The Minnesota Vikings (1-0-1) return to U.S. Bank Stadium this week to host the Buffalo Bills (0-2). The game, scheduled to kick off at noon (CT), will be the 14th meeting between the franchises and sixth held in Minnesota. The Vikings are 4-1 in previous home games against the Bills.
Buffalo lost 31-20 at home against the Chargers in Week 2. The Vikings tied the Packers for the third time in 116 total meetings with Green Bay. It was the 11th tie in Minnesota's 57-plus seasons.
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins threw for 425 yards, the fourth-highest total of his career, and tied a career high with four touchdown passes at Green Bay (9/16/18), his first career start at Lambeau Field. Cousins led his ninth career fourth-quarter/overtime comeback for a win or tie, throwing for 219 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on 14-of-20 passing (70.0 percent), totaling a 124.8 passer rating in the fourth quarter and overtime in Week 2. Minnesota's offense ranks fifth in the NFL in yards per game (411.5), as well as ranking fifth in passing yards per game (319.5), through two games in 2018.
For the first time since vs. the New York Jets (Dec. 7, 2014), the Vikings had a duo each record over 100 yards receiving in the same game with WR Adam Thielen's 131-yard effort and WR Stefon Diggs tallying 128 yards against the Packers in Week 2. Vikings RB Dalvin Cook has totaled 185 yards from scrimmage (107 receiving, 78 rushing) in his first two games back from a knee injury that ended his 2017 season after just four games.
The Vikings defense, which ranks 14th in yards allowed (339.0 per game) in 2018, is tied for fifth in the NFL in sacks with 7.0. Since the beginning of last season and including Week 1 vs. the 49ers, the Vikings defense has held opponents to 12.9 points per game (best in the NFL) and a 70.3 passer rating (second best in the NFL) at home.
The Vikings will induct former head coach Dennis Green into the team's Ring of Honor on Sunday during a halftime ceremony. Along with the celebration of the late Dennis Green, the Vikings will also be hosting Vikings Legends Weekend during the weekend of the Bills game.
NATIONAL TV BROADCAST
CBS (WCCO in Minneapolis/St. Paul)
Play-by-Play: Jim Nantz
Analyst: Tony Romo
Sideline Reporters: Tracy Wolfson
KFAN 100.3-FM/KTLK-AM 1130
Play-by-play: Paul Allen
Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporters: Greg Coleman and Ben Leber
Radio Pre-game Show: Mike Mussman | 10 a.m. (CT)
KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 63-station, five-state Vikings Radio Network.
Sirius: 105 (streaming 819)
XM: 232 (streaming 819)
With 18 receptions, WR Adam Thielen has tied Percy Harvin in 2012 for the most receptions through the opening two games of a season in team history. Thielen also joins Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson and Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster as the only players in the NFL to have 100-plus receiving yards in each of the 1st 2 games.
Vikings DT Sheldon Richardson (six QB hits) and DE Everson Griffen (five) have combined to tie for the most QB hits (11) among any duo in the NFL. Philadelphia's DT Fletcher Cox (seven) and DE Chris Long (four) also have 11 QB hits in 2018.
In Week 1 vs. San Francisco, TE Kyle Rudolph caught his 16th TD pass dating back to the start of the 2016 season, tied with Packers TE Jimmy Graham for the most in the NFL among all TEs.
S Harrison Smith is the only player in the NFL to record at least 6 INTs and 2.0 sacks since the start of last season.
Since the start of 2017, QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 1,453 yards, 11 TDs and 2 INTs totaling a 106.9 passer rating and has posted a 4-1 record in games played in September.
Vikings DE Danielle Hunter has recorded a sack in both contests in 2018. Richardson and Griffen have split sacks in both games to start the season.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs has caught at least one touchdown in five consecutive games, trailing only Hall of Famers Cris Carter (six from Nov. 24, 1996 to Aug. 31, 1997 and seven from Oct. 17, 1999 to Dec. 6, 1999) and Randy Moss (seven from Nov. 15, 1998 to Dec. 26, 1998 and 10 from Nov. 30, 2003 to Oct. 17, 2004).
STAT OF THE WEEK
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins tied Daunte Culpepper for the fourth-most passing yards in a road game in franchise history with his 425 passing yards in Week 2.
1. Tommy Kramer, 490 at WAS, Nov. 2, 1986
2. Tommy Kramer, 444 at SD, Oct. 11, 1981
3. Randall Cunningham, 442 at GB, Oct. 5, 1998
4. (tie) Daunte Culpepper, 425 at NO, Oct. 17, 2004
4. (tie) Kirk Cousins, 425 at GB, Sept. 16, 2018
DENNIS GREEN TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE VIKINGS RING OF HONOR
The Minnesota Vikings will induct former head coach Dennis Green in the club's Ring of Honor in during a halftime ceremony on Sunday.
"Dennis Green's impact on the Minnesota Vikings, and really the entire NFL, is still felt to this day," said Mark Wilf. "In addition to being widely regarded as one of the NFL's top coaches, Denny was also known as a great mentor and leader by all who had the fortune of being in his presence. We're extremely honored to forever memorialize Denny and his family in the Vikings Ring of Honor, and we're looking forward to the induction."
