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Game Preview: Vikings at Rams

Posted Sep 2, 2014

REGULAR SEASON WEEK ONE - MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT ST. LOUIS RAMS

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2014 - EDWARD JONES DOME - ST. LOUIS, MO - NOON - FOX

After finishing the 2014 preseason with a perfect 4-0 record, the Minnesota Vikings kick off the regular season on the road against the St. Louis Rams. The game is scheduled for a noon start at the Edward Jones Dome.

The Week One matchup marks the first time the Vikings and Rams have played on Kickoff Weekend. In the last contest with the Rams in 2012, RB Adrian Peterson ran for 212 yards, including a career-high-tying 82-yard TD during his MVP season. Peterson and the Vikings won the game 36-22. Overall, the Vikings hold a 24-16-2 record against the Rams dating back to their days in Los Angeles.

Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner coached defensive backs at Southern California while Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher played DB for the Trojans during the 1980 season. The Rams, who named former Viking Shaun Hill their starting QB, finished the 2013 season with a 7-9 record.

TELEVISION
FOX (Channel 9 in Minneapolis)
Play-By-Play: Dick Stockton Analyst: Kirk Morrison
Sideline Reporter: Kristina Pink

RADIO
KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman
Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 10:00 AM CT

KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, 5-state Vikings Radio Network.

NORSEMAN NOTEABLES
• The Minnesota Vikings hold a 29-23-1 record in opening day games all-time.
• RB Adrian Peterson holds team opening day records with 180 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs set against Cleveland on September 13, 2009. Peterson also tied the opening day club record with a 78-yard TD run last year against Detroit.
• Peterson needs 170 net yards to tie WR Cris Carter (12,410) for the most combined net yards in a career for a Viking. Peterson also needs 2 TDs to tie Randy Moss (93) for the 2nd most TDs in Vikings history. Cris Carter leads the franchise with 110 TDs.
• In the 2012 opener vs. Jacksonville, Blair Walsh set the team record for FGs made (4) in an opening game. Walsh also had the longest FG made (55) by a Viking during a season opener.
• The Vikings have scored a TD in 51 consecutive games, 1 game away from a tie for 3rd all-time in team history.
• WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson’s 1,393 kickoff return yards in 2013 were the most in Vikings history and 2nd in the NFL last year. His 109-yard kickoff return TD against Green Bay on 10/27/13 is the longest kickoff return in NFL history.
• Entering Week 1 Patterson has scored a TD in 5 consecutive games. 6 consecutive games would rank him 6th all-time in team history.
• Vikings QB Matt Cassel appeared in 9 games in 2013, including all 5 wins, starting 6 games. Cassel connected on the 4 longest pass plays for the Vikings in 2013 (79t, 70t, 57t & 51).
• CB/PR Marcus Sherels set a team record and ranked 2nd in the NFL with a 15.2 punt return average on 22 returns in 2013.
• LS Cullen Loeffler will play his 156th game as a Viking in Week 1 againts St. Louis, tying LB Jeff Siemon for 25th in club history.
• As a team during the 2014 preseason, the Vikings ranked 1st in the NFL in QB rating (104.0) and giveaways (1) and ranked 2nd in points allowed (12.3), interceptions (5) and turnover margin ( 5).

STAT OF THE WEEK
In the last contest against the Rams (12/16/12), also at the Edward Jones Dome, K Blair Walsh tied an NFL record for most 50 yard FGs in a game with 3 (50, 53 & 51).

A WIN WOULD...
• Give Mike Zimmer his 1st win as Vikings head coach, making him the fourth coach in franchise history to win his debut with the team.
• Improve the Vikings record against the NFC to 352-282-10 all time.
• Give the Vikings their third-straight win over the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.
• Improve the Vikings record against the NFC West to 67-46-3 all time.
• Improve Minnesota’s record to 25-16-2 in the overall series with the Rams.

