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Game Preview: Vikings-Packers

EAGAN, Minn. — For the second time since 2015, the Vikings and Packers are heading into the final two weeks of a regular season in good standing for the playoffs.

Minnesota (10-4) needs one win or a loss by the Los Angeles Rams (8-6) in Week 16 or Week 17 to secure its third playoff berth under Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

Green Bay (11-3) already secured a playoff berth for the first time since 2016.

The Packers prevailed 21-16 in a Week 2 game at Lambeau Field in which officials took a Vikings touchdown off the board after reviewing and adding pass interference.

Green Bay has been atop the division for all of Matt LaFleur's first season as head coach and will have the tiebreaker on Minnesota if the teams finish with the same record.

Minnesota's offense ranks 10th in yards per game (372.6), fifth in yards per play (6.00), fourth in rushing yards per game (135.9), 12th in passing yards per game (236.8) and are tied for fifth in points per game (27.0).

Green Bay's offense ranks 21st in the NFL in yards per game (336.6), 17th in yards per play (5.49) and 17th in rushing yards per game (99.0). The Packers are 17th in passing yards per game (230.1) and 14th in points per game (23.6).

The Vikings are tied for sixth in the NFL in points against (18.5), 14th in yards allowed per game (338.5), eighth in rushing yards allowed per game (99.0) and 20th in passing yards allowed per game (239.9).

The Packers are ninth in the NFL in points against (20.2), 23rd in yards allowed per game (371.3), 24th in rushing yards allowed per game (120.9) and 22nd in passing yards allowed per game (250.4).

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

TV BROADCAST

National: ESPN

Local non-cable: WCCO in Minneapolis/St. Paul will also carry the ESPN broadcast

Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. (CT)

Play-by-Play: Joe Tessitore

Analyst: Booger McFarland

Sideline Reporter: Lisa Salters

ON MOBILE

Because this is a national broadcast, fans from coast to coast will be able to watch the game on their iOS mobile devices with the VIKINGS APP or VIKINGS MOBILE SITE (Safari browser only).

LOCAL RADIO

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 | 5 p.m. (CT)

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

NATIONAL RADIO

Westwood One

Play-by-Play: Kevin Harlan

Analyst: Kurt Warner

Sideline Reporter: Laura Okmin

SATELLITE RADIO

Sirius: GB 81 or Streaming 811; MIN 83 or Streaming 819; National 88; Spanish Streaming 970

XM: GB 225 or Streaming 811; MIN 226 Streaming 819; National 88; Spanish Streaming 970

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.

STAT OF THE WEEK

The Vikings totaled seven takeaways in Week 15, recording three interceptions and recovering four fumbles. It was the 13th time in franchise history to record seven or more takeaways and first since Sept. 24, 1995, at Pittsburgh.

NORSEMAN NOTES

This is the third time in Vikings history that the team has started a season 10-4 (1974, 1988 and 2019). The Vikings made the playoffs the previous two times they started 10-4.

Since Week 5, the Vikings offense has averaged 392.0 yards per game, which ranks fifth in the NFL in that span.

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

QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 7,779 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 55 passing touchdowns and needs four to pass Moon.

Kyle Rudolph needs three touchdown receptions to tie Sammy White (50) for fourth in Vikings history. Rudolph (424 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 33 receptions in 2019 and needs three to break Andrew Jordan's Vikings record of 35 receptions by a rookie tight end (1994).

The Vikings defense has allowed the fewest rushing touchdowns in the NFL this season (five).

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

VIKINGS-PACKERS CONNECTIONS

Packers inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti's father, Tom, was a defensive assistant with the Vikings from 1996-99.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

Vikings CB Trae Waynes is from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Packers T/G Billy Turner is from Arden Hills, Minnesota. His father, Maurice, was picked by Minnesota in the 12th round of the 1983 NFL Draft. He played for the Vikings (1984-85), Packers (1985) and Jets (1987).

COACHING CONNECTIONS

Minnesota Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor Gary Kubiak was head coach of the Houston Texans when Green Bay Head Coach Matt LaFleur was an offensive assistant (2008-09).

PROFESSIONAL CONNECTIONS

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins worked with Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur as his quarterbacks coach for two seasons in Washington (2012-13).

Cousins teamed with Packers LB Preston Smith with the Redskins from 2016-18.

Vikings backup QB Sean Mannion was with the Rams when LaFleur was the offensive coordinator in 2017.

Vikings T Rashod Hill teamed with Packers TE Marcedes Lewis in Jacksonville in 2016.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

Vikings WR Bisi Johnson played for Packers WR coach Alvis Whitted at Colorado State (2015-18).

