Vikigns QB J.J. McCarthy’s most anticipated game may surprise you

The Minnesota Vikings are going to be the team to watch in the 2024 season, as the entire NFL world anticipates the debut of rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy
. While we don’t know when that will happen, there are landmarks on the schedule that we can point to that make sense for his debut.

What game could that end up being? PFF’s Trevor Sikkema highlighted the week seven matchup against the Detroit Lions as the game to watch. Why against the former division champions? The Vikings are coming off of a bye week.

The Vikings may not hand McCarthy the starting quarterback job by Week 1. I believe this team signed Sam Darnold in good faith, knowing it was very likely he would be their initial starter for 2024.

McCarthy will also just need time to grow as a player. That timeline might not manifest into a first start until the second half of the season, but I look at Week 7 as a date to circle for McCarthy. Yes, the Lions would be a tough first assignment, but the Vikings have a bye in Week 6 and will also play Detroit in Minnesota. Those are typically the two factors that play into when teams make a quarterback change — extra practice and a home crowd behind them.

Pair two weeks to prepare with having the game at home and it spells a recipe of success for McCarthy and the Vikings. Now, they would have a very short week in week eight when they take on the Los Angeles Rams on the road Thursday night, but that is another issue.

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