Green, who was one of the most influential figures in the history of the franchise, was named the fifth head coach of the Minnesota Vikings on Jan.10, 1992, a post he held through 2002. Green coached 171 total games in 10 seasons with the Vikings, leading the team to four Central Division titles, the NFC Championship game twice and a 101-70-0 (.591) overall record, giving him the second-most wins in franchise history behind only Bud Grant (168). In 1998, Green's Vikings boasted one of the best offenses in NFL history as the team set the NFL single-season scoring record at 556 points, averaging 34.8 points per game. In eight of the 10 seasons under Green's guidance, the Vikings earned playoff berths. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, native was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1992 by the Washington Touchdown Club and in 1998 by Sports Illustrated and the Maxwell Club. An advocate of community involvement, Green initiated Community Tuesdays, which had players active in the Twin Cities on their day off, a concept that spread to the entire NFL.
Green is the lone inductee in 2018 after the team inducted two wide receivers – Randy Moss and Ahmad Rashad – in 2017. The addition of Green will bring the Vikings Ring of Honor to 24 members. Current members include: Fran Tarkenton, Alan Page, Jim Finks, Bud Grant, Paul Krause, Fred Zamberletti, Jim Marshall, Ron Yary, Korey Stringer, Mick Tingelhoff, Carl Eller, Cris Carter, Bill Brown, Jerry Burns, Randall McDaniel, Chuck Foreman, John Randle, Scott Studwell, Chris Doleman, Matt Blair, Joey Browner, Ahmad Rashad and Randy Moss.
Bills Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier spent parts of four seasons (2010-13) as the Vikings Head Coach where he held a 21-32-1 record. Frazier first joined the Vikings as the Defensive Coordinator in 2007.
Bills Director of College Scouting Terrance Gray spent 11 seasons (2006-16) with the Vikings as a College Scout.
Vikings LS Kevin McDermott's younger brother, Conor McDermott, plays T for the Bills. The McDermott brothers were also teammates at UCLA with Vikings LBs Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks.
Vikings DBs Coach Jerry Gray served as the Bills Defensive Coordinator from 2001-05, his first stint as a defensive coordinator in the NFL.
Bills Director of Pro Personnel Malik Boyd played for the Vikings from 1994-95 under Head Coach Dennis Green who is getting inducted into the club's Ring of Honor during halftime of the Bills-Vikings contest, appearing in 16 games and recording one career interception for Minnesota.
Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards held the same title with Buffalo from 2010-11.Vikings TEs Coach Todd Downing was the Bills QBs Coach in 2014.
Bills G Vladimir Ducasse played in all 16 games with six starts in his lone season with the Vikings in 2014.
Vikings WR Chad Beebe, who is on the Vikings practice squad, was born in Buffalo, New York, while his dad, Don, played for the Bills. Don Beebe played in 76 games with 44 starts and totaled 164 receptions for 2,537 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career with the Bills from 1989-94.
Vikings RB Latavius Murray's hometown is Onondaga, New York, approximately two-and-a-half hours east of Buffalo. Murray attended Onondaga Central HS.
VIKINGS TOP PERFORMERS VS. BILLS
Anthony Barr: 1 game, 10 tackles, 2 FRs, 1 PD
Everson Griffen: 2 games, 8 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 1 FF
George Iloka: 4 games, 20 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PD
Linval Joseph: 2 games, 4 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 QBH
Sheldon Richardson: 8 games, 45 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 6 QBH, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 PD
Harrison Smith: 1 game, 5 tackles, 1 QBH, 1 FF
Kirk Cousins: 1 game, 22-of-28 passing, 319 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 153.7 passer rating, three rushes, 11 yards, 1 rush TD
Latavius Murray: 2 games, 43 rushes, 168 yards, 2 TD, 6 rec., 45 rec. yards
VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. BILLS
QB Kirk Cousins threw for 319 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs on 22-of-28 passing vs. Buffalo (Dec. 20, 2015), registering his 2nd-highest passer rating of his career with a 157.3-mark. Cousins, whose game against Buffalo helped him earn NFC Offensive Player of the Month in December of 2015, added a rushing TD on a 13-yard rush, leading the Redskins beat the Bills 35-25.
In LB Anthony Barr's seventh career game in the NFL, the rookie LB corralled 10 tackles, 1 PD and a career high 2 FRs at Buffalo (Oct. 19, 2014).
DE Everson Griffen registered 1 of 3 career 3.0-sack performances vs. Buffalo (Oct. 19, 2014). Along with matching his career high in sacks, Griffen totaled 8 tackles and forced a fumble.
S George Iloka helped lead the Bengals to a 20-16 victory vs. Buffalo (Oct. 8, 2017) last season. Iloka totaled 5 tackles and 1 INT against in the matchup.
RB Latavius Murray, as a member of the Raiders, had 20 carries for 82 yards and 2 TDs vs. Buffalo (Dec. 4, 2016) in a 38-24 victory.
VIKINGS-BILLS SERIES NOTES
The Vikings and Bills have met on four occasions all-time in September, and Buffalo holds a 3-1 advantage.
Vikings Ring of Honor member RB Chuck Foreman set a team record for most touchdowns in a single game at Buffalo (Dec. 20, 1975) scoring four times (two receiving, two rushing) in a 35-23 road win over the Bills.
Former Vikings RB Robert Smith had one of the best games of his career at Buffalo (Aug. 31, 1997) rushing for 169 yards (18th-most in team history) on 16 attempts, scoring on a 78-yard run (tied for 9th-longest in team history), helping Minnesota to a 34-13 victory.
In the 2010 contest vs. Buffalo (Dec, 5, 2010), the Vikings scored 24 points in the second quarter, tied for the 5th-highest output in a second quarter in team history. RB Adrian Peterson rushed for two touchdowns, and WR Sidney Rice caught one from QB Tarvaris Jackson. A field goal as the first half expired by K Ryan Longwell rounded out the scoring.