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Vikings to Open 2018 Season at Home Against San Francisco 49ers

Posted Apr 19, 2018

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings will open the season at raucous U.S. Bank Stadium for the second straight season.

And they will do so against a team that was Minnesota’s opponent for the 2015 season opener.

The Vikings will begin their quest for the franchise’s first Super Bowl with a Week 1 home game against the San Francisco 49ers at noon (CT).

Minnesota is 12-4 at U.S. Bank Stadium since the venue opened it 2016, and is 23-9 at home since Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer took the helm in 2014.

“I think it’s great to open at home,” Zimmer said. “We were able to do that last year and with our fans, it’s a great way to kick off the season.”

Minnesota and San Francisco met in Week 1 of the 2015 season on ESPN’s Monday Night Football as the 49ers earned a 20-3 win in Northern California.

The Vikings bounced back to finish 11-5 and claim the NFC North title, their first under Zimmer. Minnesota also won the division in 2017 when the Vikings went 13-3 and eventually reached the NFC Championship.

The Vikings are 22-23-1 all-time against the 49ers, which includes a 1-4 record in playoff games.

The season and home opener will be the first game in Purple for Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who signed a three-year deal with Minnesota in March.

Cousins, a former fourth-round pick in 2012 out of Michigan State, threw for 13,176 yards and 81 touchdowns while compiling a passer rating of 97.6 in the past three seasons as Washington’s starter.

He has thrown for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns in each of the previous three seasons.

San Francisco will counter with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

After starting the 2017 season 0-9, the 49ers won six of their final seven games, due in part to a strong finish from Garoppolo.

He won all five of his starts to close out the season, completing 120 of 178 passes (67.4 percent) for 1,560 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. The 49ers averaged 409.6 yards of offense in games started by Garoppolo.

Vikings fans will also see a familiar face return to U.S. Bank Stadium in running back Jerick McKinnon, who spent the past four seasons with the Vikings.

The 2014 third-round pick has 1,918 career rushing yards with seven scores to go along with 984 career receiving yards with five touchdowns. McKinnon scored on a 108-yard kickoff return against the 49ers during the 2017 preseason.

This will be the eighth time in 58 years that Minnesota has opened a season against San Francisco, also doing so in 1963, 1966, 1967, 1975, 1979, 1985 and 2015. The Vikings are 4-2-1 in previous Week 1 games against the 49ers.

Minnesota is 32-24-1 all-time in season openers. The Vikings are 20-7 when starting a season at home and 12-17-1 when opening on the road.