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Game Preview: Lions at Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings (4-3-1) will host the Detroit Lions (3-4) at noon (CT) Sunday. The game will be the 114th contest between the two franchises and the 57th in Minnesota.

The Vikings three-game win streak was snapped with a 30-20 home loss to the Saints. It was the second home loss by Minnesota this season. The Lions also are coming off their second home loss of the season, a 28-14 loss to the Seahawks.

Minnesota enters Week 9 ranking ninth in the NFL with 385.8 per game through eight games.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 2,521 yards, the second-highest total in the NFL. Cousins is one of three QBs (Jared Goff and Matt Ryan) league-wide to rank in the top 10 in completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns.

WR Adam Thielen is on a record-breaking pace, amassing 74 receptions (first in the NFL), the most in NFL history through the first eight games of a season. Thielen's 925 receiving yards, also first in the NFL, is tied for the 14th through the first eight games of a season in NFL history. Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who ranks tied for fourth in the NFL with 58 receptions, are the only WR duo in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in catches this season.

The Vikings defense, which ranks 10th in yards allowed (336.4 per game) in 2018, has held opponents to a conversion rate of 25.6 percent on third downs, the lowest in the NFL.

Vikings DE Danielle Hunter is tied for second in the NFL with 8.0 sacks, and Vikings S Harrison Smith is tied for second in the NFL with three interceptions in 2018.


FOX (KMSP in Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Play-by-Play: Thom Brennaman

Analyst: Chris Spielman

Sideline Reporter: Jen Hale


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.


Sirius: 106 or Streaming 810 (DET); 83 or Streaming 819 (MIN)

XM: Streaming 810 (DET); 225 or Streaming 819 (MIN)


WR Adam Thielen has totaled eight games with at least 100 receiving yards, tying Randy Moss — eight in 2003, eight in 2000 — for the most in a single season in Vikings history.

Both Stefon Diggs and Thielen have three games with at least 10 receptions this season, trailing only Cris Carter (four in 1994 and four in 1995) for the most games with 10-plus catches in a single season.

CB Trae Waynes recorded four passes defended at the New York Jets (Oct. 21, 2018), tied for the second most in a single game by any player this season.

TE Kyle Rudolph has started a league-leading (among TEs) 57 consecutive games, which is the longest streak for any TE in Vikings team history. He has caught 17 touchdown passes since the start of the 2016 season, tied with Jimmy Graham and Cameron Brate for the most among all TEs.

Through eight games, S Harrison Smith has three interceptions and 3.0 sacks, becoming the first in the NFL since Landon Collins and Ryan Shazier in 2016 to record at least three of each in a single season.

QB Kirk Cousins' 2,521 passing yards are the most passing yards through eight games to start a season in team history. Cousins needs 192 yards to set the team record for the most passing yards through nine games to start a season. Cousins' 2,521 passing yards are the 23rd most in NFL history through eight games to start the season.

Diggs' 58 receptions are the fourth most in team history through eight games to start a season, trailing Percy Harvin (60 in 2012), Cris Carter (60 in 1994) and Adam Thielen (74 in 2018).

Rudolph (354 receptions) ranks 8th all-time in team history, Diggs (258 receptions) ranks 14th and Thielen (254 receptions) ranks 15th.

The Vikings offense ranks ninth, averaging 385.8 yards per game. The Vikings defense ranks 10th in yards allowed per game (336.4), making Minnesota one of three teams to rank in the top 10 in each, joining the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Rams.


Vikings WR Adam Thielen's eight consecutive games with 100-plus receiving yards ties Calvin Johnson's eight straight games in 2012 for the most in NFL history.

1t. Calvin Johnson, Detroit, 2012, eight games

1t. Adam Thielen, Minnesota, 2018, eight games
3t. Demaryius Thomas, Denver, 2014, seven games
3t. Michael Irvin, Dallas, 1995, seven games
3t. Bill Groman, Houston, 1961, seven games*
3t. Charlie Hennigan, Houston, 1961, seven games*

*The Houston Oilers were charter members of the American Football League in 1961.


