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Game Preview: Vikings at Patriots

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1) will visit the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (8-3) for the first of back-to-back road games.

The Vikings are coming off a 24-17 home victory over the Packers on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots defeated the Jets 27-13.

Minnesota is 2-2-1 on the road, and New England is 5-0 at home this season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. (CT), and the game will air on FOX.

The Vikings defense has allowed 314.7 yards per game, the third-lowest average in the NFL. Minnesota's defensive unit has been particularly stout since the team's Week 5 matchup at Philadelphia, allowing only 276.6 yards per game over the past seven games, ranking third in the NFL in that span.

Vikings DE Danielle Hunter is tied for second in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, helping power a pass rush that has generated 36 sacks this season, a team total that is tied for the third in the NFL.

The Vikings offense ranks 14th in the NFL in total yards with 368.5 per game. QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 3,289 yards, the fifth-most in the NFL and has totaled a 101.9 passer rating, ninth-best in the NFL. He leads the league with 318 completions.

WR Adam Thielen is on a record-breaking pace, leading the NFL with 93 receptions, the third-most in league history through the first 11 games of a season. Thielen's 1,138 receiving yards is second in the NFL, and his eight receiving touchdowns are tied for fifth.

Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who ranks fifth in the NFL with 79 receptions, are one of two sets of teammates (Steelers WRs Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster) to rank in the top 10 in catches this season. The Vikings WR corps leads all groups league-wide with 216 receptions and is tied for second with 19 touchdowns in 2018.


FOX (KMSP in Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Play-by-Play: Joe Buck

Analyst: Troy Aikman

Sideline Reporter: Erin Andrews


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 – 1:30 p.m. (CT)

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


Sirius: 134 or Streaming 819 (MIN); 83 or Streaming 820 (NE)

XM: Streaming 819 (MIN); 225 or Streaming 820 (NE)


WR Adam Thielen has totaled nine games with at least 100 receiving yards, topping the Vikings record of eight set by Randy Moss (2000 and 2003), for the most games in a single season.

WR Stefon Diggs has four games and Thielen has three games with at least 10 catches in 2018. Cris Carter (four in 1994 and in 1995) set the team record for the most games with 10-plus catches in a single season that has been tied by Diggs.

RB Dalvin Cook registered a career-long 70-yard run vs. Detroit (Nov. 4), the fourth-longest run in the NFL this season and the longest for the Vikings since Adrian Peterson's 80-yard run in 2015.

TE Kyle Rudolph has started a league-leading (among TEs) 60 consecutive games, which is the longest streak for any TE all-time in Vikings history. His 17 touchdown catches since the start of the 2016 season are tied for third-most among all TEs.

S Harrison Smith has three interceptions and 3.0 sacks. He is the first NFL player with that combination since Landon Collins and Ryan Shazier in 2016.

QB Kirk Cousins' 3,289 passing yards are the most passing yards through 11 games to start a season in team history. Cousins needs 223 yards to set the team record for the most passing yards through 12 games to start a season.

Despite missing a game, WR Stefon Diggs' 79 receptions are fifth in the NFL this season and the fourth-most in team history through 11 games to start a season.

Rudolph (365 receptions) ranks eighth, Diggs (279 receptions) ranks 14th and Thielen (273 receptions) ranks 15th all-time in Vikings history in career catches.

The Vikings have allowed only four runs of 15 or more yards in 2018, the fewest in the NFL.

The Vikings defense has held opponents to a third-down conversion rate of 27.6 percent, the best in the NFL.


Adam Thielen is seven catches shy of his first 100-reception season. Marvin Harrison holds the NFL record for the fastest to record 100 catches in a season, doing so in 11 games in 2002.

1. Marvin Harrison, IND, 2002; 11 games

2. Julio Jones, ATL, 2015; 12 games
3. Eight players; 13 games


Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson played for the Vikings from 2013-16 after being selected in the first round (29th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. Patterson was named to the Pro Bowl twice and voted All-Pro twice as a return specialist while with the Vikings.

Vikings DL coach Andre Patterson served as the Patriots defensive assistant during the 1997 season.

Patriots DL coach Brendan Daly had two stints with the Vikings, serving as the defensive assistant/defensive line coach from 2006-2008 and most recently as the defensive line coach during the 2012-2013 seasons.

Patriots WR coach Chad O'Shea served as the offensive assistant/wide receivers coach with the Vikings from 2006-2008 before joining the New England coaching staff in 2009.

Local Connections

Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort is a native of Luverne, Minnesota, and he received his degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris. Ossenfort got his start in the NFL as a training camp intern with the Vikings in 2001.

Patriots coaching assistant Atif Austin coached at Southwest Minnesota State as secondary coach in 2003 and LBs coach in 2004. Austin earned his Master's degree from Southwest Minnesota State in 2005.

Patriots RB James White's relative, Craig White, played football at the University of Minnesota.

College Connections

Vikings T Riley Reiff (2008-11), Vikings DT Jaleel Johnson (2012-16), Patriots DE Adrian Clayborn (2006-10) and Patriots OL James Ferentz (2008-12) all played at the University of Iowa. Ferentz's dad, Kirk, is the head coach at Iowa and coached all four former Hawkeyes.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was teammates at Michigan State with Patriots QB Brian Hoyer from 2007-08.

Patriots DL Adam Butler and Vikings DE Stephen Weatherly were teammates at Vanderbilt from 2013-15.


George Iloka: 3 games, 15 tackles, 1 FF (with Bengals)

Linval Joseph: 3 games, 7 tackles, 1 QBH (with Giants)

Tom Johnson: 2 games, 2 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 2 TFL, 2 QBH (with Saints and Vikings)

Sheldon Richardson: 8 games, 35 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 5 TFL, 8 QBH, 1 FF (with Jets)


DT Linval Joseph has faced the Patriots three times, including a 21-17 victory over New England as a New York Giant in Super Bowl XLVI. Joseph recorded two tackles and a QB hit in the championship effort.

DT Tom Johnson has posted a sack against the Patriots in e ach of his career games against New England — as a member of the Saints (Oct. 13, 2013) and Vikings (Sept. 14, 2014).

DT Sheldon Richardson recorded four tackles, a sack and forced a fumble at New England (Oct. 25, 2015), as a member of the New York Jets.


The Vikings and Patriots have only played 12 times since beginning the series in 1970. New England is 8-4.

The Vikings and Patriots have played two overtime games, and both were claimed by New England.

The last time the Vikings and Patriots met was in Week 2 of the 2014 season, a 30-7 Patriots win.

The Vikings last won at New England on Sept. 17, 2000, claiming a 21-13 victory.