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Game Preview: Vikings vs. Packers

The Minnesota Vikings (3-2) return home for the third of three consecutive NFC North games when hosting the Green Bay packers (4-1) in Week 6. The Vikings hold a 2-1 record at home this season and a 7-4 record overall at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Packers are 1-1 on the road this season. The Vikings captured a 20-17 road win at Chicago in Week 5, and the Packers are coming off a 35-31 win over the Cowboys in Dallas.

The Vikings offense, which ranks ninth in the NFL with 357.0 yards per game, has been led by WRs Stefon Diggs, who is 5th in the NFL with 395 receiving yards, and Adam Thielen, who is 6th in the NFL with 392 receiving yards. The passing attack that ranks 12th in the NFL with 255.4 yards per game and has accounted for seven touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 104.0, fifth-best in the NFL. QBs Sam Bradfordand *Case Keenum *have both posted games of 340-plus passing yards and three or more touchdowns with no interceptions, making only the Vikings and Patriots (Tom Brady twice) as teams to have two such games this season. RBs *Jerick McKinnon and *Latavius Murray *illed the void left by rookie RB *Dalvin Cook **ad helped lead the Vikings to a season-best 159 rushing yards in Week 5 against Chicago. McKinnon had 95 rushing yards on 16 attempts and 51 receiving yards on six catches, leading the Vikings in both categories in just their second win at Soldier Field in the past nine games.

The Vikings run defense has held opponents to 80.0 yards per game (seventh in the NFL) and 3.2 yards per rush (fifth in the NFL). DE Everson Griffen secured a sack in his fifth straight game, tying a career high, to start the season becoming one of three defenders in the NFL to have a sack in every game in 2017 (Demarcus Lawrence, DAL & Preston Smith, WAS). Griffen is tied for third in the NFL with 6.0 sacks this season. S Harrison Smith snagged his second interception (tied fourth in the NFL) of the season at a crucial point late in the game vs. Chicago helping secure the Vikings win.

Broadcast Coverage

NATIONAL TELEVISION: FOX

Play-by-Play:Thom Brennaman, Analyst: Troy Aikman

Sideline:Erin Andrews

NATIONAL RADIO: ESPN RADIO

Play-by-Play:Adam Amin, Analyst: Bill Polian

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 a.m. CT

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

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

The Vikings defense has been the stingiest in the NFL on third downs, holding opponents to a NFL-best 25.5 percent (14/55) conversion rate on third downs.

RB Jerick McKinnon recorded his fourth career game with more than 100 yards from scrimmage and the second-highest total of his career with 146 yards (95 rushing, 51 receiving). McKinnon scored on a 58-yard touchdown run, the third run of more than 50 yards of his career, the fifth-most in Vikings history.

The Vikings offense has converted 30 third downs, tied for sixth in the NFL and has converted on 44.8 percent (30/67) of their third downs, seventh in the NFL.

Vikings DE Everson Griffenhas a sack in five consecutive games, tying his career-high and tied for eighth-longest streak in Vikings history. DE Jim Marshall holds the record with a sack in eight straight games in 1969.

In Week 5 at Chicago on MNF, TE Kyle Rudolphcaught his 31st career touchdown, extending his franchise record for career touchdown receptions among TEs.

QB Case Keenum ranks 10th in the NFL with a 97.6 passer rating in 2017 and is one of three quarterbacks in the NFL to have four-plus touchdowns and no interceptions — Alex Smith (11 touchdowns, no interceptions) and Drew Brees (eight touchdowns, no interceptions).

Vikings K Kai Forbath connected on his seventh career game-winning field goal and first as a member of the Vikings after converting a 26-yard FG with 12 seconds left in the game at Chicago (10/9/17).

Stat of the week

The Vikings have not thrown an interception through 5 games in 2017, tying a team record that was set last season for consecutive games without throwing an interception.

Vikings–Packers Connections

Green Bay Packers Communications Manager Tom Fanning graduated from University of Minnesota in 1998 and worked for the Minnesota Vikings from 1999-2008.

Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwardsand Packers Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers were on the Dolphins defensive coaching staff in 2006-07.

Vikings HC Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator and Vikings assistant DBs coach Jonathan Gannonwas a defensive assistant in Atlanta while Packers secondary/CBs coach Joe Whitt, Jr., held the same position *with the Falcons during the 2007 season.

