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Game Preview: Vikings-Chargers

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings will meet the Chargers in Los Angeles for the first time ever on Sunday.

Minnesota (9-4) defeated Detroit 20-7 on Sunday and now will make its final road trip of the regular season. The Chargers (5-8) walloped the Jaguars 45-10 but it was too little too late to prevent elimination from the AFC Playoffs.

Since Week 5, Kirk Cousins has totaled an NFL-best passer rating of 120.0. He leads the NFL with 21 touchdown passes and ranks third with 2,539 passing yards and a completion percentage of 72.0 in that span.

Dalvin Cook ranks fourth the NFL with 1,108 rushing yards and is tied for first with 13 scores on the ground. He also ranks second with 1,611 yards from scrimmage, the fifth-most in team history through the first 13 games of a season.

Kyle Rudolph has at least one touchdown in five of the past seven games. He leads all NFL tight ends with six receiving scores since Week 7.

Stefon Diggs is fifth among receiving qualifiers with a per-catch average of 17.8 yards. He also ranks 10th in the league with 997 yards. Diggs needs 25 receiving yards to top the 1,021 he totaled in 2018 for a new single-season best.

Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter became the youngest player in NFL history to record 50 career sacks, reaching the milestone at the age of 25 years, 40 days. His 3.0 on the day pushed his season-long total to 12.5, which is tied for fourth in the NFL, and career tally to 52.5.

Minnesota's offense ranks 11th in yards per game (374.8), fifth in yards per play (6.03), fourth in rushing yards per game (135.8), 14th in passing yards per game (239.1) and seventh in points per game (26.1).

Los Angeles' offense ranks 10th in the NFL in yards per game (375.7), fourth in yards per play (6.06) and 22nd in rushing yards per game (97.2). The Chargers are fifth in passing yards per game (278.5) and 18th in points per game (22.2).

The Vikings rank seventh in the NFL in points against (19.2), 14th in yards allowed per game (338.5), 11th in rushing yards allowed per game (101.8) and 16th in passing yards allowed per game (236.6).

The Chargers are eighth in the NFL in points against (19.3), fourth in yards allowed per game (304.8), 17th in rushing yards allowed per game (108.2) and fourth in passing yards allowed per game (196.6).

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



Play-by-Play: Greg Gumbel

Analyst: Trent Green

Sideline Reporter: Melanie Collins


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 | 1 p.m. (CT)

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


ESPN Radio

Play-by-Play: Marc Kestecher

Analyst: Jack Del Rio


Sirius: MIN 135 or Streaming 819; LAC 121 or Streaming 816

XM: MIN Streaming 819; LAC 233 or Streaming 816


Pro Bowl Voting

Last chance! Vote to help make sure all your favorite Vikings make the 2020 Pro Bowl in Orlando. Voting ends Dec. 12, 2019.


Harrison Smith has 767 career tackles (team stats) and is three tackles away from passing cornerback Antoine Winfield, who teamed with Smith during the safety's rookie season of 2012. Smith recorded his 22nd career interception in Week 14 to move into a tie with Orlando Thomas and John Turner for seventh in Vikings history.


Minnesota has opened a season 9-4 for the fourth time (1974, 1988, 1992 and 2019). The team made the playoffs after each of the previous 9-4 starts.

Mike Zimmer is 5-2 against AFC West teams as head coach of the Vikings.

The Vikings offense has allowed only 23 sacks in 2019, which is the seventh-fewest in 2019. Minnesota suffered 40 in 2018.

QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 7,572 yards since joining the Vikings. He passed Brett Favre (6,711) in Week 10 for the seventh-most in team history. Warren Moon ranks sixth with 10,102 passing yards from 1994-96. Cousins also ranks seventh in franchise history with 54 passing touchdowns and needs five to pass Moon.

Since Week 5, the Vikings offense has averaged 397.3 yards per game, the second-most in the NFL in that span.

Kyle Rudolph needs three touchdown receptions to tie Sammy White (50) for fourth in Vikings history. Rudolph (421 receptions) passed Jake Reed (413) in Week 11 for fifth place on Minnesota's all-time list. Anthony Carter is fourth all-time with 478.

