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Game Preview: Vikings vs. Falcons

The Minnesota Vikings (7-3) hit the road to take on the Atlanta Falcons (6-4) at noon CT at the Georgia Dome in Week 12. The Vikings hold a 3-2 record on the road, including 3 consecutive wins on the road while the Falcons own a 3-2 mark at home in 2015.

The Vikings dropped their 1st game since Week 4 after losing to the Green Bay Packers in Minneapolis, 13-30, last Sunday. The Falcons are coming off their 3rd-consecutive loss after being defeated by the Colts, 21-24, at home in Week 11.

RB Adrian Peterson is 1st in the NFL with 1,006 rushing yards, his 7th season surpassing the 1,000-yard mark, and has added 6 TDs on the ground. Peterson currently has 11,196 career rushing yards and trails RB O.J. Simpson (11,236) by 40 yards for 20th all-time. As a team, the Vikings rank 4th in rushing yards per game with a 141.9 mark. Since making his NFL debut in Week 4, WR Stefon Diggs is 10th in the NFL in receiving yards with 573 on 36 catches in 7 games. In that same span, Diggs has hauled in 12 receptions of 20 yards, tied for the 2nd-most in the NFL.

The Vikings defense has allowed the 2nd-fewest points per game (18.4) in the NFL. Vikings S Harrison Smith leads the 6th-ranked passing defense in the NFL, allowing only 224.6 passing yards per game. Vikings DE Everson Griffen leads the team with 6.5 sacks, tied for the 3rd-most in the NFC, and has recorded a sack in consecutive games going into Week 12.

BROADCAST COVERAGE

NATIONAL TELEVISION: FOX (Ch. 9 in the Twin Cities)

Play-by-Play: Kevin Burkhardt Analyst: John Lynch

Sideline: Pam Oliver

LOCAL RADIO: WESTWOOD ONE SPORTS

Play-by-Play: Tom McCarthy Analyst: Ross Tucker

Pre-Game and Halftime Show Host: Scott Graham

LOCAL RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman

Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 10:00 a.m. CT

KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, 5-state Vikings Radio Network.

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

• RB Adrian Peterson leads the NFL with 5 games of 100 rushing yards, leading Falcons RB Devonta Freeman and 3 others who are tied for 2nd with 4 games of 100 rushing yards.

• According league stats, DT Linval Joseph has 51 tackles, the most in the NFL among all DL.

• TE Kyle Rudolph set a new career-high with 106 receiving yards on 6 catches. Rudolph also hauled in a career long 47-yard TD reception, giving him a team-best 4 receiving TDs on the season.

• QB Teddy Bridgewater has totaled 912 passing yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT and a 95.6 passer rating in his last 4 road games helping the Vikings to a 3-1 record in those games.

• With 4 runs of 40 yards, Peterson (43t, 48t, 75, 80t) is tied with Rams RB Todd Gurley (52, 55, 48, 71t) for the most 40 yard runs in the NFL this season. Peterson also has 2 of the 4 longest runs in NFL this season with runs of 75 and 80, both coming in road contests.

• The Vikings have scored 10 special teams TDs since ST Coordinator Mike Preifer joined the team in 2011, the most in the NFL during that span.

• WR Stefon Diggs, despite only being active for 7 games, has the 2nd-most receiving yards among all rookies with 573 yards, trailing only Oakland WR Amari Cooper who has 736 playing in 10 games. Diggs also leads all qualifying rookies with a 15.9 average.

• S Harrison Smith is 2nd on the team with 74 tackles and has 1 INT, 1.0 sack, 1 TFL and 1 FF in 2015.

• With a .692 win percentage (9-4), the Vikings have the highest home win percentage alltime among teams playing in a temporary stadium.

• CB Terence Newman recorded his 6th career multi-INT game snagging 2 passes from Oakland

QB Derek Carr in Week 10. Newman was named NFC DPOY for his game at Oakland and now has 39 career INTs, 3rd among all active players.

