QUARTERBACK CLOUT
The first thing that comes to mind when looking at the Vikings 2013 schedule is the amount of quarterback talent they'll be lining up against. With few exceptions, there will be some dangerous signal-callers on the opposing sidelines. A look at the opponents and their quarterbacks:
WEEK 1
SEP 8
AT

DETROIT

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
The Lions plummeted to 4-12 after making the playoffs in 2011. They added Reggie Bush at running back, which should make a passing game that features QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson more varied. The defensive line of Ndamukong Suh, Jason Jones, Nick Fairley and top pick Ziggy Ansah could be great, but will the secondary support them?
OPPOSING QB
Matthew Stafford led the league in both attempts (727) and completions (435) in 2012, but his play didn't match the level of 2011, when he completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 5,048 yards, 41 TDs and 16 picks. In 2012 he completed less than 60 percent of his passes, had a 20-17 TD-to-interception ratio and the Lions took a huge step back. His passer rating of 79.8 was his lowest since his rookie season. Still, the Lions signed Stafford to a three-year, $53 million deal during the offseason.
WEEK 2
SEP 15
AT

CHICAGO

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
The Bears went 10-6, missed the playoffs, dumped coach Lovie Smith and will finally focus on offense with new coach Marc Trestman.  QB Jay Cutler will have to adapt to a West Coast offense, but WR Brandon Marshall should continue to star. MLB Brian Urlacher retired, but CBs Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings are outstanding.
OPPOSING QB
Jay Cutler, in his fifth season with the Bears, is learning his fourth offense. This time it is head coach Marc Trestman's offense, a version of the traditional West Coast offense that stresses efficiency and a quick release. But Cutler has never had a passer rating higher than 88.1 as a full-time starter. In 2012 he completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 3,033 yards, but had 14 interceptions to go with 19 TD passes.
WEEK 3
SEP 22
VS.

CLEVELAND

CBS
NOON
PREVIEW
The Browns continue rebuilding, but there’s not a lot of hope after a 5-11 season.  RB Trent Richardson had an injury-plagued rookie season, and Brandon Weeden is no lock to start at QB.  Defensively, the Browns weren’t bad, but now will switch to a 3-4 system. A benefit of a bad season, though, is a fairly easy schedule.
OPPOSING QB
A first-round draft pick, Brandon Weeden started the 2012 season as a 28-year-old rookie who struggled along with his team. He completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 2,285 yards, but had more interceptions (17) than TDs (14) and had a 72.6 passer rating. New offensive coordinator Norv Turner figures to implement an offense that allows Weeden to throw downfield more, his strength.
WEEK 4
SEP 29
VS.

PITTSBURGH

IN LONDON • NOON • CBS
PREVIEW
The Steelers missed the playoffs at 8-8 and got rid of fumble-prone RB Rashard Mendenhall.  Can rookie Le’Veon Bell step in? On defense, rookie DE/LB Jarvis Jones should add life to an aging group as he attempts to fill the void left by departing James Harrison. It’s a prove-it year in Pittsburgh.
OPPOSING QB
The hits caught up to Ben Roethlisberger last season, with a nasty rib injury leading a list of bump and bruises that limited him to 13 games. Still, he was efficient, with a 63.3 pass completion percentage and a 26-to-8 TD-to-interception ratio. With the Steelers planning on emphasizing the passing game more, how will Roethlisberger hold up?
WEEK 5
OCT 6

BYE

WEEK 6
OCT 13
VS.

CAROLINA

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
The Panthers finished the season by winning six of seven after a 1-8 start. Cam Newton will be more of a pocket QB this season, and DeAngelo Williams is still the featured RB.  On defense, ends Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson are excellent pass rushers, and MLB Luke Kuechly led the league in tackles. Still a lot of holes on the Panthers roster, though.
OPPOSING QB
Cam Newton had huge numbers as a rookie before struggling in his 2012 as guys like Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III dominated quarterback-of-the-future lists. Bottom line is Newton has to prove he can win. In his sophomore NFL season, his completion percentage, passing yards and TDs were down. But so were his interceptions, a good sign. Look for him to push his way back into the young QB discussion this season.
WEEK 7
OCT 21
AT

NY GIANTS

ESPN
7:40 PM
PREVIEW
The Giants, a season after winning the Super Bowl, stumbled to the finish and missed the playoffs at 9-7. David Wilson steps in as the No. 1 RB, and QB Eli Manning has strong targets in WRs Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.  Sack master Jason Pierre-Paul had back surgery; a successful defense could hinge on his recovery.
OPPOSING QB
Eli Manning has two Super Bowl Rings, so we know he's a winner. But his accuracy has fallen off; Manning's completion percentage has fallen in each of the past two seasons, last year falling under 60 percent. So consistency and accuracy is the key as he enters his 10th season. But Manning remains one of the NFL's elite QBs, having thrown for 86 TDs in his last three seasons.
WEEK 8
OCT 27
VS.

