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Vikings 2018 record predicted by Sports Illustrated

The Minnesota Vikings have what looks like, at least on paper, one of the toughest schedules in the entire NFL this season, but that is why teams have to go out and play the games. Regardless of what is ahead of them, they are expected to be one of the best teams in the NFC and a possible representative of the conference in this year's Super Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. One Sports Illustrated writer is calling his shot on how they will fare this upcoming season.

Jonathan Jones believes that the Vikings will finish the season 13-3 and will be riding some of their new additions from this offseason back to the playoffs, where they reached the NFC Championship last season.

"The Vikings are about as well-built as any team in the league. Their top-ranked defense from a year ago got even better in the offseason with the addition of Sheldon Richardson and rookie corner Mike Hughes," he wrote. "Following a career year from Case Keenum, the offense got a quarterback in Kirk Cousins who could get them over the hump, and Minnesota returns running back Dalvin Cook from an early-season ACL tear after he dazzled in his debut. The interior of the offensive line may be the only question in Minnesota, which is looking for its third NFC North crown in four years."
As far as a game that could be pivotal in how this season plays out, Jones has it coming in the form of an early divisional showdown for the Vikings. Week 2's trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers could be the game that sets the tone for the year, according to Jones.

"This is the sort of early game that eventually decides a division," he said. "Beating a healthy Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau would give Minnesota a leg up in NFC North before we get into October. Rodgers won’t be going down easily in this game, though, since it was against the Vikings last year where the Packers’ season was lost."

The Vikings kick off the 2018 regular season on Sept. 9 when they host Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers from U.S. Bank Stadium in Downtown Minneapolis. The full slate of games, announced this past April, can be seen below.

(The draft is over, the roster is all but set and the Vikings now prepare for a run to the Super Bowl --Don't miss out on the action. Sign up for our FREE newsletter today!)

Week 1 - Sunday, Sept. 9 vs. San Francisco 49ers (12 p.m. ET, FOX)

Week 2 - Sunday, Sept. 16 at Green Bay Packers (12 p.m. ET, FOX)

Week 3 - Sunday, Sept. 23 vs. Buffalo Bills (12 p.m. CT, CBS)

Week 4 - Thursday, Sept. 27 at Los Angeles Rams (7:20 p.m. CT, FOX)

Week 5 - Sunday, Oct. 7 at Philadelphia Eagles (3:25 p.m. CT, FOX)

Week 6 - Sunday, Oct. 14 vs. Arizona Cardinals (12 p.m. CT, FOX)

Week 7 - Sunday, Oct. 21 at New York Jets (12 p.m. CT, CBS)

Week 8- Sunday, Oct. 28 vs. New Orleans Saints (7:15 p.m. CT, NBC)

Week 9 - Sunday, Nov. 4 vs Detroit Lions (12 p.m. CT, FOX)

Week 10 - BYE

Week 11 - Sunday, Nov. 18 at Chicago Bears (12 p.m. CT, FOX)

Week 12 - Sunday, Nov. 25 vs. Green Bay Packers (7:15 p.m. CT, NBC)

Week 13 - Sunday, Dec. 2 at New England Patriots (3:25 p.m. CT, FOX)

Week 14 - Monday, Dec. 10 at Seattle Seahawks (7:15 p.m. CT, ESPN)

Week 15 - Sunday, Dec. 16 vs. Miami Dolphins (12 p.m. CT, CBS)

Week 16 - Sunday, Dec. 23 at Detroit Lions (12 p.m. CT, FOX)

Week 17 - Sunday, Dec. 30 vs. Chicago Bears (12 p.m. CT, FOX)

The Vikings are back on the field this week from June 12-14 for mandatory minicamp before breaking for a month or so before training camp kicks off in mid-July. The preseason opener is set for Aug. 11 in Denver against the Broncos. (247sports)

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