5 best non-divisional matchups on the Vikings 2021 schedule

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /

Vikings vs. Browns – Week 4

Ahhh yes, the long-awaited Kevin Stefanski revenge game. There are few matchups on the Vikings’ 2021 schedule more exciting than this one.

Since Stefanski headed to Ohio to become the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota missed the postseason and the Browns were only a couple of plays away from defeating the Chiefs in the divisional round of the 2020 playoffs. Heading into this season, both the Vikings and Browns look poised to achieve even more success than last year.

Cleveland has one of the most complete defenses and one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL. The Browns’ dynamic backfield duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt gave Stefanski the tools necessary to replicate Dalvin Cook’s versatile skill set. With the assistance of one of the league’s best rosters, he was able to carry over his success from Minnesota to a team in Cleveland that was previously most known for a jersey honoring all of the franchise’s failed quarterbacks. 

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will face off against his protégé in what should be a battle of the minds. Both teams have similar levels of talent at each position, so this contest shouldn’t be a blowout. But anything can happen.

Stefanski’s return to the Twin Cities should provide a very valuable challenge early in the season to a Minnesota team with several new faces in the starting lineup. A win over these playoff-caliber Browns would highlight a successful start to the Vikings’ 2021 season.