Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings 2012 regular season schedule is released

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, AFC, Lions, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Leslie Frazier, Steve Hutchinson, Tarvaris Jackson Updated: April 17, 2012 - 7:07 PM

The Vikings’ 2012 regular season schedule has been released. Here’s your quick look at what’s ahead as the team looks to bounce back from last year’s 3-13 disaster.

 
WEEK 1
Sunday, Sept. 9
Vs. Jacksonville, Noon
A measuring stick duel between second-year quarterbacks Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert.
 
WEEK 2
Sunday, Sept. 16
At Indianapolis, Noon
The Vikings’ first ever trip to Lucas Oil Stadium will provide an up-close look at prodigious QB Andrew Luck.
 
WEEK 3
Sunday, Sept. 23
Vs. San Francisco, Noon
Randy Moss returns to the Metrodome for the first time ever as a visitor during the regular season.
 
WEEK 4
Sunday, Sept. 30
At Detroit, Noon
Matthew Stafford posted quarterback ratings of 108.8 and 115.2 in two 2011 games against the Vikings.
 
WEEK 5
Sunday, Oct. 7
Vs. Tennessee, Noon
NFL graybeards Steve Hutchinson (now a Titan) and Kevin Williams will grapple in the trenches.
 
WEEK 6
Sunday, Oct. 14
At Washington, 3:15 p.m.
Two of Leslie Frazier’s six wins as Vikings head coach have been road triumphs over the ‘Skins.
 
WEEK 7
Sunday, Oct. 21
Vs. Arizona
The Vikings and Cardinals meet for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.
 
WEEK 8
Thursday, Oct. 25
Vs. Tampa Bay, 7:20 p.m.
The Vikings’ last win over the Bucs came on Sept. 30, 2001 – with Cris Carter scoring a TD in an NFC Central clash.
 
WEEK 9
Sunday, Nov. 4
At Seattle, 3:15 p.m.
Which Seahawks QB will Jared Allen try to calf rope: former teammate Tarvaris Jackson or former Packer Matt Flynn?
 
WEEK 10
Sunday, Nov. 11
Vs. Detroit, Noon
The 2011 downward spiral was accelerated by a home loss to the Lions in which the Vikings blew a 20-0 halftime lead.
 
WEEK 11
Sunday, Nov. 18
BYE WEEK
 
WEEK 12
Sunday, Nov. 25
At Chicago, Noon
The Vikings have lost on 10 of their past 11 trips into Soldier Field.
 
WEEK 13
Sunday, Dec. 2
At Green Bay, Noon
Last year’s 45-7 loss at Lambeau may have been the most embarrassing of the season.
 
WEEK 14
Sunday, Dec. 9
Vs. Chicago, Noon
Will a refurbished secondary be able to defuse the Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall fireworks show?
 
WEEK 15
Sunday, Dec. 16
At St. Louis, Noon
With only 15 wins the past five seasons, the Rams are hoping to be revived by new coach Jeff Fisher.
 
WEEK 16
Sunday, Dec. 23
At Houston, Noon
Led by running back Arian Foster and receiver Andre Johnson, the Texans are the new top dogs in the AFC South.
 
WEEK 17
Sunday, Dec. 30
Vs. Green Bay, Noon
MVP Aaron Rodgers was 47-for-60 for 585 yards and seven TDs in two wins over the Vikings last fall.

QUICK SUMMARY

  • The Vikings have six games in 2012 against teams that made the playoffs in 2011 and 10 contests against opponents who finished .500 or better.
  • The Vikings’ only prime-time game is a Thursday nighter at home to be played Oct. 25 at 7:20 p.m. against Tampa Bay. Those teams combined for a 7-25 record last season.
  • The Vikings’ toughest stretch may come after their Week 11 bye. They face division rivals Chicago and Green Bay twice each over the final six games. A Dec. 23 trip to Houston is mixed in in that stretch.
  • Projected record: 6-10

 

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