Following a 26-9 road loss at Pittsburgh, the Minnesota Vikings (1-1) return home in Week 3 to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0), who defeated the Chicago Bears 29-7 at home in Week 2. The Buccaneers will be making their 2017 road debut after having their Week 1 contest at Miami postponed due to Hurricane Irma. The Buccaneers posted a 5-3 road record last season. The Vikings own a 6-3 record at U.S. Bank Stadium since opening the venue last season.
Rookie RB Dalvin Cook has gotten off to a fast start with 191 rushing yards through two games, a rush total that is third-best in the NFL. Cook, whose 5.62 rushing average ranks fifth in the NFL, has totaled 166 rushing yards in the second halves of games in 2017, which trails only Kareem Hunt's 174 rushing yards in second halves. WR Adam Thielen led the Vikings in receptions in both games to start the season and ranks tied for fifth with 14 receptions entering Week 3.
DE Everson Griffen corralled his 50th and 51st career sacks at Pittsburgh, moving him 5.0 sacks away from tying former DT Henry Thomas and current DE Brian Robison for ninth all-time in Vikings history. Griffen's 3.0 sacks through the first two weeks put him in a tie for third in the NFL. The Vikings run defense has held opponents to 3.0 yards-per-rush, seventh-best in the NFL and hasn't allowed a run longer than 11 yards.
NATIONAL TELEVISION: FOX (Ch. 9 in Twin Cities)
Play-by-Play: Thom Brennaman Analyst: Chris Spielman
Sideline: Peter Schrager
LOCAL RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman & 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.
•WR Adam Thielen has five receptions over 20 yards through two weeks, the most in the NFL. His 157 receiving yards in Week 1 ranks second in franchise history behind Ahmad Rashad's 160 receiving yards in Week 1 of 1980.
• RB Dalvin Cook, who ran for 127 yards in Week 1, had the second-most yards among any player in their Vikings debut behind RB Herschel Walker's 148-yard effort vs. Green Bay (10/15/89).
• In Week 1 vs. New Orleans, TE Kyle Rudolph caught his 30th career touchdown, extending his franchise record for career touchdown receptions by a tight end.
• The Vikings offense has converted 14 third downs through two weeks, tied for third in the NFL.
• The Vikings defense has held opponents to only two touchdowns in nine red zone trips this season.
• Viking DE Everson Griffen has nine career 2 sack games and seven since becoming a full-time starter in 2014, tied for the fourth-most games in the NFL in that span.
• Thielen is tied with Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson for the NFL lead in 100-yard receiving games since Week 14 of last season with three over the century mark.
• FB C.J. Ham scored his first career touchdown on his first career carry at Pittsburgh on a 1-yard run.
• Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell had his first career multi-catch game grabbing three passes for 33 yards at Pittsburgh.
• Vikings CB Marcus Sherels (1,822) set the franchise record for career punt return yards at Pittsburgh, passing WR Leo Lewis (1,812) as the all-time leader.
• Buccaneers CB Josh Robinson played for the Vikings from 2012-15.
• Vikings assistant offensive line coach Andrew Janocko served as the Buccaneers offensive assistant from 2012-13.
• Buccaneers offensive assistant Skyler Fulton spent the 2005 offseason and a portion of training camp with the Vikings as a WR.
• Vikings defensive backs coach Jerry Gray played DB for the Buccaneers in 1993.
• Buccaneers defensive line coach Jay Hayes was the Vikings Special Teams Coach in 2002.
• Vikings K Kai Forbath spent the 2012 offseason and training camp with the Buccaneers before being released during final cuts.
• Buccaneers tight ends coach Ben Steele played TE and spent time with the Vikings during the 2003 and '04 seasons.
• Vikings T Mike Remmers spent time on the Buccaneers practice squad in 2012 and 2013.
• Vikings WR Rodney Adams and Buccaneers WR Bernard Reedy attended Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. The two were also teammates at Toledo in 2013 before Adams transferred back to the Tampa Area to attend USF where he played from 2014-16.
• Buccaneers assistant offensive line coach Butch Barry previously coached the offensive line at Southwest Minnesota State from 2004-05.
• Buccaneers Director or Football Technology Spencer Dille received both his Bachelors of Computer Engineering and Masters of Computer Science degrees from the University of Minnesota.
• Sunday's game features five former Florida State Seminoles - Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (2014-16), Buccaneers CB Javien Elliot (2014-15), CB Xavier Rhodes (2009-12), Buccaneers LS Garrison Sanborn (2004-07) and QB Jameis Winston (2012-14).