VIKINGS-RAMS SERIES NOTES
• The Vikings and Rams have played 42 times overall with Minnesota holding a 24-16-2 series record.
• The Vikings and LA Rams faced eachother in the 1976, ‘77 and ‘78 playoffs.
• The last time the Vikings and Rams met was in Week 15 of the 2012 season, a 36-22 Vikings win.
• The Vikings and Rams have played three overtime games in series history, with the teams splitting 1-1-1 in those contests.
• The Vikings are currently 10-13-0 when visiting the Rams. The Vikings won the last contest at the Edward Jones Dome 36-22 in Week 15 of the 2012 season.
• In their last meeting, RB Adrian Peterson posted his third-best rushing performances of his career, finishing the game with 212 yards on way to the second-best single-season rushing effort in NFL history, finishing the season with 2,097 yards.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. RAMS
• RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings last outing against the Rams (12/16/12). Peterson tied his career-long with an 82-yard touchdown scamper in the contest played in St. Louis.
• LB Chad Greenway finished with 15 total tackles, including 14 solo stops, one sack and one tackle for a loss, recovered a fumble and recorded on pass defended in the Vikings 36-22 victory on 12/16/12.
• S Harrison Smith posted a season-high 12 tackles his rookie year against the Rams. (12/16/12)
• K Blair Walsh booted his way into the record book, tying the record for most 50 yard field goals in a game connecting on kicks from 50, 53 and 51 yards in a 5-of-5 showing. (12/16/12)
• DE Everson Griffen scored his lone NFL TD against Rams with a 29-yard INT return (12/16/12).

VIKINGS- RAMS CONNECTIONS
• Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher played defensive back under Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner in 1980 when Turner served a season as the defensive backs coach at USC.
• Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner served on the LA Rams coaching staff from 1985-1990, including the 1988 playoff game between the Rams and the Vikings played in Minnesota.
• Rams QB Shaun Hill entered the league in 2002 as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings. Hill was with the Vikings from 2002-06.
• Vikings DB Coach Jerry Gray played for the LA Rams from 1985-91, earning 4 trips to the Pro Bowl as well as 2 All-Pro honors. Gray was named the NFL’s Defensive Back of the Year by the NFLPA in 1989 and won Pro Bowl MVP honors in 1990. Gray worked with Fisher and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1997-2000 and again in 2011.
• St. Louis Rams WR Coach Ray Sherman spent 2 separate stints with the Vikings as the QB Coach from 1995-97 and the Offensive Coordinator in 1999.
• Rams Physical Therapist/Assistant Athletic Trainer Byron Cunningham spent the 2009 season with Vikings.
• Vikings Executive VP of Legal Affairs and CAO Kevin Warren spent 1997- 2001 with the Rams. During his tenure with St. Louis, Warren served as VP of Football Administration in 2001 after working as VP of Player Programs and Football Legal Counsel from 1997-2000.
• Vikings Assistant DBs Coach/Quality Control Jonathan Gannon served as a Rams scout from 2009-11.
• Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher played in the same defensive backfield with Vikings great Joey Browner at USC.
• Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and Vikings Assistant DBs Coach/Quality Control Jonathan Gannon worked together during the 2012-13 seasons.
• Vikings LB Coach Adam Zimmer spent the 2009 season as the Assistant DBs Coach in New Orleans under Rams Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams who held the same position with the Saints from 2009-2011.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS
• Rams LB James Laurinaitis is a Plymouth, Minn. native and attended Wayzata High School where he was named Minnestoa’s ‘Defensive Mr. Football’ as a senior when he led his team to the Class 5A state championship game.
• Rams Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Rock Gullickson hails from Moorhead, Minnesota and is a graduate of Moorhead State. Gullickson played G for the Dragons and earned All-Northern Sun Conference and AP DIII All-American honors in 1977.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS
• Rams QB Sam Bradford and Vikings RB Adrian Peterson were teammates at Oklahoma in 2006, along with T Phil Loadholt from 2007-08.
• Rams S Darian Stewart played with Vikings LB Jasper Brinkley and CB Captain Munnerlyn for three years at South Carolina from 2006-08.
• Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes and Rams DB Lamarcus Joyner were teammates from 2010-2013 at Florida State.

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