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Game Preview: Packers at Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings (1-0) host the Green Bay Packers (1-0) in the first regular season game played in U.S. Bank Stadium. NBC's Sunday Night Football will broadcast the prime time game scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. (CT). Both teams captured road wins in Week 1, with the Vikings defeating the Titans 25-16, and the Packers beating the Jaguars 27-23. In the last matchup between the NFC North division rivals, the Vikings secured their first NFC North Division crown since 2009 in a Week 17 game played at Lambeau Field.

Fueling the Vikings win, LB Eric Kendricks returned his first career interception 77 yards for a score, and DE Danielle Hunter returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown. It was the sixth time in Vikings history the team scored on an interception return and a fumble return in the same game. 

For the third time in his 14-game career, WR Stefon Diggs surpassed 100 receiving yards, with a 103-yard performance in Week 1. Diggs also tied his career high with seven catches at Tennessee.

Led by Pro Bowlers LB Anthony Barr, DE Everson Griffen and S Harrison Smith, the Vikings defense stifled the Titans offense, holding them to 16 points and 64 rushing yards. DT Linval Joseph and Hunter each recorded a sack, and CB Trae Waynes led the Vikings with 12 tackles in his second career start.

BROADCAST COVERAGE

NATIONAL TELEVISION: NBC (KARE 11 in the Twin Cities)

Play-by-Play: Al Michaels; Analyst: Cris Collinsworth; Sideline: Michele Tafoya

NATIONAL RADIO: WESTWOOD ONE SPORTS

Play-by-Play: Kevin Kugler; Analyst: James Lofton; Pre-Game/Halftime Show: Scott Graham

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

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen; Analyst: Pete Bercich; Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman; Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 5:30 p.m. (CT)

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

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

  • For the second time in Zimmer's three-year tenure, the Vikings have started the season 1-0 (2014 and 2016).
  • After going scoreless in the first half, the Vikings scored 25 unanswered points until the Titans added a late score with 28 seconds remaining.
  • K Blair Walsh connected on 4-of-6 field goals at Tennessee (9/11), which is tied with Dan Bailey for the most field goals made in the NFL after Week 1.
  • Vikings LB Eric Kendricks, who led the Vikings with 105 tackles last season, brought in his first career interception, which he returned 77 yards for a touchdown. The return is the sixth-longest by a Vikings LB in team history.
  • DE Danielle Hunter, who was second in the NFL among all rookies with 6.0 sacks last season, recorded his first of 2016 in Week 1. Hunter, who turned 21 last Oct. 29, is still the second-youngest player on the Vikings roster (Laquon Treadwell turned 21 in June).
  • After totaling four catches for 65 yards in Week 1, TE Kyle Rudolph tied Jermaine Wiggins for fourth-most receptions in team history by TEs with 186. Rudolph is just six touchdowns shy of matching Steve Jordan's Vikings team record of 28 touchdown catches by a TE.
  • WR Cordarrelle Patterson's 61-yard KR to start the second half was the second-longest in the NFL in Week 1. For the first time in his NFL career, Patterson received touches during at least one kick return, punt return, rush attempt and reception.
  • WR Adam Thielen contributed on offense and special teams, hauling in four catches for 54 yards, with a long catch of 21 yards, while adding two special teams stops.
  • WR Stefon Diggs is tied for third in the NFL with six receptions resulting in a first down.
  • Vikings CB Trae Waynes tallied a team-best 12 tackles and a TFL in his second career start.
  • The Vikings defense allowed only two plays for 20 yards, tied for 4th in the NFL.
  • The Vikings and Packers have combined for 7 of the past 8 NFC North Division Championships.

VIKINGS-PACKERS CONNECTIONS

• Packers DT Letroy Guion was drafted by Minnesota in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Guion played for the Vikings from 2008-13, appearing in 68 games with 31 starts.

• Vikings WR Charles Johnson was on the Packers practice squad in 2013 and was a seventh-round selection of the Packers in the 2013 NFL Draft.

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

• Packers RB Jhurell Pressley was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vikings after the 2016 NFL Draft. Pressley spent the entire 2016 offseason with the Vikings and was released during final cuts and then claimed by the Packers to their 53-man roster.

• Vikings G Brandon Fusco attended Seneca Valley High School in Harmony, Pennsylvania, with Packers T/G Don Barclay.

• Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner coached Packers Senior Personnel Executive Alonzo Highsmith, who played RB for the Cowboys in 1991, Highsmith also played for Tampa Bay while Vikings WR Coach George Stewart coached the Buccaneers special teams.

• Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards and Packers Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers were on the Dolphins defensive coaching staff in 2006-07.

• Vikings HC Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator and Vikings Assistant DBs Coach Jonathan Gannon was a defensive assistant in Atlanta while Packers Secondary/CBs Coach Joe Whitt, Jr. held the same position with the Falcons during the 2007 season.

COLLEGE 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 Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst's father, John, was the head coach for the University of Minnesota from 1985-92.

• Vikings practice squad QB Joel Stave is a Wisconsin native (Greenfield) and attended University of Wisconsin, finishing as Wisconsin's all-time winningest QB by going 31-10 as a starter.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

• Vikings C Zac Kerin and Packers LB Jayrone Elliott played together at Toledo for all four seasons from 2010-13.

• There are seven players from UCLA on the Vikings and Packers rosters: Vikings P Jeff Locke, LS Kevin McDermott, LB Eric Kendricks, LB Anthony Barr and Packers DT Kenny Clark, QB Brett Hundley and DE Datone Jones.

• USC has five players represented on the Vikings and Packers rosters: Vikings TE Rhett Ellison, DE Everson Griffen and T Matt Kalil and Packers LBs Clay Matthews and Nick Perry.

• Packers S Chris Banjo and Vikings FB Zach Line played together at SMU from 2009-11.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. PACKERS

  • RB Adrian Peterson has eight career games with 100-plus rushing yards vs. Green Bay, including 4 games with over 150 rushing yards. In his past five regular season games vs. Green Bay, Peterson is averaging 132.0 rushing yards per game.
  • KR Cordarrelle Patterson set an NFL record with the longest kickoff return in history when he took the opening kickoff 109 yards for a TD, vs. Green Bay (10/27/13). The return matched the longest play in NFL history.
  • DE Everson Griffen recorded a career-high 3.0 sacks against the Packers in the final game of the 2012 regular season on 12/30/12. 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 (1/3/16) of the 2015 season, Griffen totaled 2.0 sacks and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.        
  • Vikings CB Terence Newman had a season-high six tackles, one interception and returned a fumble 58 yards for the game-winning touchdown vs. Green Bay (9/22/13) as a member of the Bengals.
  • Vikings CB Captain Munnerlyn had four tackles, one pass defended and returned a fumble 55 yards for a touchdown in the last meeting against the Packers (1/3/16) in Week 17 of the 2015 season, a 20-13 Vikings win.
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