Schedule Release  


Vikings: Strong start on the road could set tone

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Inside the 2012 Schedule

By Week 5, the Vikings should be able to gauge the success of their rebuilding project after facing three tough opponents (the 49ers, Lions and Titans) and two not-so-tough opponents (Jaguars and Colts). The final two games of the season, against the Texans and Packers, will give the Vikings a chance to make a statement heading into 2013.
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3 Key Moments
Week 1 vs. Jaguars
This is a winnable game at home. Notice a theme here? The Vikings went a paltry 1-7 in Minneapolis last year. No, that's not because they need an outdoor stadium; they simply stunk. The Jags didn't do too well either, and Blaine Gabbert < Christian Ponder.
Week 8 vs. Buccaneers
The Vikings were up 17-0 at halftime on the Bucs last year and blew it. That was Week 2, and set a precedent for the rest of the season in which the Vikings often faltered late in games. Tampa Bay is in rebuilding mode. This is a game that is both winnable and necessary.
Week 10 vs. Lions
Even worse than the Bucs debacle, the Vikings were up 20-0 on the Lions the next week -- at home -- and blew it again. In fact, Minnesota had a shot in both meetings with the Lions and lost both games by a combined nine points -- bad memories that could afford to be erased.


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