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Game Preview: Vikings at Bears

The Minnesota Vikings (4-2) take on their 2nd straight NFC North foe on the road when they travel to play the Chicago Bears (2-4) in Week 8. The Vikings are searching for their 2nd consecutive road win for the 1st time since 2012 in a game scheduled to kick off at noon CT at Soldier Field.

The Vikings are coming off their 1st road win of the 2015 season and their 1st division road victory since 2012 after defeating the Lions, 28-19. The Bears, who last saw the field in Week 6 when they lost to the Lions, 37-34, in OT at Ford Field, are coming off their bye week in Week 7. RB Adrian Peterson is 3rd in the NFL with 530 rushing yards and has added 3 TDs on the ground. As a team, the Vikings rank 6th in rushing yards per game with 128.3 per game. WR Stefon Diggs, who won Pepsi Rookie of the Week for his Week 6 effort vs. Kansas City, has emerged as a playmaker leading the Vikings in receiving yards (324 yards) despite not appearing in a game until Week 4 at Denver. Diggs is tied for the league lead with 8 receptions of 20 yards since appearing in his 1st game in Week 4.

The Vikings defense stifled the Lions in Week 7 recording a season-high 7 sacks. S Harrison Smith led the way with 9 tackles and a sack while rookie LB Eric Kendricks turned in his 3rd consecutive game with at least 1 sack after recording 7 tackles, 3 TFLs and 2.0 sacks at Detroit. The Vikings defense has allowed 20 or less points in 5 games this season and has allowed the 2nd-fewest points per game (17.0) in the NFL.

NATIONAL TELEVISION: FOX (Ch. 9 in the Twin Cities)

Play-by-Play: Chris Myers Analyst: Ronde Barber

Sideline: Holly Sonders

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 – 10:00 a.m. CT

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

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

• QB Teddy Bridgewater set new career marks for road contests with 316 passing yards and 118.3 passer rating. Bridgewater has totaled 585 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs in his last 2 road games.

• RB Adrian Peterson is tied with RB Todd Gurley for the most 40 yard runs in the NFL with 3 (43th, 48th and 75). Peterson's 75-yard run against Detroit is the 2nd longest in the NFL in 2015.

• WR Stefon Diggs has 8 catches for 20 yards, tied for the most in the NFL since Week 4. Diggs, despite only being active for 3 games, has the 2nd-most receiving yards among allrookies with 324 yards, trailing only WR Amari Cooper who has 519 playing in 6 games.

• LB Eric Kendricks has a sack in each of his starts and 3 consecutive games. With 4.0 sacks on the season, Kendricks is tied for the most sacks among all rookies (Hau'oli Kikaha, NO) and the 2nd most among all ILBs trailing only Clay Matthews (4.5).

• S Harrison Smith leads the Vikings with 41 tackles and has 1 INT, 1.0 sack, 1 TFL and 1 FF in 2015. Since entering the league in 2012, Smith is the only player in the NFL with at least 10 INTs (11) and 5 sacks (5.0).

• TE Kyle Rudolph has caught 3 TDs on the season and has scored in 2 consecutive games.

• The Vikings have the fewest penalties in the NFL, only being flagged 35 times. The Vikings offense is the least penalized offensive unit in the league with only 9 penalties. The Vikings special teams also has the fewest in the NFL with 3 penalties.

• The Vikings are 4th in the NFL allowing only 4.6 yards per punt return and have allowed 37 total punt return yards on 8 returns in 2015.

• With a .727 win percentage (8-3), the Vikings have the highest home win percentage all-time among teams playing in a temporary stadium.

• In Week 7 at Detroit, the Vikings had 11 different players catch a pass. The last time the

Vikings had 11 different players catch a pass in the same game was on Nov. 4, 1979 at the St. Louis Cardinals.

VIKINGS-BEARS CONNECTIONS

• Bears G Vladimir Ducasse played for the Vikings in 2014.

• Vikings practice squad S Brock Vereen attended University of Minnesota and was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Vereen played in 19 games for the Bears before being released after Week 3 and then signed to the Vikings practice squad.

• Vikings GM Rick Spielman served as the Bears Director of Pro Personnel from 1997-99. Vikings Assistant General Manager George Paton also served on the Bears staff alongside Spielman.

• Vikings Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman interned with the Bears athletic training staff from 1993-95 and served as the Bears Assistant Athletic Trainer from 1997-99. Vikings Assistant Athletic Trainer Rob

Roche was a training camp intern for the Bears from 1998-99.

• Vikings College Scout/Regional Pat Roberts interned with the Bears in 1998 and from 1999-2003, he was the Bears Northeast Area Scout before moving to the Southeast Area in 2004.

NFL CONNECTIONS

• Vikings OL Coach Jeff Davidson served as the offensive coordinator on Bears HC John Fox's staff in Carolina from 2007-10.

• Vikings CB Captain Munnerlyn was drafted by the Panthers, while Bears HC John Fox was in the same role in Carolina.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

• Bears ST coordinator Jeff Rodgers and DL Coach Jay Rodgers were both born in St. Paul, Minnesota.

• Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was born in Peoria, Illinois and attended Lockport Township High School in suburban Chicago. Zimmer played QB and later LB at Illinois State (74-77).

• Vikings ST Coordinator Mike Priefer coached special teams at Northern Illinois (2000-01).

• Vikings RBs Coach Kirby Wilson played RB and WR at University of Illinois from 1981-82. Wilson completed his educated and earned his degree from Eastern Illinois, then went on to coach LBs then become the Passing Game Coordinator at Southern Illinois from 1991-92.

• Vikings Assistant Athletic Trainer Rob Roche earned his degree at University of Illinois.

• Vikings Ring of Honor member and College Scout/Regional Scott Studwell played LB for University of Illinois.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

• Bears LB Christian Jones and DT Eddie Goldman were teammates with Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes Florida State.

• Bears WR Joshua Bellamy played at Louisville with Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater in 2011.

• Bears LB Lamin Barrow played at LSU with Vikings DE Danielle Hunter.

• Bears RB Jeremy Langford played with Vikings CB Trae Waynes at Michigan State from 2012-14.

• Vikings LB Audie Cole and Bears LB Willie Young played together at North Carolina State from 2008-09.

• Vikings S Robert Blanton, TE Kyle Rudolph and S Harrison Smith were teammates with Bears QB Jimmy Clausen at Notre Dame.

• Vikings S Antone Exum Jr. was teammates with Bears T Nick Becton and CB Kyle Fuller while at Virginia Tech.

VIKINGS-BEARS SERIES NOTES

• The Vikings and Bears have played 108 times with Minnesota holding a 55-51-2 series record.

• The last time the Vikings and Bears met was in Week 17 of the 2014 season, a 13-9 Vikings win.

• The Vikings and Bears have played 5 overtime games in series history, with Minnesota holding a 4-1 advantage in those games.

• The Vikings and Bears have squared off once in the playoffs, a 35-18 Chicago victory in Minnesota during the 1994 NFC Wildcard Round.

A WIN WOULD

• Give the Vikings their 2nd straight NFC North road victory in consecutive weeks for the 1st time since Weeks 4 and 5 of the 1998 season.

• Improve Minnesota's record to 5-2 and be the 1st time since 2012 the Vikings were 3 games above .500.

• Give the Vikings their 1st win at Chicago since 2007 and a 22-30-2 record at Chicago all-time.

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