• Buccaneers CB Robert McClain was teammates at Connecticut with Vikings DT Shamar Stephen in 2009.
• Vikings G Nick Easton and Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate were teammates at Harvard from 2010-13.
• Buccaneers LBs Kwon Alexander and Kendell Beckwith were teammates with Vikings DEs Tashawn Bower and Danielle Hunter at LSU.
• Vikings CB Trae Waynes was teammates with Buccaneers DE William Gholston at Michigan State from 2011-12.
• Buccaneers LB Lavonte David and Vikings G Jeremiah Sirles played together from 2010-11 at Nebraska.
• Vikings QB Sam Bradford and DT Gerald McCoy played together at Oklahoma from 2007-09 including a trip to the BCS National Championship game in 2008. Bradford and McCoy were the 1st and 3rd picks in the 2010 NFL Draft, respectively.
• Vikings T Mike Remmers played at Oregon State with Buccaneers RB Jacquizz Rodgers from 2008-10.
• Buccaneers G Kevin Pamphile and DE Ryan Russell played for Vikings wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell while he served as the head coach for Purdue.
• Buccaneers OL Caleb Benenoch (2013-15) and Vikings LBs Anthony Barr (2010-13) and Eric Kendricks (2010-14) were all teammates at UCLA.
• Vikings RB Latavius Murray and Buccaneers CB Josh Robinson played together at Central Florida from 2009-11.
As a member of the Rams, QB Sam Bradford threw his career-long pass, an 80-yard touchdown to TE Lance Kendricks at Tampa Bay (12/23/12). Bradford finished with 196 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception (81.7 rating).
• Vikings CB Terence Newman, as a Bengal, recorded five tackles, one interception and two passes defended at Tampa Bay (11/30/14).
• Vikings DE Brian Robison set a career high with three passes defended against vs. Tampa Bay (10/25/12). In the most recent matchup, Robison recorded a sack at Tampa Bay (10/26/14).
• Vikings DE Everson Griffen had seven tackles, 1.0 sack, one tackle for loss and eight QB hurries at Tampa Bay (10/26/14).
• Vikings LB Anthony Barr totaled nine tackles, 1.0 sack, three QB hurries, one pass defended, one forced fumble and notched the first game-winning touchdown on a fumble return in OT in Vikings history at Tampa Bay (10/26/14), forcing, recovering and returning the fumble 27 yards for the score on the first play from scrimmage in the OT period.
Anthony Barr: 1 game, 9 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 PD 1 FF, 1 FR (returned 27 yards for the game-winning TD in OT)
Sam Bradford: 2 games, 322 passing yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 80t long, 85.6 rating
Everson Griffen: 3 games, 9 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 2 TFL, 9 QB hurries
Jerick McKinnon: 1 game, 16 rushes, 83 yards (5.2 avg.)
Terence Newman: 5 games, 23 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 4 PD
Brian Robison: 3 games, 7 tackles, 1.0 sack, QB hurries, 3 PD
Record vs. Buccaneers:Vikings 32-22
Last regular season game: Vikings 19, Buccaneers 13 (OT) (2014)
Vikings largest winning margin:32; Vikings 45, Buccaneers 13 (1986)
Buccaneers largest winning margin:28; Buccaneers 41, Vikings 13 (2000)
Current series streaK:Vikings 1
Vikings longest win streak:5, (3 Times, most recent: 1991-93)
Buccaneers longest win streak:6, (2001-2012)
Most Points, Vikings:49; Vikings 49, Buccaneers 20 (1988)
Most Points, Buccaneers: 41; (Twice: 2000 & 2001)
Most Points, both teams: 69; Vikings 49, Buccaneers 20 (1988)
Fewest Points, Vikings:9; Vikings 9, Buccaneers 3 (1977)
Fewest Points, Buccaneers: 0; Vikings 15, Buccaneers 0 (1993)
Fewest Points, both teams: 12; Vikings 9, Buccaneers 3 (1977)
• The Vikings and Buccaneers, who played in the same division from 1997-2001, have played 54 times overall with Minnesota holding a 32-22-0 series record. The franchises have never met in the postseason.
• Tony Dungy left the Vikings as their Defensive Coordinator in 1996 to become the Head Coach for the Bucs and start the most successful era in franchise history.
• The Buccaneers and Vikings played the first regular-season game at the Metrodome, a 17-10 Vikings victory on 9/12/1982.
• The Vikings and Buccaneers have played four overtime games in their series history and have split results 2-2.