chicago by the end of the season.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).