EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings (4-5) are returning to U.S. Bank Stadium this week after playing on the East Coast and West Coast with split results in the past two weeks.
After losing in overtime at Baltimore in Week 9, Minnesota topped the Los Angeles Chargers 27-20 in Week 10. The Vikings have an opportunity to even their win-loss record for a second time this season. The game marks a matchup against against its most-common opponent after rare opponents in the Ravens (seven games all-time) and Chargers (14 meetings).
Green Bay (8-2) will be in town for the 122nd overall Border Battle and 120th in a regular season. The Packers currently lead the NFC standings by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreak over the Cardinals (8-2).
This will be Minnesota's fourth consecutive game against a division-leading team.
Here's an Early Look at the Vikings Week 10 game against the Chargers, presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Official LASIK partner of the Minnesota Vikings.
STAT OF THE WEEK
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Since 2011, linebacker Eric Kendricks is one of three players to record at least 4.0 sacks and two interceptions through his team's first nine games of a season.
2021: Kendricks, MIN (4.0 sacks and 2 INT)
2019: Jamie Collins, NE (6.0 sacks and 3 INT)
2011: Terrell Suggs, BAL (6.0 sacks and 2 INT)
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Packers.
Kirk Cousins passed for 294 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for his NFL-leading fifth game of 2021 with at least 275 passing yards, two scoring passes and zero picks.
Cousins became the sixth player in NFL history to throw two or more touchdowns and record a passer rating of 100 or higher in seven consecutive road games.
Dalvin Cook rushed for his third touchdown of the season, which gives him 32 rushing scores since the start of the 2019 season. That total ranks second in the NFL.
Justin Jefferson recorded his 10th career game with more than 100 receiving yards, passing Percy Harvin for 10th in Vikings history.
Tyler Conklin recorded the first multi-touchdown game of his career, doubling his touchdowns total to four.
Eric Kendricks recorded his ninth career interception and second of 2021. He ranks ninth among Vikings linebackers all-time.
Camryn Bynum's sack of Justin Herbert in Week 10 and his interception of Lamar Jackson in Week 9 made him the first player with a sack and interception in his first two career starts since Denver's A.J. Johnson in 2018.
Dede Westbrook's 45-yard punt return against the Chargers is the second longest in the NFL this season.
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 5, 2022.
KNOW THE FOE
Head Coach: Matt LaFleur, 3rd season with Packers (34-8 in regular season; 2-2 postseason)
LaFleur has the same number of losses in regular seasons as the 2021 Lions. This is his 13th overall season in the NFL. His previous experiences were with Houston (offensive assistant from 2008-09), Washington (quarterbacks coach from 2010-13), Atlanta (quarterbacks coach from 2015-16), the Los Angeles Rams (offensive coordinator in 2017) and Tennessee (offensive coordinator in 2018).
LaFleur worked with Vikings QB Kirk Cousins in Washington from 2012-13 and overlapped with Minnesota receivers coach Keenan McCardell there from 2010-11.
Aaron Rodgers' touchdown percentage has dipped from an NFL-best 9.1 in 2020 to 5.8 this season, but his passer rating is still 101.9 and in line with his career mark of 103.8. Beyond his passing talents, Rodgers is the best at capitalizing on free plays after getting an opponent to jump offsides and quick-snapping to get a 12-men-on-the-field penalty when a defense tries to make a substitution.
Aaron Jones leads the Packers with 541 yards and three rushing touchdowns but he left last week's game with a knee injury. Jones also ranks second on the team with 37 catches and 298 yards through the air. AJ Dillon, a second-round pick a year ago, has added 421 yards and two scores on 97 rushes.
Davante Adams has 65 catches (tied for third in NFL) for 864 yards (third in NFL) and three scores. Randall Cobb has added 265 yards and caught four touchdowns on 23 receptions in his return to Green Bay.
Tight end Robert Tonyan, cornerback Jaire Alexander, linebacker Za'Darius Smith and defensive end Whitney Mercilus are among the Packers on Injured Reserve.
Rashan Gary leads Green Bay with 5.5 sacks.
Linebacker De'Vondre Campbell and safety Adrian Amos each have two interceptions.
Vikings CB Bashaud Breeland played for the Packers in 2018, starting five of the seven games he played.
Vikings CB Parry Nickerson was with Green Bay for the 2020 season but played in just one game for the Packers.
Packers defensive backs coach Jerry Gray held the same role with the Vikings from 2014-19.
Packers inside LBs coach Kirk Olivadotti's father, Tom, was a defensive assistant for the Vikings from 1996-99.
