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12 Things to Know About Vikings 2019 Preseason Foes

EAGAN, Minn. — The NFL on Tuesday announced that the Vikings **2019 preseason schedule** will include a nationally televised Aug. 18 appearance against the Seahawks on FOX during Week 2 of the exhibition slate.

Minnesota will open at New Orleans in Week 1, then host Seattle and Arizona before closing at Buffalo on Aug. 29.

Dates for the games against the Saints and Cardinals will be determined later.

KMSP FOX9 will broadcast Vikings preseason games one, three and four in the Twin Cities.

All four games will be broadcast on KFAN-FM 100.3, KTLK-AM 1130 and the Vikings Radio Network.

Here are 12 things to know (three per team) about the Vikings 2019 preseason opponents.


At New Orleans (13-3 in 2018)

Preseason Week 1 (Aug. 8-12), Mercedes-Benz Superdome

1. 2018 stats and rankings

Offense: 379.2 yards/game (8th), 126.6 rushing yards/game (7th), 252.6 passing yards/game (12th), 31.5 points/game (3rd)

Defense: 349.1 yards allowed/game (14th), 80.2 rushing yards allowed/game (2nd), 268.9 passing yards allowed/game (29th), 22.1 points against/game (14th)

2. Familiar faces

Several Vikings have made their way downriver in recent years. New Orleans signed Latavius Murray, Nick Easton and Marcus Sherels this offseason. Easton could be in line to replace Max Unger, the center who retired in March.

The Murray-Easton-Sherels trio has joined former Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater and fullback Zach Line in the Big Easy.

3. Interesting acquisitions

After narrow playoff losses in back-to-back seasons (Divisional at Minnesota and NFC Championship Game at home against Los Angeles), New Orleans is trying to take the next step for its second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

The Saints brought in athletic tight end Jared Cook (425 receptions, 5,464 yards, 25 touchdowns) and bolstered their defensive line with Mario Edwards and two-time champ Malcom Brown.


Vs. Seattle (10-6 in 2018)

Preseason Week 2 (Aug. 18), U.S. Bank Stadium

1. 2018 stats and rankings

Offense: 353.3 yards/game (18th), 160.0 rushing yards/game (1st), 193.3 passing yards/game (27th), 26.8 points/game (6th)

Defense: 353.3 yards allowed/game (16th), 113.2 rushing yards allowed/game (13th), 240.1 passing yards allowed/game (17th), 22.1 points against/game (14th)

2. Limited differential

A statistical rarity, Seattle became the first team since the 1992 Kansas City Chiefs to finish a season with the same number of yards gained and yards allowed. It was the smallest differential since the 2016 Vikings, who finished with 5,041 yards gained and 5,038 yards allowed.

The Seahawks, however, ran 57 more offensive plays than opponents last season.

3. DB departure

Safety Earl Thomas, a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, left Seattle via free agency. The former first-round pick signed with Baltimore a year after cornerback Richard Sherman (four Pro Bowls, three All-Pro selections) joined San Francisco.


Vs. Arizona (3-13 in 2018)

Preseason Week 3 (Aug. 22-25), U.S. Bank Stadium

1. 2018 stats and rankings

Offense: 241.6 yards/game (32nd), 83.9 rushing yards/game (32nd), 157.7 passing yards/game (32nd), 14.1 points/game (32nd)

Defense: 349.1 yards allowed/game (14th), 80.2 rushing yards allowed/game (2nd), 268.9 passing yards allowed/game (29th), 22.1 points against/game (14th)

2. Searching for a boost

The Cardinals have brought in coach Kliff Kingsbury to try to jazz up an offense that ranked last in the NFL per game and per play in yards, passing yards and rushing yards, as well as scoring, third-down percentage (29.2) and time of possession (26:33).

The offensive bright spot was that the Cardinals ranked ninth in red zone percentage and seventh in goal to go, but they didn't get to either situation very often.

3. Veteran presence plus first pick?

The Cardinals will have 2004 first-round pick Larry Fitzgerald on offense and 2003 first-round selection Terrell Suggs on defense. Both players were born in Minneapolis.

Fitzgerald has spent his entire legendary career with the Cardinals, but Suggs joined this offseason after 16 seasons with the Ravens.

Arizona also might have the top overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on its roster. The Cardinals are scheduled to make the first selection on April 25.


At Buffalo (6-10 in 2018)

Preseason Week 4 (Aug. 29), New Era Field

1. 2018 stats and rankings

Offense: 298.6 yards/game (30th), 124.0 rushing yards/game (9th), 174.6 passing yards/game (31st), 16.8 points/game (30th)

Defense: 294.1 yards allowed/game (2nd), 114.9 rushing yards allowed/game (16th), 179.2 passing yards allowed/game (1st), 23.4 points against/game (18th)


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2. Free agency focus up front

The Bills were highly active in free agency this year. Buffalo has beefed up its offensive line room with the additions of Mitch Morse, Ty Nsekhe, LaAdrian Waddle, Quinton Spain, Jake Fisher and Jon Feliciano.

Some or all of the offensive linemen will have the opportunity to block for another new member of the squad, Frank Gore, who is the active leader in career rush yards with 14,748 (fourth-most all-time).

3. 10 potential picks

Buffalo is currently scheduled to make 10 selections in the NFL Draft, beginning at the No. 9 overall spot.

The Bills have three selections in the top 74 picks.