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What If The Vikings Don’t Open At New Orleans?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 20, 2010 – 10:04 am

Conventional wisdom of late has been that the NFL would kickoff its 2010 schedule on Thursday, September 9 by having the Vikings travel to New Orleans for a NFC Championship Game rematch against the Saints. The NFL traditionally pits the defending Super Bowl champions against an intriguing opponent at home on the Thursday before the first Sunday of the regular season.

The idea of Vikings vs. Saints to begin the season is even more realistic when you consider the teams New Orleans will play at home this year – Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Seattle, Minnesota, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. With the NFL now emphasizing division matchups late in the season, let’s operate under the assumption that New Orleans won’t open up with a NFC South contest. That leaves the Vikings and Steelers as the 2 most intriguing options remaining. But when you consider Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger may be suspended to begin the season for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy, Pittsburgh becomes less intriguing.

So you can see why conventional wisdom says it’ll be Vikings vs. Saints to begin 2010. But as well all know, conventional wisdom is often wrong. Also, consider that while promoting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s live chat with fans later today league spokesman Brian McCarthy tweeted “Someone should ask him [Goodell] who the Saints open with.”

Maybe the NFL is going to surprise everyone and not have the opening game be Vikings-Saints.

There are 3 bits of information that I could come up with that would support that idea:

1: Over the past 2 years, teams that participated in the previous season’s conference championship game opened the following season at home 7 out of 8 times (with the Eagles at Carolina in 2009 being the only exception). The Vikings of course were in the NFC Championship Game last year.

2: Not that the NFL always considers this angle, but keep in mind that the Twins are on the road during the NFL’s opening weekend and then they play at home during Week 2 of the NFL season.

3: Maybe the NFL will indeed pit New Orleans against a division opponent – say Atlanta – to begin the season. Or, maybe they’ll have the St. Louis Rams, who will be sporting the #1 overall draft pick from the 2010 NFL Draft, travel to New Orleans to take on the defending Super Bowl champs.

Or maybe not. As hard as you try to make a case for the NFL scheduling something other than Vikings-Saints to begin the season, it just doesn’t add up. Should Favre return to the Vikings, there’s no other possible matchup that is as intriguing as Vikings-Saints to begin the season.

Maybe conventional wisdom will actually be right.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 10 Comments »


10 Responses to “What If The Vikings Don’t Open At New Orleans?”

  1. By Dubuque Viking on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Here’s how the 2010 season plays out

    Week 1 @ Saints
    Week 2 vs Cardinals
    Week 3 vs Cowboys MNF
    Week 4 @ Bears
    Week 5 @ Patriots (flex game)
    Week 6 vs *Giants

    Week 7 BYE

    Week 8 @ Jets Sunday night Football
    Week 9 vs Packers
    Week 10 vs Dolphins
    Week 11 @ Eagles
    Week 12 @ Packers MNF
    Week 13 vs Lions
    Week 14 vs Bears
    Week 15 @ Redskins
    Week 16 vs Bills
    Week 17 @ Lions

  2. By JOSH on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    TIME WILL ONLY TELL WHO WILL PLAY AND WHEN. WE CAN ONLY HOPE THE MAN (FAVRE) COMES BACK AND WE KICK THE …… OUT OF THE SAINTS WHEN WE PLAY THEM. AND AFTER THAT, PUT OUR FOCUS BACK ON THE DEVISION RIVALS AND THE POST POST SEASON THE (SUPERBOWL).THIS TIME, THIS YEAR OUR 50TH ANN. HA JUST TRY US, YOU WONT SEE ANYTHING BETTER. GO VIKINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. By JOSH on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    JUST WONDERING HOW YOU FIGURED OUT THAT SCHEDULE LIKE THAT AND HOW YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO BE CORRECT AND I HOPE YOUR CORRECT, KEEP THE COLD BEARS AND PACK GAMES EARLY AS POSSIBLE

  4. By SkolVikings on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Watch the CAPS lock buddy.
    I doubt the Vikes will have 2 MNF games, and I would put the vs Bears later in the season, like when you have the Bills slotted.

  5. By medcineball on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Only one SNF? That would be great.

  6. By Dan on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    I think Dubuque Viking could be close on his guess there for the monday night games. Farve fills seats and gets tvs turned on so lots of prime time games for the Vikes is possible. I would bet on the bears and packers to close out the season though with the talk of division games to end the season. I would look for more of the tougher teams towards the end of the season though. Looks to be a very tough schedule this season. 12-4 would be a very good record with the teams on it.

  7. By Dan on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    I do like the thought of playing the Saint to open the season though. Show the world that the wrong team was in the superbowl last season. My prediction on that game would be as follows. Vikes hang on to the ball and dont fumble 6 times. Refs call the roughing when it should be and the Vikes win big. Jackson plays the 4th. 38-20

  8. By medcineball on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Dubuque Viking – that was false info.

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