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Game Preview: Dolphins at Vikings


EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1) are returning home after back-to-back road losses and will host the Miami Dolphins (7-6) at noon (CT) Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings are coming off a 21-7 loss at Seattle on Monday Night Football. Miami stunned New England 34-33 by getting a touchdown on the final play of regulation.

Minnesota is 4-2 at home, and Miami is 1-5 in road games this season.

The Vikings defense has allowed 323.6 yards per game, the fifth-lowest average in the NFL. Vikings DE Danielle Hunter is tied for third in the NFL with 12.5 sacks, helping power a pass rush that has generated 38 sacks this season, tied for eighth-most in the NFL.

Minnesota's offense ranks 17th in the NFL in total yards per game with an average of 354.4 through 13 games. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 3,698 yards, the eighth-highest total in the NFL, and totaled a 98.4 passer rating, which ranks 13th in the NFL.

WR Adam Thielen is on a record-breaking pace, recording a league-leading 103 receptions, the fifth-most in NFL history through the first 13 games of a season. Thielen's 1,236 receiving yards rank third in the NFL, and his nine receiving touchdowns are tied for sixth.

Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who is tied for seventh in the NFL with 88 receptions, join Steelers WRs Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster as the only WR duos in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in catches this season. The Vikings WR corps leads all WR groups league-wide with 245 receptions and is tied for third with 20 touchdowns in 2018.


CBS (WCCO Channel 4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Play-by-Play: Ian Eagle

Analyst: Dan Fouts

Sideline Reporter: Evan Washburn


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 five-state Vikings Radio Network.


Play-by-Play: Steve Levy

Analyst: Dusty Dvoracek

Sideline Reporter: Jeff Darlington


Sirius: 133 or Streaming 818 (MIA); 105 or Streaming 819 (MIN)

XM: Streaming 818 (MIA); 232 or Streaming 819 (MIN)


WR Adam Thielen has totaled nine games with at least 100 receiving yards, topping the Vikings record of eight set by Randy Moss (2000 and 2003), for the most games in a single season.

WR Stefon Diggs has four games and Thielen has three games with at least 10 catches in 2018. Cris Carter (four in 1994 and in 1995) set the team record for the most games with 10-plus catches in a single season that has been tied by Diggs.

TE Kyle Rudolph has started a league-leading (among TEs) 62 consecutive games, which is the longest streak for any TE all-time in Vikings history. Rudolph started his 100th career game vs. New England.

S Harrison Smith and Chargers S Derwin James each have three interceptions and 3.0 sacks. They are the first NFL players with that combination since Landon Collins and Ryan Shazier in 2016.

QB Kirk Cousins' 3,698 passing yards are the third-most passing yards through 13 games to start a season in team history (Warren Moon had 3,511 in 1994).

Despite missing a game, WR Stefon Diggs' 88 receptions are tied for seventh in the NFL this season and the fifth-most in team history through 13 games to start a season.

The Vikings have allowed only eight runs of 15 or more yards in 2018, the second-fewest in the NFL.

The Vikings defense has held opponents to a third-down conversion rate of 29.7 percent, the best in the NFL.


The Vikings defense is the stingiest this season at allowing touchdowns by opponents in the red zone. Opponents have scored touchdowns on just 43.2 percent of the times they've had the ball inside the Minnesota 20.

Opponent Red Zone Percentage, 2018

1. Minnesota Vikings, 43.2

2. Tennessee Titans, 44.4

3. Philadelphia Eagles, 44.7

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


Vikings Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski helped the Dolphins to a 55-41 record in his time assisting Miami's business affairs, salary cap administration, player contract negotiations, operations and legal affairs, Brzezinski was in Miami from 1993-98.

Rick Spielman, the Vikings General Manager, VP of Player Personnel/Assistant GM George Paton and Director of Analytics/Pro Scout Scott Kuhn were members of the Dolphins Personnel Staff at the same time before joining the Vikings. Spielman was with the Dolphins from 2000-2004, and was the Dolphins General Manager during the 2004 season.

Dolphins Director of Football Research and Strategy Matt Sheldon coached DBs for the Vikings from 2010-11. Sheldon is also a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he played DB from 1987-91.

Dolphins VP, Guest and VIP Services Bill Galante attended St. Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota, where he graduated with a degree in marketing and management.

Dolphins TE MarQueis Gray played in eight games for the Vikings in 2014. Gray was also a four-year letterman at the University of Minnesota from 2009-12.

Local Connections

The Vikings have five players on roster who hail from south Florida — CB Mackensie Alexander (Immokalee), RB Dalvin Cook (Miami), G Danny Isidora (Weston), S Jayron Kearse (Fort Myers) and CB Xavier Rhodes (Miami). Isidora the lone Miami Hurricane on the Vikings roster. Rhodes attended Norland High School in Miami, and Cook attended Miami Central High School.

College Connections

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook and Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes were both teammates with Dolphins TE Nick O'Leary while at Florida State.

Vikings DBs — CB Mackensie Alexander and S Jayron Kearse — were teammates with Dolphins LB Stephone Anthony while at Clemson.

Dolphins DT Davon Godchaux and Vikings DE Danielle Hunter were teammates at LSU.

Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell and Dolphins T Laremy Tunsil were teammates while at Ole Miss.

Vikings S Harrison Smith and Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph were teammates with Dolphins T Sam Young while at Notre Dame.


Tom Johnson: 1 game, 1.0 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits

Linval Joseph: 2 games, 7 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits

Harrison Smith: 1 game, 5 tackles, 1 PD, 1 INT


DT Linval Joseph had three tackles and a sack on Dolphins QB Matt Moore as a member of the New York Giants vs. Miami (Oct. 30, 2011).

In his lone career game against the Dolphins in 2014, S Harrison Smith had five tackles and an interception off Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill.


The Vikings have an overall 4-8 record against the Dolphins with the series record tied at 3-3 in games played in Minnesota.

The Vikings are 0-1 on a neutral field (Houston's Rice Stadium), which happened to be the Super Bowl VIII, a game Miami won 24-7 on Jan. 13, 1974.

This week's match up will be the second game of the series played in Minnesota since the 2002 season.

Minnesota fell to Miami 14-10 in its most recent meeting in Minnesota on Sept. 19, 2010, at Mall of America Field.