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Game Preview: Vikings at Seahawks

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) will visit the Seattle Seahawks (7-5) for the second of back-to-back road games and a prime-time showdown with playoff implications.

The Vikings are coming off a 24-10 loss at New England. Seattle eliminated San Francisco from postseason contention with a 43-16 blowout victory at home.

Minnesota is 2-3-1 on the road, and Seattle is 3-2 at home this season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. (CT) Monday, and the game will air on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

The Vikings defense has allowed 327.8 yards per game, the sixth-lowest average in the NFL. Vikings DE Danielle Hunter is tied for fourth in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, helping power a pass rush that has generated 36 sacks this season, eighth-most in the NFL.

Minnesota’s offense ranks 16th in the NFL in total yards per game with an average of 360.9 through 12 games. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 3,490 yards, the sixth-highest total in the NFL and totaling a 99.1 passer rating, 12th best in the NFL.

WR Adam Thielen is on a record-breaking pace, recording a league-leading 98 receptions, the third-most in NFL history through the first 12 games of a season. Thielen's 1,166 receiving yards rank second in the NFL, and his nine receiving touchdowns are tied for fifth. Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who ranks sixth in the NFL with 84 receptions, join Steelers WRs Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster as the only WR duos in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in catches this season. The Vikings WR corps leads all WR groups league-wide with 233 receptions and is tied for third with 20 touchdowns in 2018.

TELEVISION:

ESPN (game also will air on WCCO Channel 4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Play-by-Play: Joe Tessitore

Analyst: Jason Witten (booth)

Analyst: Booger McFarland (sideline)

Sideline Reporter: Lisa Salters

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 – 5 p.m. (CT)

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

NATIONAL RADIO

Play-by-Play: Kevin Harlan

Analyst: Kurt Warner

Sideline Reporter: Scott Kaplan

SATELLITE RADIO

Sirius: 81 or Streaming 819 (MIN); 83 or Streaming 828 (SEA)

XM: 226 Streaming 819 (MIN); 225 or Streaming 828 (SEA)

NORSE NOTES

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) 61 consecutive games, which is the longest streak for any TE all-time in Vikings history. Rudolph started his 100th career game vs. New England.

S Harrison Smith and Chargers S Derwin James each have three interceptions and 3.0 sacks. They are the first NFL players with that combination since Landon Collins and Ryan Shazier in 2016.

QB Kirk Cousins’ 3,490 passing yards are the second-most passing yards through 12 games to start a season in team history (Warren Moon had 3,511 in 1994). Cousins needs 328 yards to set the team record for the most passing yards through 13 games to start a season.

Despite missing a game, WR Stefon Diggs’ 84 receptions are sixth in the NFL this season and the fourth-most in team history through 12 games to start a season.

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

The Vikings defense has held opponents to a third-down conversion rate of 29.9 percent, the best in the NFL.

STAT OF THE WEEK

The Vikings defense has allowed 150 rushes of at least four yards this season, the third fewest in the NFL. The Seahawks offense leads the NFL with 188 rushes of four-plus yards this season.

Fewest rushes of four-plus yards allowed, 2018

1. Philadelphia Eagles, 138

2. Carolina Panthers, 141

3. Minnesota Vikings, 150

Most rushes of four-plus yards, 2018

1. Seattle Seahawks, 188

2. Baltimore Ravens, 185

3. Los Angeles Rams, 177

VIKINGS-SEAHAWKS CONNECTIONS

Seattle Seahawks Executive VP of Football Operations and Head Coach Pete Carroll served as the DBs coach with the Minnesota Vikings from 1985-89. Carroll’s son, Nate, is the Seahawks WRs Coach and was born in Edina, Minnesota, during the elder Carroll’s stint with the Vikings.

Vikings DT Tom Johnson spent the start of the 2018 season with the Seahawks before rejoining the Vikings prior to Week 3 after being released by Seattle. Johnson had spent the 2014-17 seasons with Minnesota before signing with Seattle during the 2018 offseason. Johnson started one game for the Seahawks before being released.

