The 2012 NFL schedule was released on Tuesday night, and to nobody's surprise, the Vikings don't have a lot of prime time games. Of course, going 3-13 the previous season greatly reduces a team's chances of being highlighted on the national spotlight. It's safe to say that the Vikings probably won't have many games that will capture the nation's attention in 2012.
But do the Vikings have some of the least anticipated games of 2012? According to Jason Cole of Yahoo!, they do. In fact, their Week 1 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars tops his list of "Worst Games of the 2012 season":
The Vikings and Jaguars ranked No. 1 and No. 4, respectively, in the dubious category of overpaying for particular free agents, according to this analysis, and I can't disagree. If you're going to spend that kind of money, you should get better than a guy who flopped one place and a guy who produced only one good year out of five. Worse, both teams did very little to help their young, developing quarterbacks, which is just sad when you consider that each spent a first-round draft pick in 2011 on Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder, respectively. The best formula for making a quarterback play better is to surround him with better people.
Well then. Cole thinks that the Vikings didn't surround Ponder with enough help this offseason. On top of that, he thinks they grossly overpaid for John Carlson, one of the very few free agent acquisitions the team has made.
But it doesn't stop there.
Cole rounds out his "Not Top 10" list with yet another Vikings game: their Week 15 game when they visit the St. Louis Rams. His take on this not-so-marquee matchup:
Another game featuring a pair of young, struggling quarterbacks on some young, struggling teams. Yeah, there's hope for both the Vikings and the Rams. But that hope is at least two years away from being realized.
It's always entertaining when people look at the NFL schedule and try to prognosticate what will happen over five months into the future. Every year after the schedule is released, most fans like to go through their favorite team's slate to see which games will be easy wins and which will be tough losses. These predictions are nothing but wild guesses in a league as unpredictable and week-to-week as the NFL, but they're fun nonetheless. Hopefully the Vikings games mentioned in Cole's article will prove him wrong. Even if they are terrible games, you won't hear any complaints from Vikings fans if Minnesota ends up on the winning end of them.