After playing only one regular-season night game in 2012 — a mandatory Thursday nighter — the team is again registering as a strong draw for the under-the-lights TV slots.
The Vikings are back in prime time.
After playing only one regular-season night game in 2012 — a mandatory Thursday nighter — the team is again registering as a strong draw for the under-the-lights TV slots. Last season’s surprising 10-6 surge into the playoffs and the presence of MVP Adrian Peterson helps. And with the full NFL schedule released Tuesday evening, the Vikings have been slotted to play three night games in a span of 18 days during the middle of the season. They will have an appearance on “Monday Night Football” (at the New York Giants in Week 7); a Sunday nighter (home vs. Green Bay in Week 8); and a Thursday night cameo against the Redskins at Mall of America Field in Week 10.
So just how does the 2013 campaign set up overall? Here’s your quick look at what’s ahead …
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8 at Detroit, noon (Ch. 9)
Highlight reel potential. Set the DVR. The NFL’s reigning rushing champ (Adrian Peterson) against the league’s current receiving king (Calvin Johnson).
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15 at Chicago, noon (Ch. 9)
The quest to halt the Soldier Field slump continues. The Vikings are 1-10 there since 2000 and have lost their past three in the Windy City by a combined 61 points.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22 vs. Cleveland, noon (Ch. 4)
A later-than-usual home opener appears favorable against the Browns, who have finished above .500 just twice in the 21st century.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29 vs. Pittsburgh (in London), noon (Ch. 4)
For fans and the media, this may be the most appealing road getaway of the year. For the Vikings, it’s a critical business trip with more attention devoted to Big Ben the quarterback than Big Ben the clock.
Week 5: Bye
In conjunction with the trip overseas, this will be an early week off just a quarter of the way into the season. Will it mark a good regrouping point or come too soon?
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13 vs. Carolina, noon (Ch. 9)
The Vikings bested Cam Newton during his rookie year but will have to be sharp again defensively to repeat that result. The Panthers, like the Vikings, rallied to win their final four regular-season games last year.
Week 7: Monday, Oct. 21 at N.Y. Giants, 7:40 p.m. (ESPN)
Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will play the role of host on the Vikings’ return to “Monday Night Football.”
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 27 vs. Green Bay, 7:30 p.m. (Ch. 11)
|Miami - LP: B. Morris||4||FINAL|
|Washington - WP: M. Grace||6|
|NY Yankees - LP: C. Martin||1||FINAL|
|Toronto - WP: R. Dickey||3|
|Philadelphia - WP: A. Harang||5||FINAL|
|Atlanta - LP: A. Wood||2|
|Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi||5||FINAL|
|Boston - LP: C. Buchholz||1|
|Los Angeles - LP: C. Hatcher||3||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - WP: M. Blazek||4|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop||9||FINAL|
|St. Louis - WP: M. Socolovich||10|
|Oakland - LP: J. Hahn||7||FINAL|
|Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes||8|
|Texas - WP: K. Kela||2||FINAL|
|Houston - LP: C. Qualls||1|
|Seattle - WP: F. Hernandez||3||FINAL|
|LA Angels - LP: M. Shoemaker||2|
|San Diego - LP: T. Ross||0||FINAL|
|San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner||2|