The Minnesota Vikings (0-0) will open the 2009 season with two consecutive road games, the first against the Cleveland Browns (0-0) this Sunday, September 13. Kickoff at Cleveland Browns Stadium is set for noon (CT).
This will be the 13th time the two teams have met in the regular season, with the Vikings holding the overall edge 9-3 in the previous 12 games. The Vikings also defeated the Browns 27-7 in the 1969 NFL Championship, the only postseason matchup between the clubs. Minnesota has won the last 3 and 9 of the last 11 games in the series, and the Vikings are 7-1 at home and 3-2 on the road against the Browns.
Next Sunday, September 20, the Vikings will stay on the road, traveling to Detroit to take on the Lions, while the Browns will head to Denver to face the Broncos.
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Vikings On Opening Day
- Head Coach Brad Childress is 2-1 in season openers, defeating the Washington Redskins 19-16 in 2006, the Atlanta Falcons 24-3 in 2007 and falling to the Green Bay Packers 24-19 last season.
- Over the team’s 49-year history, the Vikings are a combined 27-20-1 on opening day.
- The Vikings have opened the regular season against Cleveland one time - September 4, 1983 - a game the Vikings won 27-21.
TV: KMSP Channel 9 in the Twin Cities
Play-By-Play: Thom Brennaman Analysts: Brian Billick
Sideline Reporter: Charissa Thompson
RADIO: KFAN-AM 1130/KTLK 100.3-FM
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman
Pre-Game Show: 10:00 a.m. CT
KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 74-station, 6-state Minnesota Vikings Radio Network. Click here to view all stations on the Vikings Radio Network.
What To Watch For
- With 74 rushing yards, RB Adrian Peterson will move into 8th place for the most career rushing yards as a Viking. Currently Peterson ranks 9th with 3,101 yards, trailing Michael Bennett’s 3,174.
- With 100 or more rushing yards, RB Adrian Peterson will notch his 17th career 100-yard rushing performance, which would tie Chuck Foreman for 2nd-most in Vikings history.
- With 2 receptions, WR Bernard Berrian will reach 200 for his career.
- T Bryant McKinnie will start his 100th career regular season game as a Viking.
Stats of the Week
- The Vikings finished 4th in the NFC in total yards per game in the preseason.
- The Vikings allowed just 4 sacks in the preseason, which was the 2nd-fewest behind Dallas’ 3 sacks allowed.
- The Vikings defense ranked 1st in the NFC and 2nd in the NFL in yards allowed per game during the preseason with 254.3.
- The Vikings allowed just one rushing TD in the 4 preseason games.
- The Vikings finished the preseason with a +7 turnover differential, the 5th-best in the NFL.
Vikings Big Days vs. Browns
- QB Brett Favre, in 4 games against the Browns (all with the Packers) has passed for close to 914 yards while throwing 9 TDs to just 2 INTs. His career passer rating vs. the Browns is 105.3.
- Favre threw for 210 yards and 3 TDs on 23-of-28 passing (82.1%) for a 133.6 rating when the Packer played the Browns on 11/19/05. In 2001 (12/23), Favre completed 18-of-28 passes and again threw 3 TDs against the Browns.
- In his last meeting with the Browns in 2005 (9/18) Favre became just the 3rd quarterback ever to eclipse the 50,000 yards mark when he completed 32 of 44 passes (72.7%) for 342 yards and 3 more TDs.
- LB Ben Leber had a season-best 8 tackles vs. Cleveland on 10/19/03 while with the San Diego Chargers.
- CB Karl Paymah had 5 tackles (all solo) and a FR vs. Cleveland last season (11/6/08) while with the Denver Broncos.
- QB Sage Rosenfels set the 2nd and 3rd best marks of his career for completions and yards respectively when he went 24-of-32 for 275 yards and a TD vs. Cleveland last year while with the Houston Texans.
- RB Chester Taylor rushed 8 times for 92 yards (11.5 avg.), with a long of 52 against the Browns on 10/16/05 while he was with the Baltimore Ravens.
- DT Pat Williams had a game-high 10 tackles, including 1 TFL when the Vikings last met the Browns on 11/27/05.
- CB Antoine Winfield had 9 tackles, 3 PDs, and 1 INT the last time the Vikings played the Browns on 11/27/05.
Vikings vs. Browns Series Notes
- The Vikings hold a 9-3 advantage in the all-time regular season series with the Browns.
- The Vikings also defeated the Browns 27-7 in the 1969 NFL Championship game – the lone time the teams have met in the postseason, giving the team a 10-3 record in all-time regular and postseason games.
- The Vikings played the first game in the new Cleveland Browns Stadium, a preseason matchup on August 21, 1999.
- The Vikings won the only contest since the Browns returned as a franchise in 1999, a 24-12 win at home in 2005.
- The Vikings are 7-1 vs. the Browns at home, including the postseason matchup, and hold a 3-2 edge in away games.
- The last time the Vikings played the Browns in Cleveland during the regular season was in 1989, 7-years before the franchise was temporarily deactivated in 1995. The Vikings have never played at the new Cleveland Browns Stadium.
