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Early Look: Vikings to Visit Chargers in Week 10 as '17th Game' of 2021

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Chargers.

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings (3-5) are back two games below .500 for the third time this season and will start another comeback attempt at 3:05 p.m. (CT) Sunday against the Chargers (5-3) in Los Angeles.

Much like the season opened with a pair of losses by a combined four points, the past two have been by a total of seven.

The rare matchup is only the 14th between the franchises and was added to the schedule when the NFL agreed to expand its regular season from 16 to 17 games.

Minnesota is facing a team leading its respective division for the third of four consecutive weeks.

Here's an Early Look at the Vikings Week 10 game against the Chargers, presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Official LASIK partner of the Minnesota Vikings.


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Since the 2000 season, there have only been five players in NFL history to total at least 12 tackles and record an interception in their first career starts.

Vikings safety Camryn Bynum, who started in place of Harrison Smith (Reserve/COVID-19), did so in Baltimore to join DB Marques Anderson (2002 with Green Bay), LB David Hawthorne (2009 with Seattle), LB Sean Lee (2011 with Dallas) and LB Uani 'Unga (2015 with the New York Giants).


Kirk Cousins recorded his 30th game as a Vikings QB without an interception, which is the second-most in franchise history behind Fran Tarkenton's 38.

RB Dalvin Cook recorded his 18th career game with 100 rushing yards in Week 9 at Baltimore, passing Ring of Honor RB Chuck Foreman for the third-most games with 100 or more rushing yards in franchise history.

Cook scooted loose for a 66-yard run, the sixth-longest by a player in the NFL this season, late in the first quarter. He now has four career rushes of 60-plus yards.

Cook has 4,215 rushing yards. He needs 17 to pass Darrin Nelson for seventh in Vikings history and 106 to overtake Dave Osborn for sixth.

WR Adam Thielen has eight fourth-quarter touchdowns since 2020, which ranks second in the NFL behind Tyreek Hill (nine).

WR Justin Jefferson became the second-fastest player in NFL history to record 2,000 receiving yards, doing so in 24 games (Odell Beckham, Jr., hit the mark in 21 games).

LB Eric Kendricks recorded a new career-high 17 tackles against Baltimore. He ranks fifth in the NFL with 83 tackles through Week 9.

S Camryn Bynum became the first Vikings player to record an interception in his first career start since Shaun Prater in 2013 against Philadelphia.

RB/KR Kene Nwangwu recorded the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a Viking since Cordarrelle Patterson in 2016 and the team's first successful fake punt since Adam Thielen in Week 16 of the 2015 NFL season.

The Vikings have allowed the fewest sacks (10) in the NFL in 2021.


Head Coach: Brandon Staley, 1st season with Chargers (5-3 in regular season)

Staley first joined the NFL as outside linebackers coach for the Bears in 2017. After two seasons helping former Chicago Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio, he headed to Denver when Fangio became the head coach of the Broncos. The Rams hired Staley as their defensive coordinator in 2020, and the Chargers tabbed him as their 17th head coach in franchise history this offseason.

QB Justin Herbert, who edged out Vikings WR Justin Jefferson for 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year honors from The Associated Press, has thrown 49 career touchdown passes and is averaging 290.7 passing yards per game.

RB Austin Ekeler is a dual-threat running back with 14 career rushing touchdowns and 19 through the air. He has 2,380 career rushing yards and 2,404 receiving yards.

WR Keenan Allen has team highs of 57 catches and 600 yards on the season. He's caught two scores and is always a threat on third downs.

WR Mike Williams leads the Chargers with six touchdowns on 37 receptions and has added 575 yards (15.5 yards per catch).

Edge rusher Joey Bosa leads the team with 4.5 sacks this season. The three-time Pro Bowler, who entered the NFL in 2016 as the third overall pick, has 52 in his career.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 5, 2022.



Vikings LB Nick Vigil played for the Chargers in 2020, starting six of the seven games in which he appeared.

Chargers DT Linval Joseph played six seasons for the Vikings (2014-19), helping Minnesota make the playoffs three times and earning two Pro Bowls.

Chargers T Storm Norton spent three seasons with the Vikings, primarily on the practice squad, and appeared in one game in 2018.

Los Angeles CB Kemon Hall spent part of 2020 with Minnesota.


The following five Vikings are from the Los Angeles metro area: Alexander Mattison (San Bernardino), Camryn Bynum (Corona), Wyatt Davis (Bellflower), Troy Dye (Norco) and Anthony Barr (San Pedro).

Chargers T Trey Pipkins III is from Apple Valley, Minnesota.


Vikings DE Everson Griffen and Chargers QB Chase Daniel with the Lions in 2020

Minnesota CB Bashaud Breeland with Los Angeles C Corey Linsley and LB Kyler Fackrell with Green Bay in 2018; Fackrell and Vikings DT Dalvin Tomlinson with the Giants in 2020

Vikings LS Andrew DePaola with Chargers TE Jared Cook at the Raiders in 2018 and with CB Ryan Smith at the Buccaneers in 2016

Minnesota S Xavier Woods with L.A. DT Christian Covington in Dallas (2019); Covington with Vikings CB Mackensie Alexander in Cincinnati (2020)


Alexander with Chargers WR Mike Williams at Clemson

Minnesota RB Dalvin Cook with L.A. S Derwin James and DB Trey Marshall at Florida State

Vikings WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Chargers LB Nick Niemann at Iowa

Minnesota LB Troy Dye and L.A. QB Justin Herbert at Oregon




Kirk Cousins: 2 games (1 with Washington, 1 with Minnesota), 1-1 as a starter; 34-of-52 passing, 65.4 completion percentage, 358 passing yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT, 82.1 passer rating


Everson Griffen: 3 games; 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 7 QB hits, 1 pass defensed

Anthony Barr: 2 games; 10 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 TFL, 1 FF

Eric Kendricks: 2 games; 16 tackles, 1 FF


Cousins: 19-of-25 passing (76.0 percent), 207 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, passer rating of 96.6 at Los Angeles on Dec. 15, 2019

Griffen: 1.5 sacks, 6 QB hits, 1 pass defended in Minnesota on Sept. 27, 2015

Barr: 1.0 sack, 2 QB hits, 1 FF in Minnesota on Sept. 27, 2015

Kendricks: 7 tackles, 1 FF in Los Angeles on Dec. 15, 2019


1. The Vikings and Chargers franchises have met 13 times overall, with the Vikings holding a 7-6 edge. Prior to Minnesota's two-game win streak, the teams alternated who won from 1971 through 2011.

2. In the previous meeting (Dec. 15, 2019), the Vikings forced seven Chargers turnovers on the way to the largest margin of victory (39-10) in the series. Minnesota recorded three interceptions and four fumble recoveries, including one returned 56 yards for a touchdown by Ifeadi Odenigbo with seven seconds left in the first half.

3. Vikings Legend Adrian Peterson racked up an NFL-record 296 rushing yards in a 35-17 win at the Metrodome on Nov. 4, 2007. It was the eighth career game for Peterson and his second with more than 200 rushing yards.

Longest Vikings winning streak in series: 2 games (Sept. 27, 2015 through Dec. 15, 2019)

Longest Vikings losing streak in series: 1 game (Losses occurred in 1971, 1978, 1984, 1993, 2003 and 2011)