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Game Preview: Vikings at Redskins

The Minnesota Vikings (5-3) hit the road for a matchup against the Washington Redskins (4-3-1) in Week 10. Minnesota is searching for its first win since Week 5 and its first road win since Week 3. Washington, who is coming off a bye week, last tied with Cincinnati, 27-27, in London in Week 8. Minnesota is powered by the NFL's top-ranked defense in points allowed, giving up 15.8 points per game, and an offensive unit that has committed a turnover in only one of eight games this season, helping the team rank second in the NFL with a plus-12 turnover margin.

The Vikings defense, which ranks third in the NFL, allowing 298.9 yards per game, has 17 takeaways (10 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries), third-most in the NFL. The Vikings defense has held opponents to a 70.5 passer rating, the third-best mark in the league. DE Everson Griffen, who has posted back-to-back double digit sack seasons entering 2016, is third in the NFC among DEs with 6.0 sacks on the season. LB Chad Greenway grabbed his 11th career interception vs. Detroit (11/6), tying him for fifth all-time among Vikings linebackers.

WR Stefon Diggs, who ranks seventh in the NFL with 6.9 receptions per game, grabbed a career-high 13 passes for 80 yards vs. Detroit. QB Sam Bradford, who has started seven games since being acquired via trade from Philadelphia on Sept. 3, is seventh in the NFL with a 99.0 passer rating. Bradford has thrown nine touchdowns and one interception on 166-of-243 passing (68.3 percent, fourth in NFL).

BROADCAST COVERAGE

NATIONAL TELEVISION: FOX; Play-by-Play: Dick Stockton; Analyst: Chris Spielman; Sideline: Kristina Pink

NATIONAL RADIO: WESTWOOD ONE SPORTS; Play-by-Play: Tom McCarthy; Analyst: Ross Tucker; Pre-game/Halftime Show Host: Scott Graham

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

  • With 32 catches for 323 yards and four touchdowns through 8 games, TE Kyle Rudolph moved into second for receptions in team history by a tight end with 214. Rudolph, who caught his 26th career touchdown in Week 9, is just two touchdowns shy of matching Steve Jordan's Vikings team record for TDs by a TE with 28.
  • In just seven starts in 2016, QB Sam Bradford has four games with a passer rating over 100, tying a career high. Bradford had four such games in 2012 with St. Louis and 2015 with Philadelphia. Bradford's four games with a 100-plus passer rating trails only Drew Brees (five) this season.
  • Minnesota's five giveaways through Week 9 is the lowest total in team history, and the Vikings have the best TO differential ( 12) since going plus-13 through Week 9 in 2003.
  • The Vikings defense allows a league-best 4.3 yards per play on first downs in 2016.
  • CB Marcus Sherels leads the NFL with two punt return touchdowns in 2016 and is fourth with a 13.7 punt return avg. Sherels is the only Viking in team history to return two punts for touchdowns in a single season.
  • On passing attempts over 20 yards, the Vikings defense has held opponents to 8-of-32 passing, 228 yards, no touchdowns and recorded four interceptions for an NFL-low passer rating of 17.2.
  • WR Stefon Diggs' 13 receptions vs. Detroit (11/6) is third in Vikings history in a single game behind WR Cris Carter's 14 receptions at Arizona (10/2/94) and RB Rickey Young's 15 receptions at New England (12/16/79).
  • WR Cordarrelle Patterson has caught at least three passes in the Vikings past five games, the longest such streak of his career.
  • The Vikings have thrown one interception on 276 passing attempts in 2016, trailing only the Patriots who have thrown no interceptions on 249 passing attempts.

VIKINGS-REDSKINS CONNECTIONS

· Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer worked with Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden in Cincinnati from 2011-13. Mike Zimmer was the Defensive Coordinator, while Gruden was the Offensive Coordinator under Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Linebackers Coach Adam Zimmer was also on staff in Cincinnati in 2013 as the Assistant DBs Coach. Both Gruden and Zimmer earned their 1st head coaching jobs in the NFL in 2014.

