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Game Preview: Vikings at Lions

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings (4-2) will face the Lions (2-2-1) and complete their NFC North road slate on Sunday at Ford Field. Kickoff is scheduled for noon (CT).

Minnesota defeated Philadelphia 38-20 at U.S. Bank Stadium for its second win in a row and third in as many home games this season.

Detroit lost 23-22 at Green Bay, despite leading for almost all of the game. The Packers scored the game's final 10 points. The consecutive possessions were extended when illegal use of hands to the face penalties were called on third downs that would have been a sack and an incompletion.

This will be the 116th meeting between the franchises that have met twice yearly since 1961, except for the strike-shortened 1982 season. The Vikings are 74-39-2 in the series.

Minnesota's offense ranks 11th in yards per game (372.3) and third in yards per play (6.3), as well as third in rushing per game (159.0), 25th in passing yards per game (213.3) and 12th in points per game (25.0).

Detroit's offense ranks 13th in yards per game (369.8) and 12th in yards per play (5.7), as well as 16th in rushing per game (107.6), ninth in passing yards per game (262.2) and 13th in points per game (23.8)

The Vikings rank sixth in the NFL in points against (15.5), fifth in yards allowed per game (310.3), ninth in rushing yards allowed per game (91.5) and seventh in passing yards allowed per game (218.8).

The Lions rank 18th in the NFL in points against (23.6), 29th in yards allowed per game (413.8), 27th in rushing yards allowed per game (133.8) and 28th in passing yards allowed per game (280.0).

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Lions.


FOX (KMSP in Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Play-by-Play: Brandon Gaudin

Analyst: Chris Spielman

Sideline Reporter: Shannon Spake


KFAN 100.3-FM/KTLK 1130-AM in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen

Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline Reporters: Greg Coleman & Ben Leber

Radio Pre-game Show: Mike Mussman | 10 a.m. (CT)

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


Sirius: MIN 127 or Streaming 819; DET 119 or Streaming 819

XM: MIN Streaming 819; DET 230 or Streaming 810


Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have combined for nine receptions, 326 yards and five touchdowns on 17 passes of 20-plus air yards thrown by Kirk Cousins, who has a passer rating of 137.9 on such throws. Diggs' 228 yards on deep pass attempts is tied with Tampa Bay's Mike Evans for second in the NFL. They trail Jacksonville's D.J. Chark (266).


Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has totaled an NFL-best 142.5 passer rating over the past two weeks, completing 44 of 56 passes (78.6 percent) for 639 yards and six touchdowns.

WR Stefon Diggs had a career-high three touchdowns and racked up 167 yards on seven catches against Philadelphia.

WR Adam Thielen is tied for first in the NFL in total touchdowns by a receiver with six (five receiving, one rushing).

RB Dalvin Cook ranks second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (796) and fourth in rushing yards (583). No. 33 is 33 yards from rushing for a new career high in his third pro season. Cook's yards from scrimmage rank fourth in team history through the first six games of a season behind Adrian Peterson (857 in 2007 and 828 in 2010) and Ted Brown (803 in 1981).

Vikings running backs have combined for 1,141 yards from scrimmage (190.2 per game), the most of any group in 2019. Minnesota RBs totaled 1,841 yards from scrimmage in all of 2018.

TE Kyle Rudolph (395 career receptions) moved past Sammy White (393) for seventh in franchise history. He needs six to pass Ahmad Rashad (400) and move into sixth place.

Minnesota's defense is tied with San Francisco for fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (one each).

The Vikings have allowed 38 total points in second halves, which is third fewest in the NFL behind the Patriots (24) and 49ers (31).

DE Danielle Hunter is tied for first in the NFL with eight tackles for loss. Hunter recorded his 46th career sack to set an NFL record before turning 25 (sacks became official in 1982). He will turn 25 on Oct. 29.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.


Vikings GM Rick Spielman began his NFL career with the Lions as a college scout (1990-94) before adding pro scouting duties (1995-96).

Vikings T Riley Reiff started 69 of 77 games played for the Lions from 2012-16 after he was selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Minnesota RB Ameer Abdullah started 22 of 35 games for Detroit from 2015-18.

Lions Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell worked in the same role with the Vikings from 2006-10.

Detroit offensive line coach Jeff Davidson held the same position with Minnesota from 2011-15, and assistant offensive line coach Hank Fraley was with the Vikings from 2014-16.

