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Game Preview: Giants at Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings (3-0) host the New York Giants (2-1) at U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday Night Football in Week 4. The matchup is the 2nd-straight primetime game between the clubs with the Vikings defeating the Giants, 49-17, last season on Sunday Night Football in Week 16. The Vikings hold the edge in the all-time series, 15-12, including a 7-5 mark in contests played in Minnesota.

The Vikings defense, which ranks 3rd in the NFL with 13.3 points allowed per game, has totaled 13 sacks the last 2 games. DE Everson Griffen (tied 2nd with 4.0), DE Danielle Hunter (tied 5th with 3.0) and DT Linval Joseph (tied 5th with 3.0) each rank in the top 5 in the NFL in sacks. CB Trae Waynes, who is tied for 3rd in the NFL with 2 INTs, CB Terence Newman and DT Tom Johnson all snagged INTs vs. Carolina in Week 3.

For the 4th time in his 16-game career, WR Stefon Diggs surpassed 100 receiving yards, with a 182-yard performance vs. Green Bay in Week 2. Diggs is 2nd in the NFL in receiving yards with 325 yards on 20 receptions through 3 weeks. TE Kyle Rudolph has hauled in TDs in consecutive weeks, tying him for 1st in the NFL among all TEs with 2 on the season. Vikings QB Sam Bradford has recorded a 107.8 passer rating - 5th in the NFL - and has thrown for 457 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs in his 2 starts with the Vikings.

BROADCAST COVERAGE

NATIONAL TELEVISION: ESPN; Play-by-Play: Sean McDonough; Analyst: Jon Gruden; Sideline: Lisa Salters

NATIONAL RADIO: WESTWOOD ONE SPORTS; Play-by-Play: Kevin  Harlan; Analyst: Kurt Warner; Sideline Reporter: Laura Okmin 

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

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen; Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman and Ben Leber

Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 6:00 p.m. CT

KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, 5-state Vikings Radio Network.

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

  • For the 1st time in Zimmer's 3-year tenure, the Vikings have started the season 3-0.
  • The Vikings defense sacked Cam Newton 8 times in Week 3, marking the 9th time in 35 regular season games under Zimmer the Vikings have recorded at least 5 sacks in a game.
  • DE Everson Griffen had his 7th career game of at least 2.0 sacks vs. Carolina in Week 3 when he brought down Cam Newton 3 times, tied for the most in the NFL in a single game this season with Denver LBs Von Miller and Shane Ray.
  • WR Stefon Diggs is tied for 2nd in the NFL with 15 receptions resulting in a 1st down. The Vikings are 4-0 in games where Diggs records 100 receiving yards.
  • DE Danielle Hunter, who was 2nd in the NFL among all rookies with 6.0 sacks last season, has 3.0 sacks through the first 3 games. Hunter, who turned 21 last October 29, is still the 2nd-youngest player on the Vikings roster (Laquon Treadwell).
  • Hunter recorded the Vikings 1st safety since Jared Allen tackled Willis McGahee in the end zone vs. Denver (12/4/11). Hunter is also the 1st player since Allen in 2009 to record a safety and return a fumble for a TD in the same season.
  • Vikings CB Marcus Sherels extended his team record for career PR TDs after scoring on a 54-yard PR at Carolina (9/25).  Sherels also owns the team record for career 50 yard PRs with 6.
  • The Vikings rank 1st in the NFL with a 8  TO differential and have not commited an offensive turnover this season.
  • The Vikings have won 6 consecutive regular season games for the 1st time since 2009.
  • After totaling 14 catches for 166  yards and 2 TDs through 3 games, TE Kyle Rudolph moved into 3rd for receptions in team history by a TE with 196. Rudolph, who caught his 24th career TD in Week 3, is just 4 TDs shy of matching Steve Jordan's Vikings team record for TDs by a TE with 28.
  • The Vikings defense leads the NFL with 15 sacks,  tied for 2nd in both forced fumbles (5) and INTs (5), tied for 3rd with 21 TFLs and has allowed only 8 plays for 20 yards, tied for 2nd in the NFL.

VIKINGS-GIANTS CONNECTIONS

· Giants RBs Coach Craig Johnson served as the Minnesota Vikings QB coach from 2011-13.

· Vikings ST Coordinator Mike Priefer served as the Asst. ST Coordinator for the Giants from 2003-05.