GREEN BAY

NBC
7:30 PM
PREVIEW
The Packers won the NFC North at 11-5 and QB Aaron Rodgers makes them the favorite again. A key to the offense might be the development of rookie RB Eddie Lacy and the health of the line. A defense led by LB Clay Matthews should be fine, despite the loss of veteran DB Charles Woodson.
OPPOSING QB
His numbers might not have been as absurd as they were in 2011, but Aaron Rodgers is still among the best. He has led the league in touchdown percentage the past two seasons, has an 84-to-14 TD-to-interception ratio in that time and has topped 4,000 passing yards in four of his last five seasons. The question is, can his line protect him?
WEEK 9
NOV 3
AT

DALLAS

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
The Cowboys were 8-8, and haven’t made the playoffs since 2009. QB Tony Romo has strong receivers in WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten, but the offensive line is shaky. On defense, veteran Monte Kiffin takes over at coordinator and switches to a 4-3, meaning DeMarcus Ware will shift from LB to DE.
OPPOSING QB
Last season Tony Romo completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 4,903 yards and 28 touchdowns, and still failed to win over Dallas fans. Not making the playoffs can do that. Romo had offseason back surgery that kept him out of the team's offseason training. He will have plenty of targets to throw to, but might struggle behind the Cowboys' offensive line.
WEEK 10
NOV 7
VS.

WASHINGTON

NFLN
7:25 PM
PREVIEW
The Vikings might still have visions of RG3’s long TD run last year; QB Robert Griffin’s return from knee surgery is crucial to the Redskins’ hopes. RB Alfred Morris emerged as a star as well for a 10-6 team, but the Washington defense was 28th in the league and that’ll have to change.
OPPOSING QB
Assuming Robert Griffin III is healthy coming back from knee surgery, the Vikings will have their hands full. Griffin completed 17 of 22 passes for 182 yards and a score and ran 13 times for 138 yards and two more TDs against the Vikings last season. Minnesota did not have an answer for Griffin's quickness in Washington's read-option attack.
WEEK 11
NOV 17
AT

SEATTLE

FOX
3:25 PM
PREVIEW
The Seahawks are a trendy Super Bowl pick as the season begins after an 11-5 record. Will Percy Harvin (hip surgery) be ready by the time the Vikings play them? RB Marshawn Lynch and QB Russell Wilson fire up the offense, and CB Richard Sherman is one of the league’s best players and leads a great secondary.
OPPOSING QB
Russell Wilson is another dual threat QB who gave the Vikings fits last season. In a 30-20 loss in Seattle Wilson chewed up the Vikings defense, throwing for three scores. Wilson is efficient (64.1 percent completion rate), and he doesn't turn the ball over much (26 TDs to 10 interceptions). Percy Harvin (injured) surely would have accelerated Wilson's development.
WEEK 12
NOV 24
AT

GREEN BAY

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
Perhaps Vikings fans are hoping they see new backup Vince Young under center by late November and perennial MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers nursing a (not super painful, of course) injury. This will be the second time in a month the Vikings and Packers go helmet-to-helmet, and potentially a critical division game.
OPPOSING QB
His numbers might not have been as absurd as they were in 2011, but Aaron Rodgers is still among the best. He has led the league in touchdown percentage the past two seasons, has an 84-to-14 TD-to-interception ratio in that time and has topped 4,000 passing yards in four of his last five seasons. The question is, can his line protect him?
WEEK 13
DEC 1
VS.

