The entire NFL season schedule is over, and the Nerds are breaking it. I mean nerds in the most beautiful possible way. The Analytics crowd gives us a great insight into how things are likely to play out.
They do it with Draft Pick, Draft Trade, Game to Game, Play to Play and much more. It’s really interesting to look at probability analysis, even for a guy like me who can’t do the math. Today, Tom Bliss posted an analysis of added wins for all 32 teams based on the strengths of schedule, rest, travel, etc.
At first glance, I must say wow. The Vikings seem to have the toughest schedule every year. This year does not seem to be an exception.
However, in the current rankings, the Vikings are ranked 16th with a tough schedule. When evaluating the teams scheduled to play Minnesota, I find it hard to believe. They will probably have the most challenging schedule again by the end of the year.
This is because the teams they play have a great off-season. This group includes some dolphins and eagles. Still, the Vikings are predicted to add 7th best win after adjusting for home field and schedule facilities.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the oddsmakers have a total over / underset win of the Vikings 8.5. Therefore, the added 0.19 only gets them a little closer to a 9-win season.
When will the Vikings get an advantage
At this time of year, most fans look at the schedule and the list with pink glasses. Honestly, for our Vikings fans, this is the only way we can deal with the inevitable heartbreak. Still, we went ahead hoping to secure a place in the playoffs and run the Super Bowl.
That being said, there are a few games on schedule that seem to be convenient for the Vikings. Here are some of the ones I found to be interesting:
- Packers at the Vikings in Week 1. Okay, I’m not saying the Vikings will win this game. After all, Aaron Rogers is still wearing a Packers uniform. However, the Vikings are installing a new offense and defensive scheme. The Packers have never faced this look of Vikings and it is at US Bank Stadium.
- Cardinal at Vikings in Week 8. We all remember the 2021 game where Kyler Murray seemed impossible in every game. This inevitably led to losses. However, this time the Cardinals will be at US Bank Stadium, and the Vikings will be renewing their farewell week. Hopefully, Kevin O’Connell will prepare the team in a way that Zimmer couldn’t.
- Patriots at the Vikings on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a strange thing to give the Vikings an advantage too. Every time the Vikings play the Patriots, Belichick always seems to be our coach. However, this is no longer Zimmer’s Vikings. Also, it’s a short week for both teams, and it’s a home game again. Usually, short weeks give the home team a little extra encouragement.
Of all the games on this year’s schedule, these three will probably play the most important role in whether the Vikings can make it to the playoffs. I’m leading the Vikings in all three of these matches. While no game in the NFL is easy to win, if they can win all three, I like the odds of them making the playoffs.
Hopefully, Kevin O’Connell’s team will be ready to turn off the lights.
Mitch Massman is a lifelong Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was playing in the 1998 NFC Championship. His full-time job as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He imagines the Vikings winning the Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter skol_vikings3