HIBBING — In four days, the National Football League opens its 2020 season, with a Thursday-night contest, then next Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings take the field against the Green Bay Packers at US Bank Stadium.
With Major League Baseball, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the NBA playoffs all in progress, the NFL gives us another diversion from COVID-19, which I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about.
Most NFL stadiums will open with no fans. Some will try to put a few numbers in there. That should have been a determined number across the board. Either no fans, or a limited number of them in every stadium.
I guess we’ll find out what kind of affect the fans have on a game, which I believe is about 10-percent, or maybe lower.
So what kind of season will the Vikings have?
I know everybody has been waiting for this moment, but remember, I’m a pessimistic Minnesota fan, so none of this is carved in stone.
We’ll take it month-by-month on what I think their record is going to be.
In September, the Vikings play the Packers at home, at Indianapolis and Tennessee at home.
If all goes well, I’ll say a 2-1 month.
In October, Minnesota is at Houston, at Seattle, what’s new, hosts Atlanta, then the Vikings have their by week
That’s not an easy stretch of games. It could be a 1-2 month for 3-3.
In November, we’ll miss the extreme cold of Green Bay, then the Lions come to Minnesota.
The Vikings are at Chicago, then Dallas and Carolina visit US Bank Stadium.
The Vikings have a hard time winning in Chicago, so that could be two losses in a row. Maybe three depending how good the Cowboys are. Teddy Bridgewater makes his return to Minnesota in the Panthers’ game, so I’ll say 3-2 for a 6-5 record.
In December, Jacksonville comes to town, then it’s at Tampa Bay and Tom Brady. The Bears head to Viking Country, then it’s off to New Orleans.
This could be a tough month, but let’s say Minnesota goes 1-3 and 7-8 on the year.
The Vikings end the regular season on Jan. 3, at Detroit. Let’s say 1-0 for an 8-8 record, give or take two games.
If that’s the case, then it could be 10-6 or 6-10 depending on how well the defense rounds into shape with some young cornerbacks, and an offensive line that isn’t proven, again.
Minnesota did trade for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, but Danielle Hunter’s status has been in question. Is he hurt? Is he not hurt? Nobody seems to know but the Vikings’ braintrust.
Yes, it’s going to be fun having football back in our lives, but with the Vikings, I have to see it before I believe it, but I’ll surprise everyone and say… drumroll… 13-3.