The Minnesota Vikings are 4-3-1 headed into Week 9 of the 2018 season but the next three games on the schedule are essential if the team wants to succeed. Through the first eight games of the season, the Minnesota Vikings have only played in one ...and more »
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Mike Zimmer - Minnesota Vikings
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The Minnesota Vikings are 4-3-1 headed into Week 9 of the 2018 season but the next three games on the schedule are essential if the team wants to succeed.
Through the first eight games of the season, the Minnesota Vikings have only played in one divisional game. The one NFC North battle came in Week 2 when they tied 29-29 at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers.
Minnesota faces the Detroit Lions this Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. After that, they have the bye week and then travel to Soldier Field to face the Chicago Bears before returning at home to play the Packers.
Currently, the standings in the NFC North are as follows:
Chicago Bears (4-3)
Minnesota Vikings (4-3-1)
Green Bay Packers (3-3-1)
Detroit Lions (3-4)
These next three games are very critical. If the Vikings win all three, that could possibly be enough for them to win this division. Two out of three would still help, but winning all three would be that much better. It would also put them at 7-3-1 and help their chances of getting the third seed. Currently, the Los Angeles Rams (8-0) and New Orleans Saints (6-1) are the top two seeds and unless either of them falls apart they could very likely stay at the top of the NFC standings.
Toughest game of these three could be against the Bears. Although it will be after the bye week, the Vikings usually struggle in the Windy City.
Although they did win there last year and in 2015, both were by only three points. Before 2015 their last two wins there came in 2007 (also by three points) and 2000. No matter what kind of a team the Bears have and how many key players may be out with injuries, they always give the Vikings trouble at their home.
The Vikings are 72-39-2 all-time against the Lions, but have lost three of their past four meetings with them, including being 0-2 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Each of those three losses was very winnable.
They are 4-1-1 against the Packers in their past six meetings (Aaron Rodgers missed a game and a half against them last year). It is another very winnable game, but the Packers are always tough with #12 under center.
The rest of the regular season will be very critical for this Vikings team. These next three though could very well determine their fate in the North.
Next: 4 bold predictions for Vikings vs Lions
It will not be easy, but they have a very good chance of winning all three games. In a way, you could say these next three are must wins. They have also already lost two games at home after losing only one all of last season. They cannot afford another home loss. Good teams need to defend their home turf.
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