Why the Minnesota Vikings Will Play in Seattle Again Next Season
The Minnesota Vikings will travel to Seattle during the 2020 season. No, that isn't wrong and it is a part of the schedule rotation. Here's why.
I tried to warn everyone that a meltdown could potentially be on the way when it comes to Vikings Twitter world. The NFC North and NFC West will meet again as common opponents in 2020, meaning that the teams that line up based on division standings will play. Thanks to the Vikings and Seahawks both finishing second in their divisions in 2019, the two teams will meet again in 2020.
To fully understand why this works the way it does, we need to go down to the base level of scheduling. Each NFC division plays against the other NFC divisions every three years. Two games are at home and the other two are on the road.
- 2018 - NFC North vs. NFC West
- 2019 - NFC North vs. NFC East
- 2020 - NFC North vs. NFC South
- 2021 - NFC North vs. NFC West
- 2022 - NFC North vs. NFC East
- 2023 - NFC North vs. NFC South
Now let's take a look at it from the Vikings and Packers perspective based on the normal rotation. Both the Vikings and Packers play the same home/away opponents on that formula. Let's go back and start from the 2018 season for the full rotation picture.
- 2018 - NFC North vs. NFC West - vs. SF, vs. AZ, @ SEA, @ LAR
- 2019 - NFC North vs. NFC East - vs. PHI, vs. WSH, @ DAL, @ NYG
- 2020 - NFC North vs. NFC South - vs. ATL, vs. CAR, @ NO, @ TB
- 2021 - NFC North vs. NFC West - vs. SEA, vs. LAR, @ SF, @ AZ
- 2022 - NFC North vs. NFC East - vs. DAL, vs. NYG, @ PHI, @ WSH
- 2023 - NFC North vs. NFC South - vs. NO, vs. TB, @ ATL, @ CAR
- 2024 - NFC North vs. NFC West - vs. SF, vs. AZ, @ SEA, @ LAR
- 2025 - NFC North vs. NFC East - vs. PHI, vs. WSH, @ DAL, @ NYG
- 2026 - NFC North vs. NFC South - vs. ATL, vs. CAR, @ NO, @ TB
- 2027 - NFC North vs. NFC West - vs. SEA, vs. LAR, @ SF, @ AZ
Common opponents' scheduling is done every two years on the off years that the divisions are not playing each other in full. The home/away for those games are set on two-year rotations. This fills the final two games missing off of the 16 games on the schedule (6 games vs. own division, 4 games vs. same conference division, 4 games vs. other conference division, 2 common opponents).
So why are the Vikings traveling to Seattle again? For the same reason that Green Bay will go to San Francisco, Chicago to Los Angeles, and Detroit to Arizona, the NFC West teams will host the NFC North teams. This is done on a rotation. Think of it as a bridge until the next time the two divisions meet. The NFC North will host common opponents from the NFC East in 2020 and 2021.
Here's a look at the common opponents scheduling for all of the teams in the NFC North.
- 2018: vs NFCS, @ NFCE - All vs. West
- 2019: vs NFCS, @ NFCW - All vs. East
- 2020: vs NFCE, @ NFCW - All vs. South
- 2021: vs NFCE, @ NFCS - All vs. West
- 2022: vs NFCW, @ NFCS - All vs. East
- 2023: vs NFCW, @ NFCE - All vs. South
- 2024: vs NFCS, @ NFCE - All vs. West
- 2025: vs. NFCS, @ NFCW - All vs. East
- 2026: vs. NFCE, @ NFCW - All vs. West
Lining up both years as the common opponent is not super common, but it did happen in this situation between the Vikings and Seahawks. If the Seahawks would have beat the 49ers on Sunday Night Football (December 29), Minnesota would be traveling to San Francisco next year instead.
Hope this helps.