CHICAGO

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
Trying to predict in the summer where the Bears will be in December is a lot like a game of blindfolded darts. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall might be putting up 35 points a game, or they could be chanting “Fi-re Trest-man” for hours on end at Soldier Field.
OPPOSING QB
Jay Cutler, in his fifth season with the Bears, is learning his fourth offense. This time it is head coach Marc Trestman's offense, a version of the traditional West Coast offense that stresses efficiency and a quick release. But Cutler has never had a passer rating higher than 88.1 as a full-time starter. In 2012 he completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 3,033 yards, but had 14 interceptions to go with 19 TD passes.
WEEK 14
DEC 8
AT

BALTIMORE

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
The Ravens won the Super Bowl, but lost veteran defensive stars MLB Ray Lewis and S Ed Reed. QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice and Co. should still be efficient on offense. Remember, Baltimore was only 10-6 during the regular season, but got hot at the right time, a trend among recent Super Bowl winners.
OPPOSING QB
Joe Flacco's wonderful playoff run established him as a winner and took him all the way to bank with a big-bucks, long-term deal. So, the question: Is Flacco, whose numbers are nice, but not mind-blowing, set to push into elite QB status? Or will he struggle on a Ravens team not nearly as talented as the one that won the Super Bowl? Flacco will miss Anquan Boldin badly.
WEEK 15
DEC 15
VS.

PHILADELPHIA

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
New coach Chip Kelly brings his high-octane style to the struggling Eagles.  QB Michael Vick seeks a revival behind a good line, with RB LeShon McCoy and WR DeSean Jackson in support. A revamped defense will switch to the 3-4, but must improve after Philly’s 4-12 debacle cost coach Andy Reid his job.
OPPOSING QB
Will a new coach and a new offense – he will longer be the square peg driven into the round hole that is the West Coast offense – mean a new professional life for Michael Vick? The Eagles and coach Chip Kelly better hope so. A paucity of receiving talent, though, will be a problem. And there's always the chance someone else will be taking snaps for the Eagles by mid-December.
WEEK 16
DEC 22
AT

CINCINNATI

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
Two consecutive playoff seasons with QB Andy Dalton have created lots of optimism in Cincinnati, which was 10-6 last season. Look for rookie RB Giovani Bernard to add some zip to the offense that features WR A.J. Green.  LB James Harrison comes over from the Steelers but, at age 35, can he still dominate a game?
OPPOSING QB
After finishing the 2010 season 4-12, the Bengals have made the playoffs two straight years. A big reason: Andy Dalton. In two seasons Dalton has thrown for 7.067 yards, thrown 47 TDs and 29 interceptions. And now Dalton is becoming a leader of the team after becoming the only Bengals QB in history to make the playoffs in each of his first two seasons.
WEEK 17
DEC 29
VS.

DETROIT

FOX
NOON
PREVIEW
This is a season bookended by Lions games. Last season, the Vikings had to beat a division opponent at home to improbably make the playoffs (Vikings 37, Packers 34). It’s probably safe to say that Vikings fans right now would accept that same do-or-die scenario on the morning of Dec. 29, 2013.
OPPOSING QB
Matthew Stafford led the league in both attempts (727) and completions (435) in 2012, but his play didn't match the level of 2011, when he completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 5,048 yards, 41 TDs and 16 picks. In 2012 he completed less than 60 percent of his passes, had a 20-17 TD-to-interception ratio and the Lions took a huge step back. His passer rating of 79.8 was his lowest since his rookie season. Still, the Lions signed Stafford to a three-year, $53 million deal during the offseason.

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Cincinnati 0 Top 8th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 0 Top 7th Inning
Baltimore 9
NY Yankees 5 Bottom 7th Inning
Toronto 1
Philadelphia 1 Top 8th Inning
NY Mets 4
Boston 8 Bottom 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Miami 0 Top 6th Inning
Atlanta 0
Cleveland 4 Top 4th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Texas 2 Top 4th Inning
Houston 1
Chicago Cubs 1 Top 4th Inning
St. Louis 2
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 28 3rd Qtr 11:40
Connecticut 7
(6) Jacksonville St 0 3rd Qtr
(8) Michigan State 38
Bowling Green 10 2nd Qtr 2:50
Western Ky 28
TX-San Antonio 0 1st Qtr 11:50
Houston 0
Colorado State 0 1st Qtr 11:31
Colorado 0
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 0 1st Half 28:00
Sporting Kansas City 0
Ottawa 3 12:00
Montreal 9
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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