Minnesota Vikings vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In six seasons under the direction of Head Coach Mike Zimmer, the Minnesota Vikings have made the playoffs in every odd calendar year and finished right around .500 in every even year, like a sort of reverse San Francisco Giants. There's a good chance that this will be the season that breaks that trend, because the 2020 Vikings have a roster built for success. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will try to keep the pattern in place just when the NFC playoff race may be heating up in the final month.
The Vikings finished 10-6 and in second place in the NFC North in 2019, but there's reason to believe they could have won even more games. The simplest piece of evidence is in the team's point totals, as the Vikings ranked eighth with 25.4 points per game and tied for fifth with 18.9 points allowed per game. That differential of 6.5 points per game ranked seventh in the NFL and was better than, among other teams, the Green Bay Packers, who went 13-3 and won their division. The Vikings' main problem in that regard is that they lost both of their head-to-head matchups with the Packers.
The Vikings will get two more cracks at the Pack this fall, but they'll also make a trip to Tampa in Week 14 for a Dec. 13 game at Raymond James Stadium.