The Vikings have extended their winning streak to four games in a row, improving to 6-2 at the 2019 season's midpoint, and are trying to stay hot.
Minnesota will visit Kansas City (5-3) at noon (CT) Sunday. The Chiefs opened their 60th season with a 4-0 mark in September but dropped three home games in October.
Here are five Vikings-Chiefs storylines to watch as the calendar flips to November.
1. Will they be back?
The Vikings and Chiefs each lost one of their biggest offensive stars during Week 7. Minnesota WR Adam Thielen suffered a hamstring injury while catching a 25-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins in Detroit. A wide array of teammates stepped up in the Motor City to close out that important division win. Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook then turned in robust performances in Week 8. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the NFL's reigning MVP, suffered a dislocated knee at Denver in Week 7. Matt Moore replaced Mahomes on Sunday against Green Bay and played well, completing 24 of 36 passes for 267 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers for a passer rating of 107.1. The playing styles of Mahomes and Moore provide a contrast, and Minnesota is likely to have a plan for both QBs. Sunday's game was Moore's first start since 2017. The first injury reports for both teams will be out later today, and the final editions will post on Friday.
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Chiefs.
2. A football game or a track meet?
Everyone has documented the speed threat of Tyreek Hill, who is nicknamed "The Cheetah" and has a propensity for long touchdowns. Hill isn't the only Chiefs player with fleet feet, however. According to NFL.com's Next Gen Stats, a pair of teammates have recorded two of the 20 fastest speeds by a ball carrier this season. Rookie Mecole Hardman was clocked at 21.74 miles per hour on an 83-yard touchdown in Week 3 against Baltimore, and Sammy Watkins topped out at 21.33 mph on a 68-yard touchdown in Week 1 at Jacksonville. Hardman's time ranks seventh, and Watkins' speed is 14th so far in 2019. Diggs is on the list as well, via his 66-yard touchdown reception at Detroit during which he was clocked at 21.19 mph.
3. Trickery could be on display
The Vikings and Chiefs feature two of the most-explosive offenses in the NFL, in terms of yards per play and yards per pass play. Kansas City is second in yards per play (6.57), and Minnesota is third (6.43). The Vikings lead the league with 8.80 yards per pass play, and the Chiefs rank third with 8.34 yards per pass play. The Vikings effectively established the run in the first quarter of the season and built off it with play-action passes in the second quarter. The Chiefs implement their speed, pre-snap motions and fake sweeps to create hesitation by defenders before executing handoffs to running backs. Seeing through each team's trickery will be important.
4. Can the rhythm continue?
The Vikings were on such a roll from Weeks 5 through 7 that no one really wanted to hit pause on the routine that Minnesota established over three consecutive Sunday games with noon (CT) kickoffs. The Thursday Night Football matchup with Washington didn't put Minnesota too far off-kilter. Now after an extended weekend, will the Vikings retain their rhythm so that rest doesn't turn into rust? Minnesota could lean on a familiar formula with its rushing attack. The biggest statistical discrepancy between the teams so far in 2019 is Minnesota's run offense that is averaging 160.1 yards per game (third in the NFL) against a Kansas City defense that has allowed 145.0 rushing yards per game (30th in the NFL). The second half of the Vikings schedule is far from routine, with four games currently scheduled for prime time, including a pair of Monday-nighters in December.
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.
5. The brotherhood of the NFL really can be a brotherhood
It's not uncommon for there to be a reunion of some sorts every week between coaches that worked together or players who shared a locker room in college or a previous NFL stop. This week, however, features a meet-up between players who grew up in the same household and have followed a legacy of punters. Minnesota's Britton Colquitt (10th season, first with Vikings) and Kansas City's Dustin Colquitt (15th season, all with Chiefs) have followed in the footsteps of their father, Craig, who punted in 96 games for the Steelers from 1978-84 and one game for the Colts in 1987. Britton will be playing his 153rd regular-season game, and Dustin will be appearing in his 231st. It will be the 14th game in which the brothers' teams have faced off. Britton is coming off a Week 8 game in which he didn't have to punt, the first such outing for him since his time with the Broncos when Denver defeated Dallas 51-48 on Oct. 6, 2013. Dustin didn't punt in a 45-10 win over Cincinnati on Oct. 21, 2018.