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Game Preview: Colts at Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings (7-6) host the Indianapolis Colts (6-7) at U.S. Bank Stadium at noon (CT) Sunday. The matchup will mark the 25th game between the franchises. The Colts hold the edge 16-7-1 all-time, dating back to 1961, but the Vikings own a 7-5-1 mark at home in the series. Minnesota is coming off its first road win since Week 3 after defeating the Jaguars 25-16. Indianapolis dropped a home contest 22-17 against Houston in Week 14. Minnesota is powered by the NFL's top-ranked defense in points allowed, giving up 17.3 points per game, and an offensive unit that has committed a turnover in only six of the 13 games this season, helping the team rank second in the NFL with a plus-12 turnover margin.

The Vikings defense, which ranks second in the NFL, allowing 304.3 yards per game, has 22 takeaways (12 interceptions, 10 fumble recoveries), tied for the eighth-most in the NFL. The Vikings defense has held opponents to a 77.0 passer rating, the third-best mark in the league. Second-year DE Danielle Hunter leads the team with 10.5 sacks. Veteran DEs Everson Griffen (8.0) and Brian Robison (7.0) are second and third, respectively. 

QB Sam Bradford, who is eigth in the NFL with a career-high 98.2 passer rating, has thrown 14 touchdowns and three interceptions on 304-of-427 passing (71.2 percent, first in NFL). WR Adam Thielen, WR Stefon Diggs and TE Kyle Rudolph have all had career years, setting new career bests in receptions and receiving yards this season.

BROADCAST COVERAGE

TELEVISION: CBS (Channel 4 in the Twin Cities); Play-by-Play: Kevin Harlan; Analyst: Rich Gannon

LOCAL RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen; Analyst: Pete Bercich; Sideline Reporters: Greg Coleman and Ben Leber

Pre-game Show: Mike Mussman – 10 a.m. CT

KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, five-state Vikings Radio Network.

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

· In 12 starts in 2016, QB Sam Bradford has 6 games with a passer rating over 100, setting a new career high. Bradford had 4 such games in 2012 with St. Louis and 2015 with Philadelphia.

· Vikings DEs have combined for 25.5 sacks this season, the highest total in the NFL. The Vikings are the only team in the NFL to have 3 DEs with 7.0+ sacks this season - Danielle Hunter (10.5), Everson Griffen (8.0) and Brian Robison (7.0).

· Danielle Hunter, who is the 2nd-youngest player on the Vikings roster behind Laquon Treadwell, is 2nd in the NFL in sacks among all DEs. Hunter also has the 2nd-most sacks among all 2nd-year players since entering the league with 16.5 trailing only Vic Beasley (17.5).

· TE Kyle Rudolph has a career high in receptions (58) and receiving yards (573) this season. Rudolph, who has a team-best 6 receiving TDs, is 3 away from his career best of 9 in 2012 and is tied for the NFL lead among all TEs.

· The Vikings have thrown 3 INTs on 462 passing attempts (0.6%) in 2016, trailing only the Patriots, who have thrown 2 INTs on 455 passing attempts (0.4%).

· On passing attempts over 20 yards, the Vikings defense has allowed a league-low 29.3 passer rating, holding opponents to 13-of-50 (26.0%) passing for 422 yards, 1 TD and 5 INTs.

· With 3 games remaining, WR Stefon Diggs is 139 receiving yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark. Sindey Rice (1,312 in '09) was the last Viking to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

· Vikings WR Adam Thielen is 42 receiving yards shy of giving the Vikings their 1st receiving duo to both amass 800 yards in the same year since Randy Moss (1,233) and Cris Carter (871) in 2001.

· Following a 53-yard kick return in Week 15 at Jacksonville, Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson now has 13 50+ yard kick returns in his career, the most in franchise history. Percy Harvin is 2nd with 9 such returns. Patterson, with 44 catches, is 1 shy of tying his career high of 45 set in 2013.

· The Vikings are 1 of 3 teams (Arizona, Houston) in 2016 to not allow a 300-yard passer.

VIKINGS-COLTS CONNECTIONS

· Colts RB Jordan Todman was signed by the Vikings on Dec. 27, 2011 from the Chargers practice squad and spent the 2012 offseason with the Vikings. Todman was released during final cuts and then signed to Minnesota's practice squad where he remained until Nov. 27, 2012 when the Jaguars signed him to their active roster.

· Vikings DT Tom Johnson entered the NFL with the Colts in 2006 as an undrafted free agent before being released during final cuts. After being out of football during the 2006 season, Johnson was allocated by the Colts to the NFL Europa's Cologne Centurions in 2007. He returned to the U.S. to go to training camp with the Colts prior to the 2007 season and was again released during final cuts.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

· T Joe Haeg is a Lake Shore, Minnesota native and attended Brainerd HS. Haeg, who attended North Dakota State, led Brainerd to the state semifinals in 2009 and 2010.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

· Vikings rookie DBs - CB Mackensie Alexander and S Jayron Kearse - were teammates with Colts rookie S T.J. Green at Clemson.

· Colts DE Lavar Edwards and Vikings DE Danielle Hunter were teammates at LSU during the 2012 season.

· Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell and Colts WR Donte Moncrief were teammates at Ole Miss in 2013.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. COLTS

  • CB Terence Newman totaled 3 tackles and 1 pass defensed at Indianapolis (1/4/15) in the Wild Card round of the Playoffs as a member of the Bengals.
  • DT Tom Johnson had 4 tackles and had 1 of 2 career forced fumbles at Indianapolis (10/23/11) in a 62-7 win as a member of the New Orleans Saints.
  • Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph caught 3 passes for 35 yards and 1 TD in his lone career game at Indianapolis (9/16/12).
  • Vikings DE Everson Griffen had 1.0 sack at Indianapolis (9/16/22), taking down Andrew Luck for a 22-yard loss, the most yards lost on any of Griffen's 48 career sacks.
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