Minnesota Vikings schedule analysis

Breakdown: The NFL's schedule-makers, among many other people, seem to believe Brett Favre will be in a purple uniform for at least one more year.

The Minnesota Vikings will be featured in four prime-time games, including the regular-season opener Sept. 9 at the New Orleans Saints. They'll play on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" on Oct. 11 (at the New York Jets) and Dec. 20 (Chicago Bears). Finally, they'll play a Sunday night game Oct. 24 (at the Green Bay Packers).

Let's see. The Saints were Favre's boyhood team before pummeling him in the NFC Championship Game. His two previous teams are the Packers and the Jets. His history with the Bears speaks for itself. That Metrodome game could be flexed out if Favre retires. But no one seems to think that's a possibility. Favremania has given the Vikings the highest of high-profile schedules.

Complaint department: Three games before the bye? Most teams consider an ideal bye week at midseason, but the Vikings will have nowhere close to that luxury. Two early home games means the Vikings should probably be 2-1 entering their Oct. 3 bye. But playing the final 13 games in succession isn't ideal for a team that hopes to make a deep run into the playoffs.

Getting "chilly:" Coach Brad Childress will have another chance to defeat his close friend and mentor, Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, in a Dec. 26 game that could well carry significant NFC playoff implications. In four years, Childress is 0-2 against Reid. Both losses have been at the Metrodome.

Vikings Regular Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Thursday, Sep. 9, at New Orleans, 8:30 PM

Week 2: Sunday, Sep. 19, Miami, 1:00 PM

Week 3: Sunday, Sep. 26, Detroit, 1:00 PM

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: Monday, Oct. 11, at NY Jets, 8:30 PM

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 17, Dallas, 4:15 PM

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 24, at Green Bay, 8:20 PM

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 31, at New England, 4:15 PM

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 7, Arizona, 1:00 PM

Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 14, at Chicago, 1:00 PM

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 21, Green Bay, 1:00 PM

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 28, at Washington, 1:00 PM

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 5, Buffalo, 1:00 PM

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 12, NY Giants, 1:00 PM

Week 15: Monday, Dec. 20, Chicago, 8:30 PM

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 26, at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM

Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2, at Detroit, 1:00 PM