Vikings 2024 schedule: Cousins returns to Minnesota in December

The Vikings technically have nine home games on their 2024 schedule, but the fact one of those games is in London, coupled with two trips to the West Coast, means they'll spend a lot of time away from home.

The schedule for their 64th season gets off to a daunting start, with three straight games against 2023 playoff teams from Weeks 2-4 before a game against Aaron Rodgers and the Jets in London. Then, after the bye week, the Vikings face two more playoff teams from a year ago. They have three straight road games in November, before four December home games that feature the highest-profile matchups on the schedule.

Here is a game-by-game look at the 2024 Vikings schedule (all times Central):

Week 1: at Giants

Sept. 8, Noon

The Vikings last saw the Giants in the wild-card round of the 2022 season, when New York ended the Vikings' season with a 31-24 win at U.S. Bank Stadium. Both teams fell out of the playoffs in 2023, and the Vikings will face a Giants team that's still trying to build its offense around quarterback Daniel Jones, who went 1-5 in six games before tearing his ACL last season.

Week 2: vs. 49ers

Sept 15, Noon

San Francisco's Monday night trip to Minneapolis last October turned out to be the last great moment of Kirk Cousins' career as Vikings QB, when he threw for 378 yards in an upset win over the 49ers before tearing his Achilles tendon the following Sunday at Lambeau Field. The 49ers will be the Vikings' opponent for the home opener this year. Following Cousins' departure for Atlanta, the Vikings signed Sam Darnold, who could be starting against his most recent employer. Kevin O'Connell praised the tutelage Darnold received in San Francisco last season.

Week 3: vs. Texans

Sept. 22, Noon

If there's a template for winning with a rookie quarterback, it might be the one Houston laid out last season, when C.J. Stroud threw for 23 touchdowns against five interceptions while leading the Texans to a 10-7 record after he was drafted second overall. The Vikings will see Stroud for the first time in a game that will feature plenty of reunions: the Vikings signed Jonathan Greenard and Blake Cashman away from the Texans, while Houston gave Danielle Hunter a two-year contract in free agency.

Week 4: at Packers

Sept. 29, Noon

The Vikings make another first-half trip to Lambeau Field, following last year's Oct. 29 matchup in Green Bay. This time, they'll face a Packers team coming off a trip to the NFC divisional playoffs, and see Jordan Love a week before traveling overseas to face his predecessor. The trip, the shortest on the Vikings' schedule, should give the team an easier travel turnaround before it leaves for London later in the week.

Week 5: vs. Jets in London

Oct. 6, 8:30 a.m.

Aaron Rodgers is scheduled to face the Vikings for the 30th time in his 20 NFL seasons — more than he's faced any team in his career. Last year was the first one in U.S. Bank Stadium's history that Rodgers hasn't visited the venue ... and the fact the NFL moved this game to London means Vikings fans might have missed out on their final chance to see him in Minneapolis. Instead, the Vikings will try to keep their undefeated record in the U.K. intact, facing an AFC team for the third time in four trips there.

Week 6: ByeWeek 7: vs. Lions

Oct. 20, Noon

The Lions won their first division title since 1993 at U.S. Bank Stadium on Christmas Eve, in the game where Kerby Joseph's hit on T.J. Hockenson tore two ligaments in his right knee. Detroit's run to the NFC Championship game means the Lions will be a trendy Super Bowl pick this season; the Vikings will try to avoid losing back-to-back home games against the Lions for the first time since 2016-17.

Week 8: at Rams on "Thursday Night Football"

Oct. 24, 7:15 p.m.

In 2018, the Vikings made a Thursday night trip to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, where Jared Goff posted a perfect passer rating against Mike Zimmer's defense. This year, the Vikings visit SoFi Stadium for the second time, their first against the Rams after a 2021 win over the Chargers in Los Angeles. The game marks Kevin O'Connell's first matchup against Sean McVay, his mentor and former boss whose team returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since McVay and O'Connell won a Super Bowl together in 2021.

Week 9: vs. Colts

Nov. 3, Noon

The last time the Colts came to U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings made history with the largest comeback in NFL history. The Vikings beat Colts quarterback Matt Ryan in that game; this one could mark their first game against Anthony Richardson, the second-year quarterback they liked in the 2023 draft before Indianapolis took him fourth overall.

Week 10: at Jaguars

Nov. 10, Noon

The Vikings last played in Jacksonville in 2016, when Mike Zimmer returned to the sideline 10 days after emergency eye surgery caused him to miss a home loss to Dallas. Doug Pederson, who beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship game with the Eagles after the 2017 season, is in his third season as Jacksonville's head coach, trying to rebound from a season where the Jaguars lost five of their final six to miss the playoffs.

Week 11: at Titans

Nov. 17, Noon

The Titans, too, will play host to the Vikings for the first time since 2016, when Shaun Hill started the regular season opener while Sam Bradford was still learning the offense after Teddy Bridgewater's knee injury prompted a deal for the former Eagles quarterback. The Titans will have a different look this time, with former Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan having replaced Mike Vrabel as head coach, and the Vikings will face Will Levis, a quarterback they passed on during the 2023 draft.

Week 12: at Bears

Nov. 24, Noon

The Vikings' first game against No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams comes in Week 12, when they travel to Soldier Field the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The game marks the end of a three-week road swing, and ends a two-month stretch where the Vikings play at U.S. Bank Stadium only twice.

Week 13: vs. Cardinals

Dec. 1, Noon

The Vikings played host to the Cardinals in 2022 and for a preseason game in 2023. They begin a stretch of three straight home games against Arizona, with wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. the new target for quarterback Kyler Murray after the Cardinals made Harrison the first non-quarterback selected in this year's draft.

Week 14: vs. Falcons

Dec. 8, Noon

Get your popcorn ready for this one: Kirk Cousins comes to U.S. Bank Stadium for the first time as a Vikings opponent since leaving the team in March, and he'll do so with first-round pick Michael Penix Jr. right behind him on the depth chart. If Cousins has struggled or dealt with injuries by this point of the season, it could be Penix facing the Vikings instead. Cousins, though, figures to have plenty of motivation to play well for his new team against his old one.

Week 15: vs. Bears on "Monday Night Football"

Dec. 16, 7 p.m.

It seems the Vikings and Bears play a Monday night game just about every year. This time, they'll face Williams in his first trip to Minneapolis. If J.J. McCarthy is starting for the Vikings by this point, it could be the first matchup between the two top-10 draft picks.

Week 16: at Seahawks

Dec. 22, 3:05 p.m.

The NFC's schedule rotation means the Vikings return to Lumen Field, where they lost three times from 2018-20 before beating the Seahawks at home in 2021. It will be Kevin O'Connell's first trip to Seattle for a regular season game, though the Vikings began the 2023 preseason there. New Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald was the defensive coordinator at Michigan in 2021, during McCarthy's first season at the school.

Week 17: vs. Packers

Dec. 29, Noon

Last season, the Packers beat the Vikings 33-10 at U.S. Bank Stadium on New Year's Eve, vaulting Green Bay into playoff position and reducing the Vikings' playoff chances to a faint hope. Green Bay's 2024 trip to Minneapolis comes at the same juncture of the season as last year's game: the Vikings will again close their home schedule against their division rivals.

Week 18: at Lions

Jan. 5, Noon

The Vikings will end the season in Detroit for the second consecutive season, and finish on the road for the third straight year. It will be the final regular season game of McCarthy's rookie year, near where he led Michigan to a national championship last year. We'll see if he's starting the regular season finale for the Vikings.