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How We Got Here: Recap of Games 1-4

With the Vikings on a bye this week until hosting a Divisional game on Jan. 14, Vikings.com is taking a quick look back at the 2017 season's 16 games in four quarters.

Week 1

Monday, Sept. 11

Vikings 29, Saints 19 at U.S. Bank Stadium

View exclusive images shot by the team photographer (IG: vikingsphotog) from the Sept. 11 game against the Saints.

Key stat

The Vikings defense kept the Saints out of the end zone for the first 58-plus minutes of the game and limited New Orleans to 0-for-3 on goal-to-go situations and 1-for-5 on trips inside the red zone.

Decisive moment

The Vikings drove 95 yards on 10 plays in 1:40 for a 2-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Stefon Diggs for a 16-6 lead with three seconds left in the first half. The drive included completions of 44 yards to Adam Thielen (nine catches for 157 yards) and 20 yards to Diggs (seven for 93 with two scores).

Star of the game

Bradford accrued a career-best passer rating of 143.0 by completing 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Quote of the day

"I think we had some shots in the game plan, but we kind of felt them out in the first quarter, saw some looks that we could take advantage of. I thought our guys outside did a great job getting open, beating man coverage, finding soft spots in the zone. We were able to create some explosive plays based on what we saw early in the game." — Bradford

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Photo of the game

Diggs hangs on to the football for a gain of 20, despite a hit from Kenny Vaccaro that drew an unnecessary roughness penalty.

Week 2

Sunday, Sept. 17

Steelers 26, Vikings 9 at Heinz Field

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View exclusive images shot by the team photographer (IG: vikingsphotog) from the Sept. 17 game against the Steelers.

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Key stat

The Vikings were flagged 11 times for a season-worst 131 yards, including four times for 86 yards less than 17 minutes into the game. A 22-yard pass interference on Xavier Rhodes occurred on a second-and-6, and a 49-yard pass interference against Trae Waynes occurred on a second-and-22.

Decisive moment

The Steelers drove 74 yards on 10 plays for a 29-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, which gave Pittsburgh a 20-9 lead with 5:05 left in the third quarter in response to a touchdown drive by Minnesota. Pittsburgh's possession included a gain of 13 on a third-and-12 from the Steelers 25 that was followed by a 51-yard completion from Ben Roethlisberger to Martavis Bryant.

Quote of the day

"These guys right here in this locker room, we're all about work. We know we got to back to work and evaluate and just get better. We're going to be the team that we're going to be – a physical team – and we're going to come out and play football like Coach Zim' wants us to play football. So we just have to keep working, and next week is a new week for us, for a new challenge." — Dalvin Cook

Star of the game

Cook rushed for 64 yards on 12 carries (5.3 average) in his second pro game.

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Photo of the game

Case Keenum leads the Vikings huddle during his first start for Minnesota.

Week 3

Sunday, Sept. 24

Vikings 34, Buccaneers 17 at U.S. Bank Stadium

View exclusive images shot by the team photographer (IG: vikingsphotog) from the Sept. 24 game against the Buccaneers.

Key stat

Case Keenum totaled 369 passing yards and a passer rating of 142.1 (career bests), along with three touchdowns, helping the Vikings offense net 494 yards.

Decisive moment