News | Minnesota Vikings –

Game Preview: Packers at Vikings

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1) will host the Green Bay Packers (4-5-1) at U.S. Bank Stadium in the 117th Border Battle and final regular-season matchup between the two teams in 2018.

The Vikings are coming off a 25-20 loss at Chicago, and the Packers are coming off a 27-24 loss at Seattle on Thursday Night Football.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. (CT), and the game will air on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

Despite missing multiple starters through the first 10 games, the Vikings defense has allowed 320.8 yards per game, the fifth-lowest average in the NFL. Vikings DE Danielle Hunter, who is second in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, set a new single-game career high with 3.5 sacks vs. Detroit in Week 9, powering the defense to a team record 10 sacks against the Lions.

The defensive unit has been particularly stout since Week 5 at Philadelphia, allowing only 280.3 yards per game and securing 20 sacks over the past five games.

Minnesota's offense ranks 14th in the NFL with 363.7 yards per game. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 2,947 yards, the seventh-highest total in the NFL and totaled a 99.3 passer rating, 12th best in the NFL.

WR Adam Thielen is on a record-breaking pace. His 85 receptions lead the NFL entering Week 12 and are the third-most in NFL history through the first 10 games of a season. Thielen's 1,013 receiving yards rank fourth in the NFL, and his seven receiving touchdowns are tied for seventh. Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who ranks sixth in the NFL with 71 receptions, are the only WR duo in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in catches this season. The 198 receptions and 17 receiving touchdowns by Vikings receivers lead all NFL position groups.


NBC (KARE in Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Play-by-Play: Al Michaels

Analyst: Cris Collinsworth

Sideline Reporter: Michele Tafoya


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 – 5 p.m. (CT) [6 p.m. throughout the Vikings Radio Network]

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


Play-by-Play: Kevin Kugler

Analyst: Jason Taylor


Sirius: 81 or Streaming 811 (GB); 83 or Streaming 819 (MIN)

XM: 226 or Streaming 811 (GB); 225 or Streaming 819 (MIN)


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

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.

RB Dalvin Cook registered a career-long 70-yard run vs. Detroit (11/11), the fourth-longest run in the NFL this season and the longest for the Vikings since Adrian Peterson's 80-yard run in 2015.

TE Kyle Rudolph has started a league-leading (among TEs) 59 consecutive games, which is the longest streak for any TE all-time in Vikings history. His 17 touchdown passes since the start of the 2016 season are tied for third-most among all TEs.

S Harrison Smith has three interceptions and 3.0 sacks. He is the first NFL player with that combination since Landon Collins and Ryan Shazier in 2016.

QB Kirk Cousins' 2,947 passing yards are the most through the first 10 games of a Vikings season.

Despite missing a game, Diggs' 71 receptions are sixth in the NFL this season and the fourth-most in team history through the team's first 10 games of a season.

Rudolph (358 receptions) ranks eighth, Diggs (271 receptions) ranks 14th and Thielen (265 receptions) ranks 15th all-time in Vikings history in career catches.

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

The Vikings defense has held opponents to a third-down conversion rate of 28.3 percent, the best in the NFL.


Sunday's game will feature three of the seven most-targeted players in the NFL.

1. Adam Thielen, Vikings, 11.5 targets per game

2. Stefon Diggs, Vikings, 11.4 targets per game
3. Julio Jones, Falcons, 11.1 targets per game
4. Antonio Brown, Steelers, 10.9 targets per game
5t. Devante Adams, Packers, 10.6 targets per game
5t. Jarvis Landry, Browns, 10.6 targets per game
5t. Odell Beckham, Jr., Giants, 10.6 targets per game


Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator in Atlanta while Packers Defense/Pass Game Coordinator Joe Whitt, Jr., coached the DBs for the Falcons during the 2007 season.

Packers Executive VP/Director of Football Operations Russ Ball was the Vikings Senior Football Administrator from 1999-2000.

Green Bay Packers Communications Manager Tom Fanning graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1998 and worked for the Vikings from 1999-2008.

Packers Personnel Executive Lee Gissendaner spent parts of the 1996 season on the Vikings practice squad as a WR.

Local Connections

Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer graduated from Abbot Pennings High School in DePere, Wisconsin, while his dad coached for the Packers.

Vikings CB Trae Waynes grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and graduated from Mary D Bradford HS.

Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst's father, John, was the head coach for the University of Minnesota from 1985-91.

Packers WRs Coach David Raih is a native of Edina, Minnesota, and attended St. Thomas Academy in Saint Paul.

Packers College Scout Joe Hueber is a St. Louis Park, Minnesota, native and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he also assisted the football program while earning his degree.

college Connections

There are five players from UCLA on the Packers and Vikings rosters: LS Kevin McDermott (2008-12), LB Eric Kendricks (2010-14), LB Anthony Barr (2010-13) and Packers DT Kenny Clark (2013-15), TE Marcedes Lewis (2002-05).

USC has three players represented on the Vikings and Packers rosters: Vikings DE Everson Griffen (2007-09) and Packers LBs Clay Matthews (2005-08) and Nick Perry (2008-11).

Packers C Corey Linsley and Vikings C Pat Elflein each played at Ohio State. Linsley was at Ohio State from 2009-13 and Elflein from 2013-16.

Sunday's game will feature five former Iowa Hawkeyes on the Vikings and Packers rosters: Vikings DT Jaleel Johnson (2012-16), Vikings T Riley Reiff (2008-11), Packers T Bryan Bulaga (2007-09), Packers DT Mike Daniels (2007-11) and Packers CB Josh Jackson (2014-17).



Kirk Cousins: 3 games, 85-of-124 passing, 1,129 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT, 115.3 passer rating; 8 rushes, 11 rushing yards, 1 TD

Adam Thielen: 9 games, 44 receptions, 567 yards, 3 TDs, 3 rushes, 71 rushing yards

Stefon Diggs: 6 games, 34 receptions, 473 receiving yards, 5 TDs

Kyle Rudolph: 14 games, 49 receptions, 566 yards, 3 TDs


Everson Griffen: 18 games, 43 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 14 TFL, 2 FFs

Danielle Hunter: 7 games, 26 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 FF

Harrison Smith: 12 games, 80 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 7 TFL, 5 INTs, 8 PD

Xavier Rhodes: 10 games, 45 tackles, 2 INTs, 9 PD


QB Kirk Cousins had his fourth-highest output of passing yards vs. Green Bay (Sept. 16, 2018) when throwing for 425 yards, four touchdowns and an interception on 35-of-48 passing in Week 2.

With Washington, Cousins totaled a 145.8 passer rating and helped lead the Redskins to a 42-24 victory over the Packers, earning him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors vs. Green Bay (Nov. 20, 2016).

WR Adam Thielen had 12 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns at Green Bay (Dec. 24, 2016), the fourth-most yards by a Viking in a single game and highest by a Viking against Green Bay.

S Harrison Smith had two of the best games of his career in 2017 vs. Green Bay. Smith totaled five tackles, 1.5 sacks, one TFL, two pass breakups, two QB hits and a diving one-handed interception vs. Green Bay (Oct. 15, 2017). In the second meeting last season, Smith helped power the defense to a shutout victory by grabbing a career-high two interceptions at Green Bay (Dec. 23, 2017).

TE Kyle Rudolph had one of his two career 100-yard receiving games vs. Green Bay (Nov. 22, 2015), hauling in six catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.

DE Everson Griffen recorded a career-high 3.0 sacks against the Packers in the final game of the 2012 regular season on Dec. 30, 2012. Griffen posted one sack a week later against the Packers in the 2012 NFC Wild Card game. In the NFC North-clinching victory in Week 17 of the 2015 season (Jan. 3, 2016), Griffen totaled 2.0 sacks and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

Vikings WR Stefon Diggs had a career day vs. Green Bay (Sept. 18, 2016), grabbing nine receptions for a career-best 182 yards and a touchdown. Diggs was awarded the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.

In Week 2 at Green Bay this season, Diggs caught nine passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns, including a career long 75-yard touchdown. Diggs also brought in a 2-point conversion, giving him a single-game career high in points scored with 14.


The Vikings and Packers have played 116 times overall. Green Bay hold the series lead with a 60-53-3 record.

The Packers are the Vikings most frequent opponent in franchise history. The series includes two playoff games, a 2004 Wild Card game that the Vikings won 31-17, and a 2012 Wild Card game that the Packers won 24-10. Both postseason contests were played at Lambeau Field.

The Vikings and Packers have played in six overtime games all-time with the Vikings holding a 3-1-2 advantage in those games.