· The Giants drafted Vikings DT Linval Joseph in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft, where he played until 2013, appearing in 53 regular season games with 46 starts and starting all 4 playoff games during his Giants career. Joseph was member of the Giants Super Bowl-winning team in 2011, recording a TFL in the Super Bowl XLVI win over the Patriots.

· Vikings DE Justin Trattou played for the Giants from 2011-13. Trattou was also a member of the Super Bowl XLVI-winning team but was inactive for the game. Trattou appeared in 11 career games for the Giants.

· Giants QB Eli Manning's father, former QB Archie Manning, played for the Vikings from 1983-84.

· Giants RBs Coach Craig Johnson served as the Minnesota Vikings QB coach from 2011-13.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

· Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf graduated from New York Law School and Owner/President Mark Wilf graduated from New York University School of Law, while Owner/Vice Chairman Lenny Wilf received a Master of Law in Taxation from New York University. The Wilf's family-owned company, Garden Homes Development, is based in New Jersey and New York where they are deeply rooted within the community.

· Giants Odell Beckham Jr.'s mother, Heather Van Norman, hails from Windom, MN and remains one of the most decorated athletes to compete at Windom HS to this day and went on to star in track at LSU.

· Vikings VP of Corporate & Technology Partnerships John Penhollow held a senior level sales and management position with the New York Yankees, where he led the corporate partnership sales efforts for the New Yankee Stadium development.

· Vikings EVP of Strategic Planning and Business Initiatives Jonathan Wilf resides in New Jersey with his family.

· Vikings College Scout/Area Terrance Gray attended high school in Queens, New York and was named 1st-Team All-Queens by the New York Daily News when he played QB at Bayside High School.

· Giants Scout Ryan Jones began his coaching career in 1991 as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota, where he served as the assistant DBs coach.

· Vikings T T.J. Clemmings played football and basketball at Paterson Catholic in Teaneck, New Jersey. At Paterson Catholic, Clemmings only played 2 seasons of football but was rated one of the top prospects in New Jersey.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

· Vikings DT Linval Joseph played with Giants WR Dwayne Harris at East Carolina.

· Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes and Giants G Bobby Hart played together at Florida State from 2011-12.

· Vikings DE Danielle Hunter played at LSU with Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. and P Brad Wing.

· Vikings TE Rhett Ellison, DE Everson Griffen and T Matt Kalil played with Giants LB Devon Kennard at Southern Cal.

· Vikigns LBs Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks, P Jeff Locke and LS Kevin McDermott were all teammates with Giants LB Owa Odighizuwa at UCLA.

· Vikings rookie DBs - CB Mackensie Alexander and S Jayron Kearse - were teammates with Giants rookie LB B.J. Goodson at Clemson.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. GIANTS

  • In last season's matchup vs. New York (12/27/15), RB Jerick McKinnon had 7 rushing attempts for 89 yards and a career high 2 TDs, including a career-long 68-yard TD run.
  • Vikings QB Sam Bradford, as a member of Eagles in Week 17 of last season, threw for 320 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT and a 108.3 passer rating at New York (1/3/16). The Eagles defeated the Giants, 35-30, in the contest where current Vikings TEs coach Pat Shurmur was serving as the Interim Head Coach for Philadelphia.
  • CB Terence Newman has recorded 5 career INTs against the Giants. Newman intercepted Giants QB Eli Manning twice vs. New York (12/14/08), 1 of 6 multi-INT games in Newman's career.
  • As a rookie, CB Captain Munnerlyn recorded 6 tackles and forced a fumble by Eli Manning at the New York Giants (12/27/09) in a 41-9 win while playing for the Panthers.
  • Vikings K Blair Walsh connected on a career-high 5 FGs vs. New York (12/27/15). It was the 5th time Walsh made 5 FGs in a single game. Walsh, who was a perfect 5-for-5 against the Giants, hit multiple 50 yard FGs (52 and 53) in a game for the 3rd time in his career.
  • Vikings S Harrison Smith recorded his 4th career INT return TD, a franchise record, vs. New York (12/27/15) last season. Smith had 5 tackles to go with his 35-yard INT return TD in the playoff-clinching win.
  • DT Tom Johnson recorded his lone career game with at least 2.0 sacks after bringing down Eli Manning twice last season vs. New York (12/27/15).
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