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Game Preview: Vikings vs. Ravens

Posted Oct 17, 2017

The Minnesota Vikings (4-2) play at home for the second consecutive week when hosting the Baltimore Ravens (3-3) in Week 7. The Vikings hold a 3-1 record at home this season and an 8-4 record overall at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Ravens are 2-1 on the road this season. The Vikings captured a 23-10 win vs. Green Bay in Week 6, and the Ravens are coming off a 27-24 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears in Baltimore.

The Vikings offense, which ranks 10th in the NFL with 356.0 yards per game, has been led by WR Adam Thielen, who is third in the NFL with 489 receiving yards. The Vikings passing attack averages 252.7 yards per game and has accounted for eight touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 99.3, sixth-best in the NFL. QBs Sam Bradford and Case Keenum have both posted games of 340-plus passing yards and 3-plus touchdowns with no interceptions, making only the Vikings and Patriots (Tom Brady twice) as teams to have two such games this season. The Vikings first thrown interception of 2017 vs. Green Bay snapped the second-longest streak in team history with 184 consecutive passes without throwing an interception (193 in 1995). RBs Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray have filled the void left by rookie RB Dalvin Cook helping the Vikings rush for an average of 135.5 yards per game in the past two contests, eighth in the NFL. McKinnon has totaled 245 yards from scrimmage (164 rushing, 81 receiving) in the past two games, the sixth-best mark in the NFL.

The Vikings run defense has held opponents to 78.7 yards per game (third in the NFL) and 3.2 yards per rush (third in the NFL). DE Everson Griffen secured a sack in his sixth straight game, setting a new career high and is one of two defenders in the NFL to have one sack in every game in 2017 (Demarcus Lawrence of Dallas). Griffen is fourth in the NFL with 7.0 sacks this season. S Harrison Smith has grabbed interceptions in back-to-back games for the fourth time in his career after picking off passes in each of the past two games, giving him three on the season (tied second in NFL).

BROADCAST COVERAGE

NATIONAL TELEVISION: CBS

Play-by-Play: Greg Gumbel, Analyst: Trent Green

Sideline: Jamie Erdahl

LOCAL 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 a.m. CT

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

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

The Vikings defense has been the stingiest in the NFL on third down, holding opponents to a NFL-best 25.0 percent (18/72) conversion rate on third downs.

RB Jerick McKinnon recorded his fourth career game with more than 100 yards from scrimmage and the second-highest total of his career with 146 yards (95 rush, 51 rec.) at Chicago (10/9). McKinnon scored on a 58-yard TD run, the third 50-plus yard run of his career, the fifth-most in Vikings history.

The Vikings offense averages 72.7 yards per touchdown drive, the third-highest in the NFL. The offensive unit has converted 34 third downs, tied for seventh in the NFL and has converted on 43.0 percent (34/79) of its third downs, eighth in the NFL.

Vikings DE Everson Griffen has a sack in six consecutive games, setting a new career-high and tied for fifth-longest streak in Vikings history. DE Jim Marshall (1969) and DE Jared Allen (2011) hold the record with a sack in eight straight games.

WR Adam Thielen is the only receiver in the NFL with five-plus receptions in all six games in 2017.

QB Case Keenum ranks 11th in the NFL with a 93.1 passer rating in 2017 and has the second-lowest interception rate in the NFL, averaging 0.2 interceptions per game. He trails only Alex Smith, who has not thrown an interception.

The Vikings offense ranks second in the NFL with 30 plays of 20-plus yards — 23 passing (tied for fourth) and seven rushing (second in NFL) — trailing only the Los Angeles Rams who have 32 offensive plays of 20-plus yards.

The Vikings have seven scoring drives of 80-plus yards in 2017, three more than they totaled in all of 2016.

Statistic of the Week

RB Jerick McKinnon has scored three touchdowns the past two weeks, tied for second among all RBs in the NFL since Week 5.

TDs Since Week 5 - All NFL RBs

Melvin Gordon, LAC: 4

Jerick McKinnon, Min: 3

Leonard Fournette, Jax: 3

Vikings–Ravens Connections

Ravens WR Mike Wallace played one season with the Vikings, registering 473 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 39 receptions in 2015.

Vikings G Nick Easton originally joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens before being traded to San Francisco on Sept. 5, 2015. Easton was then acquired by the Vikings via trade from the 49ers on Oct. 6, 2015.

Vikings LS Kevin McDermott played seven games for the Ravens in 2014.

Ravens strength and conditioning coach Juney Barnett served as the Vikings assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2006-11.

Local Connections

Ravens TE Maxx Williams played collegiately at the University of Minnesota from 2012-14. Williams is a native of Waconia, Minnesota. As a senior in 2011, Williams threw for 784 yards and eight touchdowns, rushed 120 times for 902 yards and 13 touchdowns and posted 80 tackles and two interceptions as a senior. Williams was a member of the 2011 Minnesota Vikings All-State High School Football team.

