Last year, the Minnesota Vikings had the fifth-toughest schedule vis-a-vis opposing quarterbacks, according to The Athletic.
This year is different.
The Atheltic published the 2022 version of this statistic, again determining which NFL teams have the toughest and easiest schedule per opposing quarterback. For example, the Kansas City Chiefs have the trickiest opponent-QB schedule, which checks out because they must duel Russell Willson, Justin Herbert, and Derek Carr six times.
The Washington Commanders have the breeziest go of it, ranking “last” in the NFL for opposing quarterback difficulty.
Mike Sando also ranked the Vikings, too, checking in at #25 — or eighth-easiest — in 2022. Sando wrote about Minnesota’s slate of QB opposition, “The Vikings went into last season with what projected as the third-toughest schedule of opposing quarterbacks, using 2021 Tiers results. They split with Rodgers, beat Wilson and beat Herbert. The schedule projects as softer this season and could get softer if Ryan continues his recent decline, and if Murray begins fading around midseason.”
This is the Vikings slew of QBs-faced on the docket, including Sando’s scoring system:
Minnesota’s relative ease with this metric makes sense for a couple of reasons. Foremost, Ed Donatell’s defense will experience truly elite passers thrice — Aaron Rodgers (twice) and Josh Allen on the road in November. The Vikings are no stranger — at all — to Rodgers, so scheming him twice annually is routine, albeit always difficult. Allen, on the other hand, is a player that the Vikings see once face every four years, and he probably has something in store for Minnesota in Week 10.
But that’s it for probable future Hall of Famers. The rest of the road is navigable. Dak Prescott and Kyler Murray are formidable and will assuredly cause a pain in the purple buttocks. It will feel strange for the Vikings to see Prescott as the franchise is accustomed to losing to Dallas’ backup quarterback — Andy Dalton in 2020 and Cooper Rush in 2021. Moreover, if Murray studies his playbook — a big if, evidently — he’ll perform some theatrics, too, versus Minnesota.
The rest of the docket is surprisingly friendly. You won’t glance down at the schedule and see Matt Ryan, Mac Jones, Jalen Hurts, Carson Wentz, etc. and feel butterflies in your innards. Those butterflies can be mitigated against Rodgers, Allen, Prescott, and Murray.
Finally, the Vikings play Justin Fields and Jared Goff four times. Truth be told, that’s likely why Minnesota is “so low” on Sando’s list — in a good way.
The elite stuff starts right away on September 11th when the Vikings host Rodgers and the Packers in Week 1.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).