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Game Preview: Vikings at Eagles

The Minnesota Vikings (5-0), winners of eight straight regular season games, travel to play the Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) in Week 7. The Vikings are 5-0 for the first time since 2009, powered by the NFL's top-ranked defense in points allowed, giving up 12.6 points per game, and an offensive unit that has yet to commit a turnover, helping the team lead the NFL with a plus-11 turnover margin.

The Vikings defense, which ranks second in the NFL by allowing 287.6 yards per game, has totaled 19 sacks, third-most in the NFL. The Vikings defense has held opponents to a league-low 65.3 passer rating and is tied for the most takeaways with 12 (7 INTs, 5 FRs). Even with the early Bye, Minnesota is the only team in the NFL to have four players with three-plus sacks — DE Everson Griffen (4.0), DE Danielle Hunter (4.0), DE Brian Robison (4.0) and DT Linval Joseph (3.0).

Vikings QB Sam Bradford, who has started four games since being acquired via trade from Philadelphia on Sept. 3, is second in the NFL with a 109.8 passer rating. Bradford has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions on 88-of-125 passing (70.4 percent, first in NFL). TE Kyle Rudolph has three touchdowns through five games, tying him for second in the NFL among all TEs this season.

CB Marcus Sherels has returned two punts for touchdowns this season, extending his franchise record for career PR TDs to five, and became the first player in team history to have multiple punt return touchdowns in a season. Sherels ranks third in the NFL with an average of 16.5 yards per punt return this season.

BROADCAST COVERAGE

TELEVISION: FOX; Play-by-Play: Thom Brennaman; Analyst: Troy Aikman; Sideline Reporter: Erin Andrews

NATIONAL RADIO: WESTWOOD ONE; Play-by-Play: John Sadak; Analyst: Mike Mayock

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 – 10 a.m. (CT)

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

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

  • As a unit, the Vikings defensive linemen have combined for 17 sacks (first in NFL), five forced fumbles (tied for first in NFL), 17 TFLs (tied for second in NFL), one interception (tied for first in NFL) and one safety (tied for second in NFL).
  • The Vikings defense has allowed 63 points through the first five games, the lowest mark for the franchise since allowing 49 points through five games in 1977.
  • On passing attempts over 20 yards, the Vikings defense has held opponents to 5-of-19 passing, zero touchdowns and recorded three interceptions for an NFL-low passer rating of 18.9.
  • After totaling 21 catches for 236 yards and three touchdowns through five games, TE Kyle Rudolph moved into second for receptions in team history by a TE with 203. Rudolph, who caught his 25th career touchdown in Week 4, is just three touchdowns shy of matching Steve Jordan's Vikings team record for touchdowns by a TE (28).
  • The Vikings defense is holding opponents to a league-low 3.5 yards per play on first downs.
  • WR Adam Thielen recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game, posting career highs in catches (seven) and yards (127) while hauling in his third career touchdown (2 receiving, 1 blocked punt return). Thielen joins WR Stefon Diggs as Vikings with 100-plus receiving yards in a game this season.
  • The Vikings rank first in the NFL with a 11 TO differential and have not committed a turnover on offense this season.
  • The Vikings defense sacked Cam Newton eight times in Week 3, marking the ninth time in 37 regular season games under Zimmer the Vikings have recorded at least five sacks in a game.
  • DE Danielle Hunter, who was second in the NFL among all rookies with 6.0 sacks last season, has 4.0 sacks through the first five games. Hunter, who turned 21 last Oct. 29, is still the second-youngest player on the Vikings roster (Laquon Treadwell).
  • Hunter recorded the Vikings first safety since Jared Allen tackled Willis McGahee in the end zone vs. Denver (12/4/11). Hunter is also the first player since Allen in 2009 to record a safety and return a fumble for a touchdown in the same season.
  • The Vikings have won eight consecutive regular season games for the first time since Minnesota won nine in row from the end of the '02 season to the start of the '03 campaign.

VIKINGS-EAGLES CONNECTIONS

· Vikings LB Eric Kendricks' older brother, Mychal Kendricks, has been a full-time starter for the Eagles since being drafted in 2012. It will be the 1st matchup between the brothers since October 29, 2011, when Eric's UCLA Bruins defeated Mychal's Cal Bears, 31-14, in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl. Vikings LB Anthony Barr also played in the game as a RB.

· Vikings QB Sam Bradford played for Philadelphia in 2015, setting Eagles franchise records for completions in a season (346) and completion percentage in a season (65.0). The Eagles acquired Bradford via trade on March 10, 2014 from St. Louis and traded him to Minnesota on September 3, 2016.

· VIkings TEs Coach Pat Shurmur has spent 13 seasons with the Eagles - 1999-2001 as the OL/TEs Coach, 2002-08 as the QBs Coach and 2013-15 as the Offensive Coordinator. Shurmur served as the Eagles interim head coach for the 2015 regular season finale, a 35-30 win over the Giants, after the dismissal of Chip Kelly the previous week.

· Vikings Assistant OL Coach Hank Fraley played 6 seasons (2000-05) for the Eagles, starting 71 of the 72 games he appeared in with Philadelphia. Fraley started 10 postseason games for the Eagles, including Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville against the New England Patriots.

· Vikings Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman, Coordinator of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer Tom Hunkele and Assistant Athletic Trainer Rob Roche all spent time with the Eagles prior to joining the Vikings.

· Eagles WRs Coach Greg Lewis played for the Vikings in 2009 and 2010, catching 25 passes for 293 yards and 1 TD, a game-winning score from Brett Favre vs. San Francisco (9/27/09) in his 1st game as a Viking.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

· Vikings G Brandon Fusco is a native of Cranberry Township, PA.

· Vikings RBs Coach Kevin Stefanski attended St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia before going to school at Pennsylvania.

· Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd attended George Washington High School in Philadelphia.

· Eagles DT Beau Allen is a Minnetonka, MN native and was named to the Minnesota Vikings All-State HS Football Team in 2009.

· Vikings Quality Control-Offensive Andrew Janocko is a native of Clearfield, PA and attended Clearfield Area HS before playing football at the University of Pittsburgh.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

· Vikings CB Terence Newman and Eagles RB Darren Sproles were teammates at Kansas State from 2001-02.

· Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes started alongside Eagles S Terrence Brooks and LB Nigel Bradham while at Florida State.

· Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd was teammates with Eagles TE Trey Burton, K Caleb Sturgis and S Jaylen Watkins at Florida.

· Vikings DE Danielle Hunter played with Eagles G Dillon Gordon, DT Bennie Logan and CB Jalen Milles while at LSU.

· Vikings G Alex Boone and Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins played together all 4 years (2005-08) while at Ohio State.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. EAGLES

  • Vikings RB Matt Asiata scored his first career touchdowns in the NFL vs. Philadelphia (12/15/13). Asiata had a career-high 30 attempts for 51 yards and scored three touchdowns on runs of 1, 1, and 5 yards in the 48-30 victory over the Eagles.
  • Vikings CB Terence Newman had six tackles and two interceptions at Philadelphia (1/2/11), one of his six career games with multiple INTs. Newman also recorded one of his two career sacks vs. Philadelphia (10/9/05) when he corralled Donovan McNabb.
  • Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson caught five passes for 35 yards and a touchdown vs. Philadelphia (12/15/13) in the next-to-last game played in the Metrodome.
  • Vikings DE Brian Robison registered 2.0 sacks vs. Philadelphia (12/15/13), one of the eight times he has had at least 2.0 sacks in a game.
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