Vikings DT Shamar Stephen and Green Bay backup QB Tim Boyle at Connecticut (2013)

Vikings TE Irv Smith, Jr., Packers CB Tony Brown and P JK Scott at Alabama (2016-17)

Vikings T Riley Reiff and Packers T Bryan Bulaga at Iowa (2008-10); Vikings DT Jaleel Johnson and Packers CB Josh Jackson at Iowa (2014-16)

Vikings DE Stephen Weatherly and Packers ILB Oren Burks at Vanderbilt (2013-15)

Vikings LB Anthony Barr (2010-13) and LB Eric Kendricks (2010-14), and Packers DL Kenny Clark (2013-15) are former UCLA Bruins. Vikings running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu was UCLA's offensive coordinator and running backs coach from 2014-16.

Vikings assistant special teams coach Ryan Ficken was at UCLA when Packers TE Marcedes Lewis was a Bruin (2003-05).

Vikings CB Mackensie Alexander (2013-15), CB Mark Fields (2015-18) and S Jayron Kearse (2013-15) are former Clemson Tigers, along with Packers LB B.J. Goodson (2011-15).

Vikings assistant defensive line coach Rob Rodriguez coached linebackers and special teams at UTEP when Packers RB Aaron Jones was with the Miners (2013-14).

Vikings DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (2012-16) and Eric Wilson (2012) spent time at Northwestern with Packers DL Dean Lowry (2012-15) and FB Danny Vitale (2012-15). Packers DL Tyler Lancaster also went to Northwestern from 2013-17. Vikings offensive quality control coach Christian Jones played receiver at Northwestern from 2011-15.

Vikings G Pat Elflein and Packers C Corey Linsley teamed for two seasons at Ohio State.

VIKINGS TOP PERFORMERS VS. PACKERS

Offense

Kirk Cousins: 5 games (one postseason with Washington), 128-of-194 passing, 66.0 completion percentage, 1,701 passing yards, 12 TDs, 3 INT, 112.8 passer rating; 16 rushes for 45 yards and a TD

Stefon Diggs: 8 games, 43 receptions, 599 yards, 7 TDs; 3 rushes for 16 yards

Adam Thielen: 11 games, 57 receptions, 767 yards, 4 TDs; 3 rushes for 71 yards

Kyle Rudolph: 16 games (one postseason), 59 receptions, 638 yards, 3 TDs

Dalvin Cook: 3 games, 40 rushes for 221 yards, TD; 9 receptions for 136 yards and a TD

Defense

Everson Griffen: 20 games (one postseason), 47 tackles (league stats), 12.5 sacks, 15 TFL, 2 FF

Harrison Smith: 14 games (one postseason), 90 tackles (league stats), 2.0 sacks, 8 TFL, 5 INT, 9 PBU

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. PACKERS

Adam Thielen has posted multiple big performances against Green Bay and twice has set the team record for most receptions against the Packers with 12 (Dec. 24, 2016; Sept. 16, 2018).

Stefon Diggs racked up a career-high 182 receiving yards and snagged a career-long 75-yard catch against the Packers on Sept. 19, 2016, the first-ever game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Dalvin Cook had a career-high 154 rushing yards at Green Bay in Week 2, a performance highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown run.

At home against the Packers in Week 11 of 2018, Cousins was 29-of-38 passing for 342 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Everson Griffen recorded a career-high 3.0 sacks against the Packers in the 2012 regular-season finale. In the NFC North-clinching victory in Week 17 of the 2015 season, he totaled 2.0 sacks and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

Harrison Smith posted a pair of marquee games against the Packers in 2017. On Oct. 15, he recorded five tackles, 1.5 sacks, one tackle for loss, two passes defensed, two quarterback hits and an interception. In the second meeting with Green Bay that season, Smith nabbed two interceptions to help the Vikings shut out the Packers at Lambeau Field.

VIKINGS-PACKERS SERIES NOTES

1. Since 2008, the Vikings (four) and the Packers (five) have combined for nine of the 11 NFC North titles. One of those teams will make it 10 of 12 this season.

2. The Vikings and Packers have met eight times on Monday Night Football and split the results evenly. This will be the first MNF matchup in Minnesota since Oct. 5, 2009

3. Under Zimmer, the Vikings are 5-5-1 against Green Bay, including 3-2 in home games

Longest Vikings winning streak in series: 7 games (Nov. 2, 1975 through Oct. 22, 1978)

Longest Vikings losing streak in series: 6 games (Oct. 22, 1961 through Nov. 10, 1963)

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