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Game Preview: Vikings at Jaguars

The Minnesota Vikings (6-6) travel to play the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) at EverBank Field with kickoff scheduled for noon CT. The matchup will mark the sixth game between the franchises with Minnesota currently holding the edge 4-1 in the series. Both clubs are coming off losses — Minnesota lost 17-15 vs. Dallas at home last Thursday, and Jacksonville dropped a home game 20-10 vs. Denver. Minnesota is powered by the NFL's fourth-ranked defense in points allowed, giving up 17.4 points per game, and an offensive unit that has committed a turnover in only five of the 12 games this season, helping the team rank second in the NFL with a plus-13 turnover margin.

The Vikings defense, which ranks third in the NFL, allowing 303.4 yards per game, has 22 takeaways (12 interceptions, 10 fumble recoveries), tied for the fourth-most in the NFL. The Vikings defense has held opponents to a 75.7 passer rating, the second-best mark in the league. Second-year DE Danielle Hunter leads the team with 9.5 sacks, and veteran DEs Brian Robison and Everson Griffen each have 6.0 on the season.

QB Sam Bradford, who is 12th in the NFL with a career-high 97.5 passer rating, has thrown 13 touchdowns and three interceptions on 280-of-393 passing (71.2 percent, second in NFL). WR Adam Thielen, WR Stefon Diggs and TE Kyle Rudolph have all had career years, setting new career bests in receptions and receiving yards this season.

BROADCAST COVERAGE 

TELEVISION: FOX; Play-by-Play: Kenny Albert; Analyst: Daryl Johnston; Sideline: Laura Okmin

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, five-state Vikings Radio Network.

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

• Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson tied Percy Harvin for the Vikings all-time kick return touchdown record after scoring on his fifth career kick return vs. Arizona (11/20). Patterson, who returned the kick 104 yards for a touchdown, also became the first player in the history of the NFL to score four career touchdowns of 100-plus yards.

• In 11 starts in 2016, QB Sam Bradford has five games with a passer rating over 100, setting a new career high. Bradford had four such games in 2012 with St. Louis and 2015 with Philadelphia.

• Vikings DEs have combined for 21.5 sacks this season, the second-highest total in the NFL, trailing only Seattle's DEs who have totaled 23.0 sacks in 2016. The Vikings are the only team in the NFL to have 3 DEs with 6.0-plus sacks this season: Danielle Hunter (9.5), Everson Griffen (6.0) and Brian Robison (6.0).

• Danielle Hunter, who is the second-youngest player on the Vikings roster behind Laquon Treadwell, is first in the NFL in sacks among players under the age of 24 with 9.5 in his second season. Hunter also has the most sacks among all second-year players since entering the league with 15.5.

• Through just 12 games this season, TE Kyle Rudolph has a career high in receptions (54) and receiving yards (513). Rudolph, who has a team-best five receiving touchdowns, is four away from his career best of nine in 2012 when he was selected to his lone Pro Bowl appearance.

• The Vikings have thrown three interceptions on 428 passing attempts (0.7 percent) in 2016, trailing only the Patriots, who have thrown one itnerception on 417 passing attempts (0.2 percent) and the Cowboys, who have thrown two interceptions on 360 attempts (0.6 percent) this season.

• On passing attempts over 20 yards, the Vikings defense has allowed a league-low 29.9 passer rating, holding opponents to 12-of-46 (26.1 percent) passing for 388 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions.

• With four games remaining, WR Stefon Diggs is 194 receiving yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark. Sindey Rice (1,312 in 2009) was the last Viking to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

• S Harrison Smith, the Vikings leading tackler with 97, is three tackles away from totaling 100 in a season for the third time in his five seasons.

VIKINGS-JAGUARS CONNECTIONS

• Jaguars Defensive Assistant Coach Monte Kiffin coached the LBs for the Vikings from 1986-89 and from 1992-94 and served as Minnesota's Defensive Coordinator in 1991.

• Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer received his first NFL coaching job with the Jaguars when he was the Assistant Special Teams Coach in 2002.

• Vikings OL Coach Tony Sparano spent the 2002 season with Jacksonville, along with Priefer, as the team's TEs Coach.

• Jaguars Assistant Director of College Scouting Paul Roell served as a Regional Scout for the Vikings from 2006-12.

• Vikings T Rashod Hill signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent on May 2, 2016. Hill was with Jacksonville until the Vikings signed him from the Jaguars practice squad on Nov. 15. Hill is a Jacksonville native and attended Ed White HS.

• Jaguars WR Bryan Walters spent the 2012 offseason with the Vikings and was released on Aug. 25, 2012.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

• Jagaurs Head Coach Gus Bradley is a Zumbrota, Minnesota, native where he grew up and attended Zumbrota HS. Bradley attended North Dakota State where he played football from 1984-88 before coaching for the Bison from 1990-91 and 1996-2005.

• Jaguars G Chris Reed attended Minnesota State University from 2010-14, where he was teammates with Vikings WR Adam Thielen from 2010-2012. Reed also participated in track while at Minnesota State, the annual site for Vikings training camps since 1966.

• Jaguars DBs Coach DeWayne Walker played CB at the University of Minnesota from 1980-81.

• Jaguars Assistant WRs Coach Tony Sorrentino coached at the University of Minnesota from 2009-10.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. JAGUARS

  • In his lone game against the Jaguars as a member of the Rams, QB Sam Bradford threw for 222 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions on 19-of-34 passing vs. Jacksonville (10/16/13), giving him a passer rating of 105.3.
  • LB Chad Greenway totaled 13 tackles, two passes defensed and one quarterback hurry in the last matchup vs. Jacksonville (9/9/12). 
  • Vikings DE Brian Robison had three tackles, one TFL, one pass defensed and tw0 QB hurries vs. Jacksonville (9/9/12).
  • Vikings LB Emmanuel Lamur had eight tackles, two passes defensed and one quarterback hurry vs. Jacksonville (11/2/14) as a member of the Bengals.
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