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12 Things to Know About Vikings 2018 Preseason Foes

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Wednesday announced their four opponents for the 2018 preseason slate, including home games against Jacksonville in Week 2 and Seattle in Week 3.

Minnesota will open its run of exhibition contests at Denver against the Broncos in Week 1 and wrap the campaign in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans in Week 4. All teams are scheduled to play their final preseason games on Thursday, Aug. 30 before making final roster reductions.

The dates and kickoff times for Weeks 1-3 will be confirmed later.

All Vikings preseason games can be viewed in the Twin Cities on KMSP FOX 9.

KFAN 100.3-FM, KTLK 1130-AM and the Vikings Radio Network will broadcast audio of all Vikings preseason and regular-season games.

Here are 12 things to know (three per team) about the Vikings 2017 preseason opponents.

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At Denver (5-11 in 2017), Preseason Week 1 (Aug. 9-12), Sports Authority Field at Mile High

  1. 2017 stats and rankings

Offense: 324.1 yards/game (17th), 115.8 rushing yards/game (12th), 208.3 passing yards/game (20th), 18.1 points/game (27th)

Defense: 290 yards allowed/game (3rd), 89.4 rushing yards allowed/game (5th), 200.6 passing yards allowed/game (4th), 23.9 points against/game (22nd) 

  1. QB switcheroo

The Broncos signed former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum during free agency, and Minnesota acquired Trevor Siemian from Denver in a trade this offseason.

  1. Rare appearance in altitude

The Broncos haven't hosted Vikings in the Mile High City for a preseason game since Sept. 3, 1987. Minnesota claimed that game by a 27-17 margin, then hosted and defeated Denver in the regular season 34-27.

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Vs. Jacksonville (10-6 in 2017), Preseason Week 2 (Aug. 16-19), U.S. Bank Stadium

  1. 2017 stats and rankings

Offense: 365.9 yards/game (6th), 141.4 rushing yards/game (1st), 224.6 passing yards/game (17th), 26.1 points/game (5th)

Defense: 286.1 yards allowed/game (2nd), 116.3 rushing yards allowed/game (21st), 169.9 passing yards allowed/game (1st), 16.8 points against/game (2nd) 

  1. Pro Bowl matchups

Cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye were significant reasons the Jaguars ranked first in the NFL in passing yards allowed, third in passing touchdowns allowed (17) and second in interceptions recorded last season (21).

They should provide 2017 Pro Bowler Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs with high-quality competition, even if the starters for both teams might be limited in their number of reps.

  1. Pressure inside and out

All-Pro DT Calais Campbell tied for second in the NFL with 14.5 sacks in 2017. DE Yannick Ngakoue tied for eighth with 12 sacks, giving Jacksonville the ability to pressure from the interior and edge of the defensive line.

The Vikings can counter with Second-Team All-Pro DE Everson Griffen (13 sacks in 2017) and Danielle Hunter (7.0 in 2017) from the edge and newly acquired DT Sheldon Richardson alongside Pro Bowler Linval Joseph.

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Vs. Seattle (9-7 in 2017), Preseason Week 3 (Aug. 23-26), U.S. Bank Stadium

  1. 2017 stats and rankings

Offense: 330.4 yards/game (15th), 101.8 rushing yards/game (23rd), 228.6 passing yards/game (14th), 22.9 points/game (11th)

Defense: 323.2 yards allowed/game (11th), 114 rushing yards allowed/game (19th), 209.2 passing yards allowed/game (6th), 20.8 points against/game (13th) 

  1. End of the LOB?

The departure of Richard Sherman to the 49ers might be the first major step of the end of the Legion of Boom. Seattle's defense led the NFL in points and yards allowed in 2013-14. Last season, however, the Seahawks were out of the top 10 in both categories for the first time since 2010.

  1. Familiar faces

In addition to Head Coach Pete Carroll, a former Vikings assistant, the Seattle sidelines will include former Vikings defensive tackles Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen and offensive lineman Willie Beavers.

Richardson joined the Vikings this offseason after playing for Seattle last season.

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At Tennessee (9-7 in 2017), Preseason Week 4 (Aug. 30), Nissan Stadium

  1. 2017 stats and rankings

Offense: 314 yards/game (23rd), 114.6 rushing yards/game (15th), 199.4 passing yards/game (23rd), 20.9 points/game (19th)

Defense: 328 yards allowed/game (13th), 88.8 rushing yards allowed/game (1st), 239.3 passing yards allowed/game (25th), 22.3 points against/game (17th) 

  1. Running against a wall

The Titans defense allowed only five rushing touchdowns in 2017 (best in the league) and ranked fourth in yards per attempt (3.6). Tennessee's offense, however, ranked second in the NFL with 18 scores on the ground.

  1. Youth movement

The Titans roster (as of Wednesday) has 32 players with three or fewer accrued seasons of NFL experience, and that number will increase again after the draft.                      

Your best opportunity to join the Vikings for the 2018 season is to join our Season Ticket waiting list. For more information, please visit us here: http://www.vikings.com/tickets/season-tickets.html

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