Vikings WR Stefon Diggs is a Maryland native, hailing from Gaithersburg, less than 50 miles west of Baltimore. Diggs was one of the top HS players in the nation at Good Counsel HS earning First-Team All-State honors before attending the University of Maryland from 2012-14.

Ravens LB Terrell Suggs was born in Minneapolis and was raised in St. Paul before moving to Arizona after eighth grade.

Ravens Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg is a Fairmont, Minnesota, native. He graduated from Fairmont HS before attending North Dakota State where he played LB. Rosburg also coached the secondary for the University of Minnesota in 1996.

Ravens assistant offensive line coach Richard Angulo played TE for the Vikings from 2003-05 and began his coaching career with the Vikings taking part in the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship program with Minnesota during the 2013 offseason.

Ravens RBs Coach Thomas Hammock coached for the University of Minnesota from 2007-10.

College Connections

Ravens C Luke Bowanko (2009-13) and Vikings S Anthony Harris (2011-14) were teammates at Virginia.

Vikings LB Ben Gedeon (2013-16), Ravens DT Willie Henry (2012-15) and DE Chris Wormley (2012-16) all played at Michigan together.

Vikings WR Jarius Wright (2008-11) and Ravens QB Ryan Mallett (2008-10) played together at Arkansas.

Ravens WR Breshad Perriman (2012-14) and Vikings RB Latavius Murray (2008-12) were teammates at UCF for the 2012 campaign.

Vikings DT Jaleel Johnson (2012-16) and Ravens DT Carl Davis (2010-14) played together at Iowa.

BIG DAYS

K Kai Forbath registered his first career game-winning FG vs. Baltimore (Dec. 9, 2012) as a member of the Redskins. Forbath connected on a 34-yard FG giving the Redskins a 31-28 win in OT.

WR Michael Floyd caught 3 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown in his only career game against Baltimore (Oct. 26, 2015).

LB Emmanuel Lamur has recorded both of his only career interceptions against Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Both occurred during the 2014 season as a member of the Bengals. Lamur had 10 tackles and one interception at Baltimore (Sept. 17, 2014) and five tackles and an interception vs. Baltimore (Oct. 26, 2014).

S Andrew Sendejo caught his first career interception off Flacco at Baltimore (Dec. 18, 2013). Sendejo also had a career high three passes defensed in the contest. 

Vikings CB Terence Newman snagged one of his 41 career interceptions off Flacco at Baltimore (Nov. 10, 2013) as a member of the Bengals.

Vikings DE Brian Robison sacked Flacco in the most-recent matchup between the teams at Baltimore (12/18/13).

As a rookie, Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes corralled four tackles, set a career high with four passes defensed and his first career forced fumble at Baltimore (12/18/13) 

Vikings CB Marcus Sherels lone career interception came off Flacco at Baltimore (Dec. 18, 2013).

Top Performers Against Ravens

Emmanuel Lamur: 4 games, 20 tackles, 2 INTs

Terence Newman: 6 games, 28 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PD

Xavier Rhodes: 1 game, 4 tackles 4 PD, 1 FF

Andrew Sendejo: 1 game, 7 tackles, 1 INT, 3 PD

SERIES INFO

Record vs. Ravens: 2-3

Last regular season game: Ravens 29, Vikings 26

Vikings largest winning margin: 10; Vikings 38, Ravens 28 (1998)

Ravens largest winning margin: 16; Ravens 19, Vikings 3 (2001)

Current series streak: Ravens 1

Vikings longest win streak: 1, (1998, 2009)

Ravens longest win streak : 2 (2001-2005)

Most Points, Vikings: 38, (1998)

Most Points, Ravens: 31 (2009)

Most Points, both teams: 66; Vikings 38, Ravens 28(1998)

Fewest Points, Vikings: 3, (2001)

Fewest Points, Ravens: 28, (1998)

Fewest Points, both teams: 22; Ravens 19, Vikings 3 (2001)

Series Notes

This will mark the sixth game the Vikings have played the Ravens, the second-fewest amount of games against a current NFL team (Houston, 5).

The Vikings and Ravens were originally slated to play each other on Monday, Sept.17, 2001. However, after the 9/11 tragedies cancelled that week of football games, the two teams ended up playing in the 2001 NFL season finale on Monday, Jan. 7, 2002, a Ravens 19-3 win.

On April 12, 1961, the NFL assigned the Vikings to the Western Conference. Minnesota joined the Baltimore Colts, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

The Vikings first ever playoff game was against the Colts in Baltimore on Dec. 22, 1968 in the Western Conference Championship, a 24-14 Baltimore win.

The Vikings and Ravens combined for 42 points in the fourth quarter of their most-recent matchup, the most ever combined points in the final period of a Vikings game.