Vikings DT Sheldon Richardson spent the 2017 season with the Seahawks, starting all 15 games he played for the club.

Seahawks DT Shamar Stephen, who has started 10 of the 11 games he's played this season, spent the first four years of his career with the Vikings, appearing in 52 games (20 starts) with the club.

Vikings DB coach Jerry Gray coached the Seahawks DBs in 2010.

Seattle area scout Todd Brunner’s father, John, coached for the Minnesota Vikings from 1987-91.

Vikings LB Eric Kendricks’ older brother, Mychal Kendricks, is slated to play his first game as a Seahawk. This matchup will be the third NFL game between the brothers. The most recent meeting occurred in last season's NFC Championship Game. The first matchup between the brothers occurred on Oct. 29, 2011, when Eric's UCLA Bruins defeated Mychal's Cal Bears, 31-14, in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl. Vikings LB Anthony Barr also played in that game as a RB.

Local Connections

Seattle Seahawks Co-Director of Player Personnel Trent Kirchner is a Minnesota native and graduated from St. John’s University (Minnesota), where he played QB for two years. He also interned with the Minnesota Twins in 1999.

Seahawks Pro Personnel Scout Willie Schneider is a Saint Paul, Minnesota, native. He attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School and was a three-sport athlete in football, hockey and baseball. Schneider is a graduate of the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul.

Seahawks Research Analyst Brian Eayrs attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis where he played QB. Eayrs’ father, Mike, held a similar position for the Vikings and Packers before retiring.

Seahawks Director of Health and Player Performance Sam Ramsden grew up in La Crescent, Minnesota.

Seattle Seahawks Executive VP/General Manager John Schneider is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

college Connections

Vikings LB Anthony Barr, LB Eric Kendricks and LS Kevin McDermott were teammates with Seahawks QB Brett Hundley while at UCLA.

Vikings DE Everson Griffen played for Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll while at USC.

VIKINGS TOP PERFORMERS VS. SEAHAWKS

Kirk Cousins: 2 games, 42-of-67 passing, 62.7 completion percentage, 530 passing yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, 1-1 record

Everson Griffen: 4 games, 10 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 TFL, 5 QB hits

Linval Joseph: 3 games, 11 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit, 2 PD

Eric Kendricks: 2 games, 15 tackles, 2 PD, 2 QB hits

Trae Waynes: 2 games, 1 tackle, 2 PD, 1 INT

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. SEAHAWKS

QB Kirk Cousins won his lone career start at Seattle (Nov. 5, 2017), throwing for 247 yards on 21-of-31 passing with no touchdowns and no interceptions, finishing with a passer rating of 91.7. In a game that was 36 degrees and rainy, Cousins led a game-winning, four-play, 70-yard drive that was capped with a touchdown with 59 seconds remaining for a 17-14 victory by Washington.

DE Everson Griffen had six tackles, a sack and four quarterback hits in the Vikings NFC Wild Card Game vs. Seattle (Jan. 10, 2016).

CB Trae Waynes recorded his first career interception off Russell Wilson in the Vikings NFC Wild Card Game vs. Seattle (Jan. 10, 2016). Waynes, who was a rookie, also had a tackle and two passes defended in the contest.

VIKINGS-SEAHAWKS SERIES NOTES

The Vikings and Seahawks have met just 15 times (including one playoff game). Seattle is 10-5 against Minnesota and has taken the past four meetings.

The Vikings and Seahawks met in the third-coldest game in NFL history on Jan. 10, 2016, a Wild Card matchup when the temperature was minus-6 degrees Fahrenheit. The game was played outdoors at the University of Minnesota. The Seahawks won 10-9 after a late rally.

Seattle’s first head coach in franchise history was former Vikings DL Coach Jack Patera, who coached for the Vikings from 1969-75 and for the Seahawks from 1976-82.

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