Vikings will open at home against the Packers, host the Patriots on Thanksgiving – Star Tribune

Vikings will open at home against the Packers, host the Patriots on Thanksgiving – Star Tribune

For the first time in their 62-year history, the Vikings will host a game on Thanksgiving Day. They will face a team whose only trip to U.S. Bank Stadium came in Super Bowl LII.
The team will play host to the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night in the last of the league’s three games on the holiday. It will be the Vikings’ ninth Thanksgiving game, and their first since back-to-back trips to Detroit in 2016 and 2017.
The Vikings will open the 2022 NFL season at home against the Packers on Sept. 11, marking the second time in three years they’ve started the year at home against their biggest rival. Before 2020 — which saw Aaron Rodgers use a hard count at will against the Vikings with the U.S. Bank Stadium stands empty — the Vikings had never played host to the Packers to start a season. This time, they likely won’t have to worry about Rodgers operating in a tranquil environment.
The Vikings will go to Green Bay in Week 17 for the second consecutive season, facing the Packers on New Year’s Day at Lambeau Field in a late-afternoon start.
It won’t be the only cold-weather NFC North game for the Vikings at the end of the season.
Minnesota will close its regular season against Chicago, finishing the year against the Bears for the seventh time in nine years. However, the matchup with the Bears will be at Soldier Field, marking the first time since 2009 the Vikings have traveled to Chicago after Dec. 1.
The Bears will make their earliest trip to Minneapolis since 2006, traveling to U.S. Bank Stadium for an Oct. 9 game against the Vikings. The Week 5 matchup means the Vikings won’t take their bye week after a trip to London to face the Saints in Week 4. When the NFL expanded its schedule to 17 games last season, it didn’t give teams a bye until at least Week 6. While the Vikings will have to play a week after their London game, they’ll do so at home and get their bye in Week 7.
After they return from their bye, they will play six of their next nine at home, with five in a six-week stretch from Nov. 20-Dec. 24.
The Vikings will begin that stretch by hosting the Cowboys four days before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 20. Then New England will make its first trip to U.S. Bank Stadium for a regular-season game, and its first to Minneapolis since a 30-7 victory over the Vikings at Huntington Bank Stadium in 2014. The Patriots lost Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium following the 2017 season, falling 41-33 to the Eagles.
The Thanksgiving game highlights a series of notable matchups for the Vikings in Kevin O’Connell’s first year as head coach. In addition to the London game against the Saints on Oct. 2, Minnesota will travel to Philadelphia for a Monday night game on Sept. 19, facing the Eagles as part of a Week 2 doubleheader. The Vikings will also go to Buffalo on Nov. 13 to play the Bills, a top AFC team that features former Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and running back James Cook, the younger brother of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.
In the preseason, the Vikings will start off with their first trip to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for a game against the Raiders. They will play their lone preseason home game against the 49ers, who are expected to conduct joint practices with the Vikings before the game. Minnesota’s final preseason game will be in Denver against the Broncos.
Week 1: Sept. 11, vs. Packers, 3:25 p.m.
Week 2: Sept 19, at Eagles, 7:30 p.m.
Week 3: Sept. 25, vs. Lions, Noon
Week 4: Oct. 2, at Saints in London, 8:30 a.m.
Week 5: Oct. 9, vs. Bears, Noon
Week 6: Oct. 16, at Dolphins, Noon
Week 7: Bye
Week 8: Oct. 30, vs. Cardinals, Noon
Week 9: Nov. 6, at Commanders, Noon
Week 10: Nov. 13, at Bills, Noon
Week 11: Nov. 20, vs. Cowboys, 3:25 p.m.
Week 12: Nov. 24, vs. Patriots, 7:20 p.m.
Week 13: Dec. 4, vs. Jets, Noon
Week 14: Dec. 11, at Lions, Noon
Week 15: TBD, vs. Colts
Week 16: Dec. 24, vs. Giants, Noon
Week 17: Jan. 1, at Packers, 3:25 p.m.
Week 18: TBD, at Bears

Ben Goessling covers the Vikings for the Star Tribune. He has covered the team since 2012, and has previously covered the Twins, Wild, Washington Nationals and prep sports.
© 2022 StarTribune. All rights reserved.

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