Packers G/T Billy Turner is from Shoreview, Minnesota, and attended Mounds View High School. Turner's father, Maurice Turner, was selected by the Vikings in the 12th round of the 1983 NFL Draft. Maurice Turner played in 23 games for the Vikings from 1984-85 before finishing the 1985 campaign with Green Bay.
Packers LB De'Vondre Campbell played for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers from 2013-15.
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst's father, John, served as the Gophers head football coach from 1985-91. Brian Gutekunst attended Robbinsdale Armstrong High School (Plymouth), where he lettered as a quarterback, defensive back and wide receiver.
FORMER PRO TEAMMATES
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and Packers OLB Preston Smith in Washington from 2015-17
Vikings T Rashod Hill and Packers TE Marcedes Lewis with Jacksonville in 2016
Minnesota LS Andrew DePaola and Packers S Adrian Amos with the Bears in 2017
Vikings WR Dede Westbrook with Packers QB Blake Bortles (2017-18) and Packers TE Marcedes Lewis (2017) in Jacksonville
Minnesota DT Michael Pierce with Packers LB Za'Darius Smith for the Ravens from 2016-18
FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES
Vikings LB Anthony Barr and LB Eric Kendricks with Packers NT Kenny Clark at UCLA
Minnesota CB Cameron Dantzler with Packers G Elgton Jenkins at Mississippi State
Vikings LB Blake Lynch and DT James Lynch with Packers S Henry Black at Baylor from 2017-19
Vikings TE Chris Herndon (2017) and WR K.J. Osborn (2019) with Packers LB Jonathan Garvin at Miami
Minnesota C Mason Cole and S Josh Metellus with Packers LB Rashan Gary and G Jon Runyan at Michigan
Vikings RB Kene Nwangwu with Packers WR Allen Lazard and LS Steve Wirtel at Iowa State
Minnesota WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette with Packers DL Jack Heflin at Iowa
Vikings LB Troy Dye with Packers C Jake Hanson at Oregon
Minnesota T Christian Darrisaw with Packers T Yosh Nijman at Virginia Tech
VIKINGS TOP PERFORMERS VS. PACKERS
Kirk Cousins: 7 games (1 with Washington, 6 with Minnesota), 3-3-1 as a starter; 145-of-218 passing, 66.5 completion percentage, 1,913 passing yards, 15 TDs, 5 INT, 107.5 passer rating
Dalvin Cook: 5 games; 82 rushes for 434 yards (5.3 yards per carry) and 6 TDs; 12 receptions for 197 yards (16.4 per catch) and 2 TDs
Adam Thielen: 14 games; 66 receptions for 904 yards (13.7 per catch) and 6 TDs; 4 rushes for 73 yards
Everson Griffen: 20 games (12 starts); 48 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 2 FF, 14 TFL, 1 pass defensed
Eric Kendricks: 12 games (12 starts); 96 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 FF, 2 FR, 7 TFL, 3 passes defensed
Harrison Smith: 16 games (16 starts); 100 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 7 TFL, 5 INT, 9 passes defended
(tackles are league stats)
VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. PACKERS
Cousins: four career games with at least 300 passing yards, including his personal high of 425 in 2018 at Lambeau Field
Cook: career-high 30 carries for 163 yards and three scores, plus a 50-yard receiving TD at Green Bay on Nov. 1, 2020
Thielen: 12 receptions for 202 yards and 2 TDs at Green Bay on Dec. 24, 2016 and 12 receptions for 131 yards and 1 TD at Green Bay on Sept. 16, 2018
Griffen: 3.0 sacks in Minnesota on Dec. 30, 2012
Kendricks: 11 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 TFL at Green Bay on Dec. 24, 2016
Smith: 2 INTs in a shutout win at Green Bay on Dec. 23, 2017
VIKINGS-PACKERS SERIES NOTES
1. Since Minnesota's inaugural 1961 season, the Vikings and Packers have each won 20 division titles and qualified for the playoffs 30 times.
2. The Vikings are 6-7-1 in the series under Head Coach Mike Zimmer but have gone 1-3 since Matt LaFleur's hire in Green Bay.
3. Pro Football Hall of Famer Bud Grant recorded his first victory as head coach of the Vikings when Minnesota prevailed 10-7 against the Packers at Milwaukie County Stadium on Oct. 15, 1967.
Longest Vikings winning streak in series: 7 games (Nov. 2, 1975 through Oct. 22, 1978)
Longest Vikings losing streak in series: 6 games (Oct. 22, 1961 through Nov. 10, 1963)