Who will the Minnesota Vikings first opponent be in 2020?

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

The 2020 NFL schedule is set to release on Thursday and the Minnesota Vikings will find out when and where they will be playing each of their 16 games.

Following the NFL Draft each year, the next most exciting part of each offseason for the Minnesota Vikings and the rest of the league is the release of the regular season schedule.

This year, the NFL will release the schedule for all 32 teams on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Until then, all we can do is guess when it comes to who the Vikings could potentially open up the season against in 2020.

We already know which opponents Minnesota will be facing next season, we just don’t know when. So based on some past trends and their history with some of their 2020 opponents, we might be able to come up with a realistic prediction.

With the impact of COVID-19 on the start of the season still unknown, the NFL will probably set up the majority of the division games for each team during the back two-thirds of the schedule. So with this being in mind, what are some of the most believable opening week matchups for the Vikings in 2020?

New Orleans Saints (AWAY)

This seems like an easy Week 1 matchup to make and it could even take place in primetime. The Vikings and Saints are just coming off facing each other in the 2019 playoffs and New Orleans will be looking to avenge their overtime loss that ended at the hands of Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Carolina Panthers (HOME)

A smaller storyline than it would have been in the past, but this could potentially be Teddy Bridgewater’s first return to the Twin Cities as a starting quarterback. Bridgewater’s time didn’t work out with the Vikings and he’ll likely have some extra motivation to lead the Panthers to a win in this matchup.

Indianapolis Colts (AWAY)

With the COVID-19 pandemic being a potential factor, this is one of the matchups the NFL could look to schedule for the Vikings that would have less of an impact on the rest of their season since the Colts play in the AFC.

The pandemic could also persuade the league to schedule matchups with opponents early in the year that don’t require an extensive amount of travel time, which would make Indianapolis an even more realistic Week 1 opponent for Minnesota.

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The Vikings other non-NFC North opponents in 2020 include the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Tennessee Titans.