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Game Preview: Rams at Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings (11-5 in 2015) welcome the Los Angeles Rams (7-9 in 2015) for the final exhibition of the 2016 season at U.S. Bank Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 1. The game, which is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. CT, will be simulcast live locally on FOX 9 and KFAN 100.3 FM. The simulcast team features Paul Allen and Pete Bercich in the booth with Greg Coleman and Ben Leber on the sideline.

In their last preseason meeting, Minnesota topped the Rams, 28-7, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. The Rams opened the 2016 preseason slate with a pair of home wins against the Cowboys and Chiefs before last week's road loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, 17-9. The Vikings, 3-0 in the 2016 preseason, look to finish with a perfect exhibition mark for the eighth time in franchise history.

BROADCAST COVERAGE

TELEVISION: FOX 9 (Channel 9 in Minneapolis) Play-by-Play: Paul Allen; Analyst: Pete Bercich; Sideline Reporters: Greg Coleman and Ben Leber; Pre-Game Show: Hobie Artigue – 10 a.m. CT

LOCAL RADIO: 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 – 11 a.m. CT

KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 63-station, 5-state Vikings Radio Network.

VIKINGS IN THE PRESEASON

  • The Vikings all-time preseason record is 151-97-3 (.608).
  • The team has finished undefeated in the preseason 7 times (1964, '65, '73, '92, '98, 2001, 2014).
  • The Vikings have finished with a .500 record or better 42 times in the team's 55 preseasons.
  • Minnesota has finished .500 or better in the regular season 32 times after posting a .500 or better record in the preseason.
  • The 13 preseasons in which the Vikings have finished below .500, the team went on to finish below .500 seven times in the ensuing regular season.
  • Under Head Coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have compiled an 11-1 (.917) record in the 2014 (4-0), 2015 (4-1) and 2016 (3-0) preseasons. Zim' led Minnesota to eight-straight preseason wins before falling to Tennessee, 24-17, in last year's preseason finale.

VIKINGS-RAMS CONNECTIONS

· Vikings COO Kevin Warren worked for the Los Angeles Rams from 1997-2001 and was with the organization when they won Super Bowl XXXIV. During his tenure in St. Louis, Warren served as Vice President of Player Programs & Football Legal Counsel from 1997-2000.

· Vikings DBs Coach Jerry Gray was a 1st round pick (21st overall) of the Los Angeles Rams in 1985. Gray was a 4-time Pro Bowler and twice earned 2nd-Team All-Pro honors from the AP as a Ram.

· Vikings QB Shaun Hill played for St. Louis in 2014 starting 8 games and playing in 9, including against the Vikings in the 2014 Week 1 matchup.

· Los Angeles Rams Defensive Quality Control Jeff Imamura spent 8 seasons with the Vikings, where he held various roles on the defensive staff.

· Rams Physical Therapist/Assistant Athletic Trainer Byron Cunningham served as a seasonal assistant athletic trainer at Minnesota in 2009.

· Vikings Asst. OL Coach Hank Fraley played for the Rams in 2010, his last of 11 seasons playing in the NFL.

· Vikings Asst. DBs Coach Jonathan Gannon was a scout for the Rams from 2009-11.

· Vikings College/Area Scout Kevin McCabe worked as an area scout for St. Louis from 1995-2001.

· Rams Media Information Coordinator Travis Langer worked as an Public Relations Intern for the Vikings from 2014-15.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

· Rams Senior Assistant of Football Operations Tony Pastoors was born and raised in Minneapolis.

· There are 8 Vikings players who grew up in California: RB Matt Asiata (Santa Ana), LB Anthony Barr (San Pedro), TE Rhett Ellison (Portola Valley), T Matt Kalil (Corona), LB Eric Kendricks (Fresno), DT Travis Raciti (Pleasant Hill), FB Blake Renaud (Concord) and T Mike Harris (Duarte)

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

· Rams DB Lamarcus Joyner played at Florida State with Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes from from 2010-12.

· Vikings DT Shariff Floyd, Rams DT Dominique Easley and Rams CB Marcus Roberson were teammates at Florida.

· Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater and Rams G Jamon Brown played together at Louisville.

· Vikings T T.J. Clemmings and Rams DT Aaron Donald played for Pittsburgh together from 2010-13. Clemmings and Donald were defensive linemates before Clemmings made the transition to offensive line in 2013.

· There are 6 players on the Vikings and Rams rosters from UCLA: Rams LB Akeem Ayers (2008-10), Rams TE Cory Harkey (2008-11), Vikings P Jeff Locke (2008-12), Vikings LS Kevin McDermott (2008-12), Vikings LB Eric Kendricks (2011-14) and Vikings LB Anthony Barr (2010-12).

· Vikings T Matt Kalil (2008-11), Vikings DE Everson Griffen (2007-09), Vikings TE Rhett Ellison (2007-11) and Rams SS T.J. McDonald (2009-12) all played together at USC in 2009.

· Vikings CB Mackensie Alexander, Vikings S Jayron Kearse and Rams T Isaiah Battle were teammates at Clemson.

· Vikings G Alex Boone and Rams LS Jake McQuaide were teammates at Ohio State.

· Vikings T T.J. Clemmings and Rams DT Aaron Donald and Rams LB Nicholas Grigsby played together at Pittsburgh.

· Vikings T Andre Smith and Rams LB/S Mark Barron played together at Alabama.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. CHARGERS

  • RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams (12/16/12). Peterson tied his career-long with an 82-yard touchdown scamper in the contest played in St. Louis.
  • S Harrison Smith scored his third-career touchdown, returning an interception 81 yards for the score in last season's opener. The Vikings won 34-6 at St. Louis (9/7/14).
  • K Blair Walsh booted his way into the record book, tying the record for most 50-plus yard field goals in a game connecting on kicks from 50, 53 and 51 yards in a 5-of-5 showing on 12/16/12.
  • DE Everson Griffen scored his 1st NFL touchdown at St. Louis (12/16/12) with a 29-yard interception return. Griffen also recorded 2.0 sacks in the 2014 matchup at St. Louis. (9/7/14).
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