Local Connections

Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer graduated from Abbot Pennings High School in DePere, Wisconsin, while his dad coached for the Packers.

Vikings CB Trae Waynes grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and graduated from Mary D. Bradford HS.

Packers Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst's father, John, was the head coach for the University of Minnesota from 1985-91.

College Connections

There are six players from UCLA on the Packers and Vikings rosters: Vikings K Kai Forbath(2006-10), LS Kevin McDermott (2008-12), LB *Eric Kendricks (2010-14), LB *Anthony Barr (2010-13) and Packers DT Kenny Clark *2013-15) and QB *Brett Hundley (2011-14).

USC has three players represented on the Vikings and Packers rosters: Vikings DE Everson Griffen(2007-09) and Packers LBs Clay Matthews (2005-08) *and *Nick Perry* (2008-11).

Packers C Corey Linsleyand Vikings C **Pat Elflein *each played at Ohio State. Linsley was at Ohio State from 2009-13 and Elfein from 2013-16.

Packers LB Jake Ryan(2010-14)* *and Vikings LB* Ben Gedeon (2013-16) **played at Michigan together.

Packers P Justin Vogel(2014-16)* *and Vikings WR* Stacy Coley *(2013-16) and G *Danny Isidora *(2013-16) were teammates at the University of Miami.

BIG DAYS

WR Adam Thielenhad 12 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns at Green Bay (12/24/16). The yardage tied for the third-most by a Viking in a regular-season game and is the highest by a Viking against Green Bay. 

TE Kyle Rudolph had one of his two career 100-yard receiving games vs. Green Bay (11/22/15), hauling in six catches for 106 yards and one score.

QB Sam Bradfordthrew for a combined 668 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions on 56-of-81 passing (69.1 percent) against the Packers in two games in 2016.

DE Everson Griffen recorded a career-high 3.0 sacks against the Packers in the final game of the 2012 regular season on 12/30/12. Griffen posted one sack a week later against the Packers in the 2012 NFC Wild Card game. In the NFC North-clinching victory in Week 17 (1/3/16) of the 2015 season, Griffen totaled 2.0 sacks and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.                 

Vikings CB Terence Newmanhad a season-high six tackles, one interception and returned a fumble 58 yards for the game-winning touchdown vs. Green Bay (9/22/13) as a member of the Bengals.

Vikings WR Stefon Diggshad a career day vs. Green Bay (9/18/16), grabbing nine receptions for a career-best 182 yards and one touchdown.

Stefon Diggs............. 4 games, 20 receptions, 285 yards, 2 TDs

Everson Griffen......... 15 games, 35 tackles, 10.0 sacks, 13 TFL, 2 FFs

Danielle Hunter........ 4 games, 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 TFL, 1 FF

Terence Newman.... 10 games, 46 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 INTs, 5 PD, 1 FR TD

Brian Robison........... 21 games, 37 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 8 TFL, 3 FFs

Harrison Smith......... 9 games, 59 tackles, 0.5 sack, 2 INTs, 4 PD 4 TFL

Adam Thielen.......... 6 games, 21 receptions, 316 yards, 2 TDs, 3 rushes, 71 yards

Kyle Rudolph.......... 11 games, 36 receptions, 441 yards 3 TDs

SERIES INFO

Record vs. Packers: Vikings 51-60-2

Last regular season game: Packers 38, Vikings 25 (2016)

Vikings largest winning margin:35; Vikings 42, Packers 7 (1986)

Packers largest winning margin:38; Packers 45, Vikings 7 (2011)

Current series streak:Packers 1

Vikings longest win streak:7 (1975-78)

Packers longest win streak:5, three times

Most Points, Vikings:42 (1986)

Most Points, Packers: 48 (1962)

Most Points, both teams:75, Packers 44, Vikings 31 (2013)

Fewest Points, Vikings:0 (2007)

Fewest Points, Packers:0 (1971)

Fewest Points, both teams:3; Vikings 3, Packers 0 (1971)

Series Notes

The Vikings and Packers have played 113 times overall with Green Bay holding a 60-51-2 series record.

The Packers are the Vikings most common opponent in franchise history, including 2 playoff games — the 2004 Wild Card game (a 31-17 Vikings win) and 2012 Wild Card game (a 24-10 Packers win). Both were at Lambeau Field.

The Vikings and Packers have played in 5 overtime games all-time with the Vikings holding a 3-1-1 advantage in those games.

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