Irv Smith, Jr., has 31 receptions in 2019 and needs five to break Andrew Jordan's Vikings record of 35 receptions by a rookie tight end (1994).

The Vikings defense is tied with Pittsburgh for the fewest rushing touchdowns allowed in the NFL this season (five).

According to league stats, Eric Kendricks has a career-high 12 pass breakups on the season.


Vikings CB Trae Waynes and Chargers RB Melvin Gordon III grew up together in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where they teamed together at Bradford High School.

Los Angeles Special Teams Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach George Stewart was the receivers coach in Minnesota form 2007-16.


There are five California natives — LB Anthony Barr, LB Eric Kendricks, QB Sean Mannion, RB Alexander Mattison and G Dru Samia — on the Vikings 53-man roster. Minnesota tight ends coach Brian Pariani and defensive line coach Andre Patterson also are from California.

Chargers T Trey Pipkins III is from Apple Valley.


Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer (defensive coordinator) and Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn (running backs coach) overlapped at the Cowboys from 2005-06.

Minnesota Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor Gary Kubiak (1995-2005), Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Rick Dennison (1995-2008) and tight ends coach Brian Pariani (1995-2004) overlapped with Lynn (2000-02) in Denver.

Vikings receivers coach Drew Petzing coached with Chargers Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen in Cleveland in 2013.


Minnesota P Britton Colquitt (2016-18) and DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (2018) played with Los Angeles QB Tyrod Taylor (2018) and G Spencer Drango (2016-17) in Cleveland.

Colquitt (2009-15) overlapped with G/T Michael Schofield III (2014-16) and DT Sylvester Williams (2013-16) in Denver.


Vikings DT Jaleel Johnson and Chargers DB Desmond King II at Iowa

Minnesota DE Ifeadi Odenigbo and Los Angeles RB Justin Jackson at Northwestern

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook and Chargers S Derwin James, Jr., at Florida State

Minnesota LB Cameron Smith and Los Angeles LB Uchenna Nwosu at USC

Vikings TE Irv Smith, Jr., and Chargers LS Cole Mazza at Alabama

Minnesota K Dan Bailey and Los Angeles T Russell Okung at Oklahoma State

Vikings DT Armon Watts and Chargers TE Hunter Henry at Arkansas

Minnesota C Garrett Bradbury and Los Angeles DT Justin Jones at North Carolina State

Vikings C Pat Elflein and DT Jalyn Holmes at Ohio State with Chargers DE Joey Bosa



Everson Griffen: 1 game (1 start), 6 tackles (league stats), 1.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 2 TFL

Anthony Barr: 1 game (1 start), 6 tackles (league stats), 1.0 sack, 1 FF

Harrison Smith: 1 game (1 start), 8 tackles (league stats), 1 PBU, 1 TFL


Everson Griffen: 6 tackles and 1.5 sacks in Minnesota on Sept. 27, 2015

Anthony Barr: forced fumble during a sack of Philip Rivers to set up Minnesota's first three points of 31-14 win on Sept. 27, 2015

Harrison Smith: broke up a pass and recorded a tackle for loss in Minnesota on Sept. 27, 2015


1. Sunday's game will be the 13th meeting in the regular season between the franchises that first met on Dec. 5, 1971 in San Diego. The teams are 6-6 and neither franchise has ever won two games in a row in the series.

2. The most-famous meeting between the Vikings and Chargers occurred on Nov. 4, 2007. Chargers CB Antonio Cromartie returned a missed field goal 109 yards for a touchdown, the longest possible play in an NFL game. Former Vikings receiver/return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson later tied the mark with a 109-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Green Bay in 2013. That 2007 game also featured Adrian Peterson racking up the highest single-game rushing output in NFL history. Peterson rushed for 296 yards and three scores on 30 carries.

3. The Vikings hosted the Chargers on Aug. 28, 2016, in the first preseason game in U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota won 23-10.

Longest Vikings winning streak in series: 1 game (last win was Sept. 27, 2015)

Longest Vikings losing streak in series: 1 game (last win was Sept. 11, 2011)