Minnesota Vikings 2020 NFL schedule: 5 must-win games

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

Scouting Report. Away. Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 3. player. Pick Analysis. 48

Though the Vikings have a favorable home schedule, one where they could find a way to go 8-0 if everything goes right for them, there are some losses on schedule away from Minneapolis that feel inevitable. Road dates with the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks immediately jump off the page. But what about the game down in Tampa Bay?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had an offseason for the ages by signing Tom Brady away from the New England Patriots in free agency, as well as convincing his favorite tight end Rob Gronkowski to come out of retirement. Tampa Bay should be a playoff team next year, but the Buccaneers must prove the belong with the upper crust of the NFC right away. They’re just not there yet.

A big reason the Buccaneers have been a lackluster franchise for more than a decade is they haven’t cultivated a winning home environment. There are very few stadiums were visiting teams have no qualms about playing in, but Raymond James Stadium has been one of those venues for the better part of the last two decades. Simply put, Minnesota can go into Tampa and get a win.

Should the Vikings leave the Florida Gulf Coast with a road victory, this will surely get them to 3-1 against the NFC South, assuming home wins over the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers. Beating Brady in his new stadium would be quite the pelt on the wall for Kirk Cousins and the entire Vikings team. A win in Tampa elevates Minnesota to a serious threat for the top seed.