· Redskins Area Scout Kyle Smith signed with the Vikings as a college free agent, where he spent part of the 2006 offseason.

· Redskins Defensive Line Coach Robb Akey served as the Vikings Assistant Defensive Line Coach in Zimmer's 1st season as Minnesota's Head Coach in 2014.

· Redskins Offensive Line Coach Chris Foerster earned his first NFL coaching job with the Vikings serving as the Assistant Offensive Line Coach/Tight Ends Coach in 1993 after spending the 1992 season as the Minnesota Golden Gophers Offensive Line Coach.

· Redskins Inside Linebackers Coach Kirk Olivadotti is the son of Tom Olivadotti who was the Vikings Linebackers Coach from 1996-99.

· Redskins G/C Kory Lichtensteiger, who is currently on IR, spent time on the Vikings roster during the 2009 season.

· Redskins C John Sullivan spent the opening 8 seasons of his career with the Vikings and has started the 4th most games among Cs in team history. Sullivan, who was named the Vikings Man of the Year in 2013, appeared in 109 games while starting 93 for Minnesota.

· Redskins Outside Linebackers Coach Greg Manusky played LB for the Vikings from 1991-93.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

· Vikings WR Stefon Diggs hails from Gaithersburg, MD and went to Good Counsel HS. Diggs also attended nearby University of Maryland.

· Vikings Personnel Consultant Conrad Cardano was born in Washington, DC and attended nearby Bladensburg (MD) High School.

· Vikings S Anthony Harris hails from Chesterfield, VA where he attended Lloyd C. Bird HS before going to the University of Virginia.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

· Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland was a teammate in the defensive backfield at Clemson in 2013 with Vikings rookie DBs - CB Mackensie Alexander and S Jayron Kearse.

· Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes played at Florida State with Redskins RB Chris Thompson and K Dustin Hopkins.

· Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd and Redskins RB Mack Brown, CB Quinton Dunbar, RB Matt Jones and TE Jordan Reed all played at Florida together.

· Vikings T Jeremiah Sirles played at Nebraska with Redskins LB Will Compton, G Spencer Long and TE Niles Paul. Both Long and Sirles arrived on campus in 2009 as redshirts before becoming full-time starters on the same offensive line in 2012 and 2013.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. REDSKINS

  • Last season as a member of the Eagles, Vikings QB Sam Bradford tied his career high with 3 passing TDs and totaled a 122.6 passer rating, a then career high (min. 20 att.), at Washington (10/4/15). In Week 16 of last season, Bradford set career highs in attempts (56), completions (37) and passing yards (380) vs. Washington (12/26).
  • Vikings CB Terence Newman has 9 career INTs vs. the Redskins, the most against a single opponent. Newman has picked off 5 different Redskin QBs - Tim Hasselbeck, Patrick Ramsey, Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell and Rex Grossman. As a rookie, Newman recorded a career-high 3 INTs at Washington (12/14/03).
  • Vikings CB Captain Munnerlyn set his career high with 9 tackles against the Redskins as a member of the Panthers (11/4/12). In the last matchup between the Vikings and Redskins at TCF Bank Stadium (11/2/14), Munnerlyn snagged 1 of his 4 INTs since joining the Vikings.
  • Vikings RB Matt Asiata, for the 3rd time in his career, tied a Vikings record by scoring 3 rushing TDs in the same game vs. Washington (11/2/14). Asiata trails only Adrian Peterson (5) for the most 3-rushing TD performances.
  • Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson recorded his 1st NFL receiving TD against the Redskins during his rookie season. Patterson hauled in a 2-yard TD pass helping the Vikings to a 34-27 victory vs. Washington (11/7/13).
  • Vikings DE Everson Griffen has recorded sacks in back-to-back games against the Redskins, including an 8-tackle, 1.0-sack and 3-TFL effort in the last meeting vs. Washington (11/2/14).
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