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Game Preview: Vikings at Packers

The Minnesota Vikings (7-7) take on the Green Bay Packers (8-6) at Lambeau Field with kickoff scheduled for noon (CT) Saturday. The matchup will mark the 113th game between the franchises. The Packers hold a 59-51-2 all-time edge, including a split pair of clashes in the postseason. Minnesota is coming off a 34-6 home loss against Indianapolis. Green Bay is coming off a 30-27 division win at Chicago.

The Vikings defense, which ranks third in the NFL allowing 311.9 yards per game, is also ranked sixth in points allowed per game (18.5). The Vikings defense has held opponents to a 79.8 passer rating, the third-best mark in the league. Second-year DE Danielle Hunter leads the team with 10.5 sacks. Veteran DEs Everson Griffen (8.0) and Brian Robison (7.0) are second and third, respectively. The Vikings are the only team in the NFL to have three DEs with 7-plus sacks this season.

QB Sam Bradford, who is ninth in the NFL with a career-high 97.0 passer rating, has thrown 14 touchdowns and four interceptions on 336-of-469 passing (71.6 percent, first in NFL). WR Stefon Diggs, TE Kyle Rudolph and WR Adam Thielen have all had career years, setting new bests in receptions and receiving yards this season. WR Cordarrelle Patterson, who leads the NFL in kick return yards (757) and kick return average (31.5), has also set a new career high with 49 receptions.

BROADCAST COVERAGE

TELEVISION: FOX (Channel 9 in the Twin Cities); Play-by-Play: Joe Buck; Analyst: Troy Aikman; Sideline Reporter: Erin Andrews

NATIONAL RADIO: WESTWOOD ONE SPORTS; Play-by-Play: Kevin Lee; Analyst: Al Groh

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

• In 13 starts in 2016, QB Sam Bradford has six 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.

• The Vikings defensive line has combined for 30.5 sacks this season, the highest total in the NFL. The Vikings are the only team in the NFL to have 3 defensive ends with 7.0-plus sacks this season - Danielle Hunter (10.5), Everson Griffen (8.0) and Brian Robison (7.0).

• Danielle Hunter, who is the second-youngest player on the Vikings roster behind Laquon Treadwell, is tied for second in the NFL in sacks among all DEs. Hunter also has the second-most sacks among all second-year players since entering the league with 16.5, trailing only Vic Beasley (18.5).

• TE Kyle Rudolph is tied with Jason Witten for the NFC lead in receptions among TEs with a career-high 66. Rudolph also ranks third among NFC TEs in yards with 670 and second in touchdowns with six.

• The Vikings have thrown four interceptions on 504 passing attempts (0.8 percent) in 2016, trailing only the Patriots, who have thrown two interceptions on 487 passing attempts (0.4 percent).

• With two games remaining, WR Stefon Diggs is 126 receiving yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark. Sidney Rice (1,312 in 2009) was the most recent Viking to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

• Vikings WR Adam Thielen is 42 receiving yards shy of giving the Vikings their first receiving duo to both amass 800 yards in the same year since Randy Moss (1,233) and Cris Carter (871) in 2001.

• Following a 53-yard kick return in Week 15 at Jacksonville, Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson now has 13 50 yard kick returns in his career, the most in franchise history.

• The Vikings are one of two teams (Houston) in 2016 to not allow a 300-yard passer. The last time the Vikings did not allow a 300-yard passer for an entire season was 1993.

• DT Linval Joseph has a career-high 89 tackles, the most by a Vikings DT since Kevin Williams totaled 98 in 2004.

VIKINGS-PACKERS CONNECTIONS

• Packers DT Letroy Guion was drafted by Minnesota in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Guion played for the Vikings from 2008-13, where he appeared in 68 games with 31 starts.

• Vikings WR Charles Johnson was on the Packers practice squad in 2013 and was a seventh-round selection of the Packers in the 2013 NFL Draft.

• Green Bay Packers Communications Manager Tom Fanning graduated from University of Minnesota in 1998 and worked for the Minnesota Vikings from 1999-2008.

• Vikings G Brandon Fusco attended Seneca Valley High School in Harmony, Pennsylvania, with Packers T/G Don Barclay.

• Packers Senior Personnel Executive Alonzo Highsmith played for Tampa Bay while Vikings WRs Coach George Stewart coached the Buccaneers special teams.

• Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards and Packers Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers were on the Dolphins defensive coaching staff in 2006-07.

• Vikings HC Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator and Vikings Assistant DBs Coach Jonathan Gannon was a defensive assistant in Atlanta while Packers Secondary/CBs Coach Joe Whitt, Jr. held the same position with the Falcons during the 2007 season.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

• Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer graduated from Abbot Pennings High School in DePere, Wisconsin, while his dad coached for the Packers.

• Vikings CB Trae Waynes grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and graduated from Mary D. Bradford HS.

• Packers Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst's father, John, was the head coach for the University of Minnesota from 1985-92.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

• Vikings C Zac Kerin and Packers LB Jayrone Elliott played together at Toledo for all four seasons from 2010-13.

• There are eight players from UCLA on the Packers and Vikings rosters: Vikings K Kai Forbath, P Jeff Locke, LS Kevin McDermott, LB Eric Kendricks, LB Anthony Barr and Packers DT Kenny Clark, QB Brett Hundley and DE Datone Jones.

• USC has four players represented on the Vikings and Packers rosters: Vikings TE Rhett Ellison, DE Everson Griffen and Packers LBs Clay Matthews and Nick Perry.

• Packers S Chris Banjo and Vikings FB Zach Line played together at SMU from 2009-11.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. PACKERS

  • RB Adrian Peterson has eight career games with 100-plus rushing yards vs. Green Bay, including four games with over 150 rushing yards.
  • QB Sam Bradford threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-31 passing vs. Green Bay (9/18/16) earlier this season. The 121.2 passer rating against the Packers in Week 2 is the fourth-best in his career.
  • KR Cordarrelle Patterson set an NFL record with the longest kickoff return in history when he took the opening kickoff 109 yards for a touchdown, vs. Green Bay (10/27/13). The return matched the longest play in NFL history.
  • DE Everson Griffen recorded a career-high 3.0 sacks against the Packers in the final game of the 2012 regular season on 12/30/12. Griffen posted one sack a week later against the Packers in the 2012 NFC Wild Card game. In the NFC North clinching victory in Week 17 (1/3/16) of the 2015 season, Griffen totaled 2.0 sacks and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.        
  • Vikings CB Terence Newman had a season-high six tackles, one interception and returned a fumble 58 yards for the game-winning touchdown vs. Green Bay (9/22/13) as a member of the Bengals.
  • Vikings WR Stefon Diggs had a career day vs. Green Bay in Week 2 of the 2016 season, grabbing nine receptions for a career-best 182 yards and one touchdown.
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