Lions tight ends coach Chris White was the Vikings assistant special teams coach from 2009-12.

Detroit CB Justin Coleman signed with Minnesota in 2015 as an undrafted free agent but was released prior to the season.


There are three Michigan natives — QB Kirk Cousins, TE Tyler Conklin and LB Eric Wilson — and four players who attended college in Michigan — Cousins, Conklin, Ben Gedeon and Trae Waynes — on the Vikings roster.

Lions OL Frank Ragnow attended Chanhassen High School.


Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator in Dallas (2000-06) when Lions Defensive Coordinator Paul Pasqualoni was with the Cowboys from 2005-07.

Minnesota Defensive Coordinator George Edwards (2005-09) coached with Pasqualoni (2008-09) and Lions Special Teams Coordinator John Bonamego (2008-10) at Miami.

Vikings linebackers coach Adam Zimmer worked with Bonamego in New Orleans (2006-07).


Minnesota G Josh Kline (2013-15) played for the Patriots when Detroit Head Coach Matt Patricia was on New England's staff (2004-17).


Vikings TE Tyler Conklin (2014-17) played under Lions Special Teams Coordinator John Bonamego (2015-18) at Central Michigan.

Minnesota DT Shamar Stephen (2009-13) was with Connecticut when Detroit Defensive Coordinator Paul Pasqualoni was head coach.

Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes (2009-12) and Lions LB Christian Jones (2010-13) teamed together at Florida State. Minnesota G Pat Elflein (2012-16) and Lions T Taylor Decker (2012-15) were teammates at Ohio State.



Kirk Cousins: 3 games, (3 starts — 2 with MIN), 2-1 record, 69-of-89 passing (77.5 percent), 718 yards, 5 passing TDs, 1 INT, 114.3 passer rating; 6 rushes, 19 yards, 1 rush TD

Dalvin Cook: 3 games, (2 starts), 39 rushes, 228 yards, 5.9 yards per rush, 1 TD, 8 receptions, 63 yards

Stefon Diggs: 5 games (4 starts), 31 receptions, 362 yards, 2 TDs; 3 rushes, 30 yards

Kyle Rudolph: 14 games (13 starts), 56 receptions, 559 yards, 8 TDs

Adam Thielen: 10 games (6 starts), 35 receptions, 401 yards, 1 TD; 2 rushes, 8 yards


Everson Griffen: 16 games (10 starts), 43 tackles (league stats), 14 sacks, 15 TFL, 2 PBU, 1 FF; 5 consecutive games with at least 1.0 sack

Danielle Hunter: 6 games (4 starts), 21 tackles (league stats), 7.0 sacks, 8 TFL, 1 PBU, 3 FR, 32-yard FR TD


Kirk Cousins: 21-of-28 passing (75.0 percent) for 253 yards with 3 TDs, 0 INT and passer rating of 137.9 at Detroit on Dec. 23, 2018

Stefon Diggs: 6 receptions for 108 yards and first career TD at Detroit on Oct. 25, 2015; career-high 13 receptions, 80 yards in Minnesota on Nov. 6, 2016

Kyle Rudolph: 9 receptions for 122 yards, 2 TDs at Detroit on Dec. 23, 2018

Dalvin Cook: 10 rushes for 89 yards and four receptions for 20 yards in Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2018

Danielle Hunter: career-high 3.5 sacks, 9 tackles, 3 TFL and FR TD in Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2018

Eric Kendricks: 2.0 sacks at Detroit on Oct. 25, 2015, en route to earning NFC Player of the Month honors

Marcus Sherels: 77-yard punt return touchdown at Detroit on Dec. 30, 2012


1. The Vikings set a team record for most sacks in a single game with 10 takedowns of Matthew Stafford in Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2018.

2. Cris Carter recorded his 1,000th career reception — a 4-yard touchdown — on Nov. 30, 2000, becoming the second player in NFL history with 1,000 catches.

3. Sammy White set the Vikings single-game receiving record with 210 yards in Minnesota on Nov. 7, 1976 on his way to earning NFL Rookie of the Year honors.

4. Scott Studwell set a Vikings single-game record by recording 24 tackles at Detroit on Nov. 17, 1985.

Longest Vikings winning streak in series: 13 games (Oct. 6, 1968 through Sept. 22, 1974)

Longest Vikings losing streak in series: 5 games (Nov. 19, 1961 through Oct. 27, 1963)