Minnesota Vikings' schedule has three night games, Thanksgiving Day rematch

Mike Zimmer and the Vikings hope to duplicate their fast start from last season. Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has released its 2017 regular-season schedule. Here’s a look at what’s in store for the Minnesota Vikings.

Breakdown: An early slate of home games will provide the Vikings an opportunity to build momentum after their late-season collapse last year. But if the Vikings are going to return to the playoffs, they'll have to handle a late stretch of difficult road games that includes another Thanksgiving Day matchup in Detroit, followed by trips to Atlanta and Carolina. And for the second straight year, the Vikings will spend Christmas weekend in Green Bay, where they'll play the Packers in a Saturday night matchup on Dec. 23.

Monday night opener: The Vikings will open the season at home for the first time since 2012, and their first game at U.S. Bank Stadium will once again be played in prime time. They'll begin the year on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints, in just the Saints' second trip to Minnesota since the 2010 NFC Championship Game. It's one of two Monday night appearances the Vikings will make, as they play a Monday night game at Soldier Field for the second year in a row against the Chicago Bears on Oct. 5.

Return to London coming Oct. 29: After winning against the Pittsburgh Steelers in London in 2013, the Vikings will play another AFC North foe there this fall. They'll take on the Cleveland Browns at Twickenham Stadium on Oct. 29, meaning their bye week also will come later than it has the past two seasons. The Vikings will be off in Week 9, after playing in England during Week 8. They had a Week 6 bye last year and a Week 5 bye in 2015.

Strength of schedule: T-27th, .453

Vikings Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

  • Week 1: Monday, Sept. 11, New Orleans, 7:10 p.m.

  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24, Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

  • Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1, Detroit, 1 p.m.

  • Week 5: Monday, Oct. 9, at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, Green Bay, 1 p.m.

  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22, Baltimore, 1 p.m.

  • Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 29, at Cleveland, 9:30 a.m.

  • Week 9: BYE

  • Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12, at Washington, 1 p.m.

  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m.

  • Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 23, at Detroit, 12:30 p.m.

  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, at Atlanta, 1 p.m.

  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, at Carolina, 1 p.m.

  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17, Cincinnati, 1 p.m. p.m.

  • Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 23, at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, Chicago, 1 p.m.