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Game-by-game look at Vikings' 2014 schedule

  • April 24, 2014 - 1:13 AM

1

at St. Louis

Sunday, Sept. 7

Noon • Ch. 9

The Mike Zimmer era begins with a battle of 2013 cellar-dwellers. Bottom line: The Rams look to be a team on the rise. We have a lot to learn about the Vikings.

2

New England

Sunday, Sept. 14

Noon • Ch. 4

The Vikings’ first game at TCF Bank Stadium gets a superstar: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Bottom line: The Vikings defense will have its hands full.

3

at New Orleans

Sunday, Sept. 21

Noon • Ch. 9

A return to the Superdome, where the Saints were undefeated in 2013 while averaging 34 points per game. Bottom line: Tough to beat Drew Brees in that beehive.

4

Atlanta

Sunday, Sept. 28

3:25 p.m. • Ch. 9

The Falcons took an even bigger tumble in 2013 than the Vikings did, but they still have a lot of offensive weapons. Bottom line: They better turn up the heat on Matty Ice.

5

at Green Bay

Thursday, Oct. 2

7:25 p.m. • Ch. 4/NFLN

The Vikings haven’t won at Lambeau Field since 2009, with Brett Favre at QB. Bottom line: Favre isn’t driving his tractor through that door, at least not as of press time.

6

Detroit

Sunday, Oct. 12

Noon • Ch. 9

The Week 17 matchup in 2013 was Leslie Frazier’s last win for the Vikings and Jim Schwartz’s last loss for Detroit. Bottom line: New coaches freshen up an old rivalry.

7

at Buffalo

Sunday, Oct. 19

Noon • Ch. 9

Schedule-makers cut the Vikings — and their traveling fans — a break with this midseason trip to Buffalo. Bottom line: Mother Nature likely on the inactive list.

8

at Tampa Bay

Sunday, Oct. 26

Noon • Ch. 9

Leslie Frazier is now the defensive coordinator on Lovie Smith’s new Bucs staff. Bottom line: Expect hugs during pregame, but both sides badly want this win.

9

Washington

Sunday, Nov. 2

Noon • Ch. 9

The Redskins are looking to bounce back. They have a healthy Robert Griffin III, a new coach and a flashy new wideout in DeSean Jackson. Bottom line: Speed kills.

11

at Chicago

Sunday, Nov. 16

Noon • Ch. 9

The Vikings haven’t won at Soldier Field since 2007, when Brian Griese was the Bears’ QB. Bottom line: Jay Cutler is greater than Griese, and he has some big-time targets.

12

Green Bay

Sunday, Nov. 23

Noon • Ch. 9

With 26 TDs and just four INTs, Aaron Rodgers has saved some of his best ball for the Vikings. Bottom line: Coach Zimmer better have that pass defense fixed by this time.

13

Carolina

Sunday, Nov. 30

Noon • Ch. 9

The Panthers have a punishing front seven that routinely blows up backfields, something Zimmer hopes to replicate. Bottom line: Hide the women and children. And the QBs.

14

N.Y. Jets

Sunday, Dec. 7

Noon • Ch. 4

In the last of three home games in a row, the Vikings play one of the few other teams that still rely on the ground game. Bottom line: Dust off your leather helmets.

15

at Detroit

Sunday, Dec. 14

Noon • Ch. 9

Reggie Bush piled up 191 total yards and a TD against the Vikings at Ford Field in 2013. Bottom line: Someone better ask Kim Kardashian how to lock this guy down.

16

at Miami

Sunday, Dec. 21

Noon • Ch. 9

The Vikings have historically struggled in Miami, but they won’t have to worry about steamy temperatures this time around. Bottom line: Leave the sunscreen at home.

17

Chicago

Sunday, Dec. 28

Noon • Ch. 9

After six wildly entertaining years in purple, Jared Allen returns to town with the Bears. Bottom line: Allen has already circled this one on the calendar. You should, too.

© 2014 Star Tribune