Vikings GM Rick Spielman received his first NFL personnel experience with the Lions. He served as a college scout from 1990-94 before adding pro scouting duties in his final two seasons (1995-96) with the Lions.

Vikings COO Kevin Warren spent 2001-03 with the Detroit Lions as Senior VP of Business Operations and General Counsel.

Vikings personnel consultant Jerry Reichow was a fourth-round pick in 1956 by Detroit and helped the Lions to their last NFL title in 1957.

Vikings T Riley Reiff spent 2012-16 with Detroit and appeared in 77 games while starting 69 for the Lions. Reiff was a first-round pick (23rd overall) in 2012.

Lions special teams coordinator Joe Marciano served as a special teams consultant for the Vikings during the early part of the 2014 season.

Lions offensive line coach Jeff Davidson held the same position for the Vikings from 2011-15. Lions assistant offensive line coach Hank Fraley coached under Davidson while with the Vikings from 2014-16 and held the same title with Minnesota.

Lions tight ends coach Chris White served as the Vikings assistant special teams coach from 2009-20112.

Local Connections

The Vikings roster features three players with Michigan hometowns — QB Kirk Cousins (Holland), TE Tyler Conklin (Chesterfield) and LB Eric Wilson (Redford) — and four players who attended college in Michigan — Cousins (Michigan State), Conklin (Central Michigan), LB Ben Gedeon (Michigan) and CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State).

Lions national scout Mark Olson had a stint with the Vikings and graduated with his master's degree in sport management from the University of Minnesota in 1997.

College Connections

Four players from the Vikings and Lions attended Notre Dame: Vikings S Harrison Smith (2008-11), Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (2008-10), Lions WR T.J. Jones (2010-13) and Lions RB Theo Riddick (2009-12).

Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes (2009-12) and Lions LB Christian Jones (2010-13) were teammates at Florida State.

Vikings C Pat Elflein (2012-16) and Lions T Taylor Decker (2012-15) were teammates at Ohio State.



Latavius Murray: 3 games, 40 carries, 133 yards, 2 TDs

Stefon Diggs: 4 games, 29 receptions, 352 receiving yards, 1 TD; 30 rushing yards on three attempts

Kyle Rudolph: 12 games, 45 receptions, 409 yards, 6 TDs


Everson Griffen: 14 games, 37 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 13 TFL, 2 PBU, 21 QB hits

Eric Kendricks: 5 games, 23 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 6 TFL, 6 QB hits


QB Kirk Cousins, in his lone career game against the Lions (Oct. 23, 201), threw for 301 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions on 30-of-39 passing to post a 106.9 passer rating. Cousins also added a touchdown on the ground, rushing three times for 15 yards.

WR Stefon Diggs caught his first career touchdown at Detroit (Oct. 25, 2015) and caught six passes for 108 yards in the Vikings 28-19 win over the Lions. Diggs earned Pepsi Rookie of the Week honors for his game at Detroit that season. Diggs also set a career high with 13 catches for 80 yards vs. Detroit (Nov. 6, 2016).

TE Kyle Rudolph has five touchdowns in the past six games against the Lions, including two in the game at Detroit (Nov. 23, 2017) last Thanksgiving.

CB Marcus Sherels returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown in the Vikings 20-13 win over the Lions on Sept. 30, 2012. The Vikings also scored a kickoff return touchdown in the game, marking the third time in team history for Minnesota to score on a PR and KR in the same game.

WR Adam Thielen totaled 25 catches for 269 yards in his past four contests against the Lions.

LB Eric Kendricks had his first career game with multiple sacks (2.0) at Detroit (Oct. 25, 2015). Kendricks was named the NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month for October 2015.


The Vikings are currently 72-39-2 all-time against the Lions, including a mark of 33-23-1 record on the road.

The Vikings hosted the New York Giants at Ford Field on Dec. 13, 2010, after a blizzard collapsed the roof of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Minnesota fell to New York by a score of 21-3.

In 1985, Vikings LB Scott Studwell established a team single-game record 24 total tackles in a 41-21 Vikings loss in Detroit.