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Early Look: Vikings vs. Dolphins

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — It's a short week for the Vikings, who wrap up their preseason slate Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings will host the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night at 7 p.m. (CT).

Minnesota has won two of its three preseason games, defeating Buffalo and San Francisco and while falling to Seattle. The Dolphins are 1-2 in preseason play.

Minnesota went 8-8 in 2016 and finished third in the NFC North. Miami went 10-6 and made the postseason but lost in the Wild Card round to Pittsburgh.

Here's an early look at Thursday's game:

Passing: Quarterback Kyle Rudolph completed 17 of 21 passes for 134 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions against San Francisco. Bradford had a quarterback rating of 93.3 but was sacked three times.

Backup Case Keenum was 10-of-14 for 139 yards with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 142.6. Anthony Harris played the final series of the game, leading the Viking on a game-winning drive over the final two-plus minutes. Heinicke threw for 73 yards.

Miami is led by a familiar face in quarterback Jay Cutler, who spent the previous eight seasons in the NFC North with the Bears. Cutler was signed earlier this month after an injury to Ryan Tannehill.

Cutler was 5-of-8 passing for 105 yards with a touchdown in Miami's 38-31 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday. Matt Moore is Miami's backup quarterback.

Rushing: The Vikings rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries Sunday against San Francisco. Jerick McKinnon led the way with 27 yards on seven carries.

Rookie Dalvin Cook had five carries for 17 yards, and Latavius Murray had two rushes for six yards and picked up first downs on both of his runs. Terrell Newby found the end zone on his only carry, scoring from a yard out as time expired in regulation. Heinicke then scored on a 2-point conversion to give Minnesota the win.

Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi had nine carries for 53 yards and two scores against the Eagles.

 

Receiving: Adam Thielen had a team-high five catches for 50 yards against the 49ers while rookie Stacy Coley led the Vikings with 76 yards on four grabs.

Danny Isidora and Kyle Carter each had touchdown receptions for the Vikings, and  Laquon Treadwell had three catches for 36 yards in his 2017 preseason debut.

Miami's top duo of DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry combined for four catches for 127 yards. The pair combined for 1,880 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016.

Defense: Minnesota's first-team defense struggled against the 49ers, giving up 188 total yards in the first half. The Vikings starters allowed passing touchdowns of 46 and 24 yards. Every first down that San Francisco's first-team offense picked up came through the air.

Eric Kendricks and Will Sutton each had a sack for the Vikings, and Antone Exum had an interception.

Miami's defense gave up 426 total yards against Philadelphia, including 152 on the ground. The Dolphins ranked 18th in points allowed per game (23.8) and 29th in yards allowed per game (382.7) in 2016.

Special Teams: McKinnon made a splash by returning a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown. Adams also had a 32-yard punt return.

Kicker Marshall Koehn handled the kicking duties and made a 58-yard field goal but missed one from 47 yards. He also had four touchbacks on five kickoffs.

Ryan Quigley averaged 42.0 yards on three punts while Taylor Symmank averaged 41.5 yards on a pair of punts.

Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks hit a 56-yard field goal on Thursday.

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

Over The Years

The Vikings are 4-8 all-time against the Dolphins, a series that includes Super Bowl VIII in January of 1974.

The Vikings have lost the past three meetings between the teams.

Last meeting: Dolphins 37, Vikings 35, Dec. 21, 2014, in Miami

Miami won the previous meeting in a wild affair. The Dolphins blocked a punt in the final minute, and the ball rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety to break a 35-35 tie.

Each team's offense had ramped it up in the fourth quarter as Minnesota and Miami each put together three scoring drives in the game's final period.

The Vikings led 17-7 at halftime behind a 21-yard Stefon Diggs touchdown pass, a 1-yard score from Matt Asiata and an 18-yard field goal by Blair Walsh.

Minnesota's lead was 17-14 entering the final quarter, which featured a seesaw battle between the teams.

Walsh added a field goal, Jarius Wright and Bridgewater connected for a touchdown, and Asiata had a 5-yard scoring rush to give the Vikings a 35-28 lead with less than five minutes remaining.

But Tannehill and the Dolphins scored with just over a minute left to tie the game, leading to a wacky finish. Minnesota lined up to punt on its ensuing fourth-down play but the snap hit the ground, allowing the Dolphins to block Jeff Locke's punt for a safety and the win.

Bridgewater threw for 259 yards and two scores. He connected with eight different teammates on receptions. Tannehill threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns and was intercepted by Harrison Smith.

Tom Johnson had a sack for the Vikings, who fell to 6-9 with the Week 16 loss in Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer's first season at the helm.

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