• The Vikings have won their last 3 road contests for the 1st time since 2009. The last time the Vikings won 4 consecutive road games in a single season was in 1998.

VIKINGS-FALCONS CONNECTIONS

• Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was the Defensive Coordinator for the Falcons for the 2007 season when the Falcons opened the season at Minnesota that year.

• Falcons TE Coach Wade Harman spent the 1997 and '98 seasons as a coaching assistant with the Vikings. Harman was with the Vikings when they lost to the Falcons in the 1998 NFC Championship Game after going 15-1 in the regular season.

• Falcons National Scout Mark Olson previously worked with the Vikings scouting department and earned his master's degree in sport management from the University of Minnesota in 1997.

• Vikings Asst. DB Coach Jonathan Gannon served as Atlanta's Defensive Assistant/Quality Control coach in 2007.

• Vikings WR Coach George Stewart coached WRs for the Falcons from 2003-06 before joining the Vikings in 2007.

• Vikings Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Evan Marcus served in the same role for the Falcons in 2007.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

• Bob Kronenberg, a Pro Scout for Atlanta, is a St. Cloud State graduate where he earned All-American honors in football and track.

• Falcons Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan was born in Minneapolis.

• Falcons DT Ra'shede Hageman attended Washburn HS in Minneapolis and played at the University of Minnesota. Hageman was a 3-time All- City selection and was named All-State by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Football Coaches Association, the Associated Press and the Minnesota Vikings in 2008.

• Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon attended Sprayberry HS in Marietta, Georgia, where he earned All-State honors at QB from Atlanta Journal Constitution and from Georgia Sportswriters. McKinnon attended Georgia Southern from 2010-13.

• Vikings LB Brandon Watts hails from Tennille, Georgia and attended Georgia Tech from 2009-13.

• Vikings QB Taylor Heinicke grew up in Suwanee, Georgia and attended HS at Collins Hill where he was named the Old Spice Player of the Year as a senior.

• Vikings T Austin Shepherd lists Buford, Georgia as his hometown and attended North Gwinnett HS.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

• Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd played for Falcons HC Dan Quinn at Florida from 2011-12. Quinn was the Defensive Coordinator/DL Coach for Floyd when he became the 1st DL to be selected All-American for the Gators since 2001.

• Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson and Falcons C James Stone played at Tennessee together in 2012.

• Vikings CB Captain Munnerlyn and Falcons FB Patrick DiMarco played at South Carolina together from 2007-08.

• Vikings DE Scott Crichton and Falcons RB Terron Ward played at Oregon State together from 2011-13.

• Vikings LB Chad Greenway was teammates at Iowa with Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux, Falcons S Charles Godfrey and Falcons TE Tony Moeaki.

• Vikings RB Adrian Peterson and Falcons G Chris Chester played at Oklahoma together from 2004-05.

• Vikings CB Josh Robinson and Falcons S Kemal Ishmael played for Central Florida together from 2009-11.

• Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes and Falcons RB Devonta Freeman played at Florida State together from 2011-12.

• Vikings DE Danielle Hunter and Falcons CB Jalen Collins played LSU together from 2012-14.

VIKINGS-FALCONS SERIES NOTES

• Atlanta beat Minnesota, 30-27, in the 1998 NFC Championship, the only NFC Championship game to be hosted at the Metrodome.

• The Purple People Eaters harassed Falcons QB Randy Johnson for 9 sacks in a game at Atlanta in 1970, which still stands tied as the most sacks against an opposing QB in team history.

• In 1982, the NFL season was reduced to 9 weeks due to the 57-day player's strike. After the regular season, the top 8 teams from each conference comprised the Super Bowl Tournament and Minnesota hosted the Falcons on 1/9/83, the 1st playoff game in the newly-opened Metrodome - a 30-24 Vikings win.

A WIN WOULD

• Give the Vikings their 4th consecutive win on the road, the longest for the Vikings in a single season since 1998.

• Improve Mike Zimmer's record as a head coach to 15-12 and bump Teddy Bridgewater's record as a starting QB to 14-9.

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