- The Vikings won the last 3 matchups between the 2 clubs, all coming in the Metrodome, with Cleveland failing to score more than 13 points in any one of the contests.
- The Browns won the only overtime game in series history, topping Minnesota 23-17, the last time the teams played in Cleveland and the last time the Vikings saw Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
- The Browns have never defeated the Vikings by more than 6 points. Their average margin of victory over Minnesota is 4.33 points.
- The Vikings and Browns also opened their respective schedule against each other in 1983, with Cleveland winning 27-21.
Last Time vs. Browns
The Vikings last met the Browns when they welcomed Cleveland to the Metrodome on 11/27/2005. The Vikings led the Browns in all major statistical categories on their way to a 24-12 victory.
Vikings QB Brad Johnson went 19-of-28 (67.9%) for 207 yards and 3 touchdowns with a passer rating of 110.3. All 3 of Johnson’s touchdown passes went to WR Marcus Robinson, his only 3 catches of the game, marking only the 3rd time in franchise history that a player scored 3 TDs on 3 receptions. Robinson scored on two 15-yard receptions and a 2-yard strike. Also having big days through the air for the Vikings were WR Travis Taylor and TE Jermaine Wiggins, who each had 5 catches for 70 and 67 yards respectively. On the ground RB Mewelde Moore rushed 19 times for 67 yards to lead the team.
The Vikings defense held the Browns to only 262 net yards on offense, giving up a mere 78 on the ground and 184 through the air. The Vikings also managed to intercept Browns QBs 3 times on the afternoon, with S Darren Sharper notching 2 and CB Antoine Winfield grabbing the third. The Vikings also recorded 5 sacks of Cleveland’s signal callers on the day, with rookie DT C.J. Mosley notching the first 2.0 of his career, and DE Lance Johnstone, LB Keith Newman, and DE Darrion Scott each collecting 1.0. DT Pat Williams and LB Sam Cowart led the team with 10 tackles reach, followed by Winfield with 9.
Current Vikings punter, then a rookie, Chris Kluwe hit 6 balls for an average of 44.0 yards. K Paul Edinger connected on his only FG try on the day from 43 yards, while WR/KR Koren Robinson returned 2 kickoffs for 63 yards (31.5 avg.), including a 40 yard scamper.
Vikings - Browns History Rewind
The Vikings season opener at Cleveland will match a pair of the NFL’s tradition- rich franchises in a rare meeting during the regular season. The clubs have never met in the regular season in the current Cleveland Browns Stadium but did christen the facility on 8/21/99, the 1st game played in the new confines after the Browns franchise returned to Cleveland. The Vikings feature only 1 player who was with the club for that 1999 preseason game, TE Jim Kleinsasser. In ’99, the burly blocker from North Dakota was a rookie 2nd-round pick. The Vikings have won the past 3 meetings with Cleveland, the last coming in 2005 at the Metrodome with a 24-12 Vikings win.
In team history, the Vikings have played 5 regular season games in Cleveland, going 3-2 in the contests. The Vikings traveled to face the Browns in the 1983 season opener on 9/4/83, a 27-21 Vikings win. The teams have had some epic battles over the years, none more important to the history of the Vikings than the 1969 NFL Championship game when the 9-year-old Vikings upended the Browns to advance to Super Bowl IV. The game marked the fi nal season before the 1970 AFL-NFL merger when the league was re-aligned into the AFC and NFC under the flag of the NFL. The 1969 NFL Championship game was the 2nd meeting between the clubs in 1969, following an 11/9/69 game at Met Stadium when the Vikings took a 51-3 victory, a mark that still stands as the largest margin of victory in team history.
The Vikings have posted some impressive individual performances against the Browns over the history of the series. Tommy Kramer threw for 456 yards against the Browns at Met Stadium, a mark that stands as the 2nd-most passing yards in a game by a Viking. On that afternoon, Kramer went 38-of-49 for 4 TDs with 9 passes each going to Ahmad Rashad and Rickey Young. Rashad ended the day with 142 yards receiving, the most by a Viking against the Browns in the 13 games played between the teams. Only 2 other Vikings have broken the 100-yard receiving plateau- Cris Carter’s 124 in 1995 and Gene Washington was the 1st Viking to hit the century mark with 119 in 1969. In the 1st-ever meeting between the teams on 10/31/65, QB Fran Tarkenton threw the longest pass by a Viking against the Browns with a 72-yard TD strike to RB Tommy Mason. The 1965 game saw Bill Brown rumble for 138 yards on the ground, the most rushing yards by a Viking against the Browns. Only Darrin Nelson in 1986 joined Brown in topping 100 yards against Cleveland when he had 118 yards.
In 1967, former Browns DE Jim Marshall exacted revenge on his old club with a 3.5 sack day against Cleveland on 11/19/67, a mark that Keith Millard almost replicated 20 seasons later with 3.0 sacks against the Browns on 10/26/86. Bobby Bryant and Audray McMillian had 3-interception days against Cleveland on 11/9/69 and 11/22/92 respectively. Scott Studwell holds the team mark against Cleveland with 14 tackles in the 12/14/80 game.