Vikings’ regular-season schedule: 7-9 sounds about right

The NFL unveiled its 2012 regular-season schedule Tuesday. Here’s a look at the Vikings’ slate as they try to improve upon their 2011 record of 3-13:

• Week 1: vs. Jacksonville
• Week 2: at Indianapolis
• Week 3: vs. San Fran
• Week 4: at Detroit
• Week 5: vs. Tennessee
• Week 6: at Washington
• Week 7: vs. Arizona
• Week 8: vs. Tampa Bay (Thursday night game)
• Week 9: at Seattle
• Week 10: vs. Detroit
• Week 11: BYE
• Week 12: at Chicago
• Week 13: at Green Bay
• Week 14: vs. Chicago
• Week 15: at St. Louis
• Week 16: at Houston
• Week 17: vs. Green Bay

The bold, you might have astutely guessed, indicates an NFC North opponent.

We’re trying, really trying, to scratch up more than seven wins there. Can’t find ’em, though. Here’s how we see things:

Wins: vs. Jacksonville, at Indy, vs. Tennessee, vs. Arizona, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Detroit, vs. Chicago.

Losses: all the rest.

The Vikings, then, will start 6-4 before a 1-5 swoon to end the season. And frankly, after 3-13, we’ll gladly take seven wins in what is little more than a rebuilding season.

Don’t kill the messenger. In fact, we’d like to direct all blame toward Red McCombs. No explanation is necessary.