Vikings' strong start hits a speed bump

First of three straight home games draws fans to Minneapolis

Vikings  fans
Minnesota Vikings fans celebrate at a tailgate and prepare for the game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings lost to the Cowboys last year.
Judy Griesedieck for MPR News

Despite Sunday’s disappointing 40 to 3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, at 8-2, the Minnesota Vikings are still off to their best start since the 2017 season. Excitement was certainly high among fans who flocked to downtown Minneapolis for the big match-up.

Some fans, including Rob Henkelman, took a wait-and-see approach to the Vikings’ season ahead.

“They’ll make the first round of playoffs and lose like they usually do,” he said. “That’s my prediction.”

The last time the team started like this — in 2009 — the Metrodome was still standing. A decade later, many of Minneapolis’ surface parking lots have been turned into ramps or other buildings, giving tailgating near U.S. Bank Stadium a different feel.

“There’s not a lot of parking lots where you can’t just go. The ramps you can’t tailgate in,” said David Paulson. “It’s different here as opposed to Buffalo or someplace else where it’s fields and parking lots and everyone just gets out there.”

But it’s still enough of a scene to attract fans from far and wide. Linda Garcia traveled from as far away as California, hoping to see the Vikings repeat their close-call winning streak. She wasn’t sure how long the winning streak would last, but still held out hope.

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“As a Viking fan, you gotta keep it real,” she said. “I’m always, always very optimistic with caution. I’m pretty darn sure we’ll make the playoffs and we might even make it past the first round.”

Others, like Dylan Robinson, hail from closer to Minneapolis and are finally getting out to see a game in person.

“We’re loving it. We’re loving watching it,” he said. “This is our first time coming to the game but at home we always do something, try to make an event out of it.”

Fans won’t have long to catch their breath: The Vikings host the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night.