With no NFC Playoffs for the Vikings, a look at 2021 opponents

Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts during the first half against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. ((Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images))

The Minnesota Vikings finished a disappointing 2020 regular season 7-9 and out of the NFC Playoff picture, and we now know their 2021 opponents and draft position.

The Vikings finished third in the NFC North, ahead of only the Detroit Lions after a 37-35 win at Ford Field on Sunday. They’ll have the No. 14 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and they have 11 picks after making a franchise record 15 selections this past season.

The Vikings’ 2021 schedule will consist of their normal six games, three home and three away, against the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. Minnesota will also have four games against the NFC West, four games against the AFC North and two games each against the third place teams in the NFC South and East.

The NFL hasn’t made a formal announcement yet, but all teams are likely playing a 17-game schedule in 2021.

The Vikings’ schedule, outside of the NFC North, will look like the following: The home opponents include the Bears (8-8), Lions (5-11), Packers (13-3), Cleveland Browns (11-5), Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4), L.A. Rams (10-6), Seattle Seahawks (12-4) and Dallas Cowboys (6-10).

The 2021 road opponents include the Packers, Bears, Lions, Baltimore Ravens (11-5), Cincinnati Bengals 4-11-1), Arizona Cardinals (8-8), San Francisco 49ers (6-10) and Carolina Panthers (5-11).

Not counting the NFC North teams, the Vikings will have five other opponents next year who were playoff teams this season (Seahawks, Rams, Steelers, Ravens and Browns) and had above. 500 records. Of the Vikings’ 17 opponents in 2021, nine are against teams that finished at or below. 500.

We know who the opponents will be and where the games will be played, but we don’t know when. The NFL will do its 2021 schedule release sometime closer to the draft.