Vikings 2021 Schedule: Minnesota starting season on road for first time since 2016

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

For their first matchup of the 2021 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings will be heading out on the road to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Beginning each season inside U.S. Bank Stadium was starting to become a bit of a tradition for the Minnesota Vikings.

Since the 2017 opener, the Vikings have kicked off each of their seasons with a matchup on their home field. However, that streak will be coming to an end in a few months when Minnesota steps back onto the turf for their first game of the 2021 campaign.

On Wednesday morning, the NFL revealed all of the Week 1 matchups for the 2021 season, including the Vikings heading out on the road to face off against the up-and-coming Cincinnati Bengals.

Minnesota Vikings to open 2021 season with road matchup against Cincinnati Bengals

So for the first time since 2016, the Vikings’ opening game of the season will take place outside of their home stadium. This will also be the first time Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer will be facing the Bengals in Cincinnati in a regular-season matchup since he was the team’s defensive coordinator in 2013.

This opening week showdown should be a good test for the Vikings, especially if Joe Burrow is back under center for the Bengals.

With Burrow in the lineup and rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase now added to the mix, Cincinnati has the potential to have an explosive offense in 2021. Minnesota’s defense is expected to be much improved next season compared to 2020 and shutting down a possibly lethal Bengals offense would certainly be encouraging.

It will also be our first opportunity to see the Vikings’ new and improved offensive line in action. Cincinnati has some new pass-rushing weapons this year in veteran Trey Hendrickson and rookie Joseph Ossai, so Minnesota’s offensive line could have their hands full with these two.

If Burrow has recovered enough from the torn ACL he suffered last season, this Week 1 matchup between the Bengals and Vikings should turn out to be a great one. But if the Cincinnati quarterback still hasn’t been cleared to play by the 2021 opener, then Minnesota should be able to easily head back home with a 1-0 record.