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The Skinny Post: Vikings Welcome Seahawks in Home Preseason Tilt

EAGAN, Minn. — For the first time in seven-plus months, the Vikings are playing at home.

Minnesota will host Seattle in a preseason game at 7 p.m. (CT) Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, the first game in the venue since the 2018 season finale.

Both teams were victorious in their respective preseason openers.

The Vikings earned a 34-25 win in New Orleans. Seattle rested the majority of its starters but got a 22-14 victory over Denver.

Sunday's game marks the fourth straight preseason in which the teams have met.

Here are three areas to watch in Sunday night's contest, plus some noteworthy stats on both teams:

Looking for more | By @EricLSmith

The Vikings starting defense was likely on the field for a lot longer than they wanted to be in the first preseason game.

Minnesota gave up a field goal on the Saints opening possession, which spanned a whopping 14 plays and covered 62 yards, 50 of which came on the first six plays of the game.

While three points allowed was better than seven, you can bet Minnesota's first-team defense wants a cleaner performance Sunday.

That will be a challenge against Russell Wilson, a dual-threat quarterback the Vikings have seen plenty of times before.

Wilson and the majority of Seattle's offensive starters did not play in the preseason opener in Denver, so the Seahawks will be looking to make a good first impression.

The Vikings defense will likely want to make a better second one than they had in New Orleans.

Paring down the penalties | By @LindseyMNSports

In the Vikings first preseason game against the Saints, they were flagged 13 times for 136 yards.

Those penalties need to be drastically reduced, according to Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

"They heard it at halftime, and they're gonna hear it again," Zimmer said following the Vikings win. "We need to clean that up."

He pointed out that players were flagged for a variety of offenses, including pass interference and holding on both the offensive and defensive line. While it may seem inconsequential to see the yellow flag airborne during preseason contests, it's important for the Vikings to get into good habits now.

"We need to clean that up if we're going to be a good football team," Zimmer said.

Q&A Session for Special Teams | By @pcraigers

Have special teams ever been more publicized in one week of training camp?

Minnesota traded to acquire punter/kicker Kaare Vedvik and released veteran long snapper Kevin McDermott on Sunday. Vedvik raised eyebrows during his first session on the field Monday, and his role remains to be determined.

Veteran kicker Dan Bailey was a perfect 7-for-7 on kicks during the team periods Tuesday with rookie Austin Cutting snapping and receiver Chad Beebe holding in place of Matt Wile, who suffered a cut in the preseason opener at New Orleans.

Wile returned to practice Thursday, held on kicks and punted.

The Vikings still have plenty of questions regarding the battery on special teams, and Sunday's game will provide another opportunity for an answer session.

Substantial Stats

— Minnesota did not allow a sack against New Orleans, marking the first preseason game without an opposing sack allowed since a Sept. 4, 2009, matchup vs. Dallas.

— The Vikings are 4-2 at U.S. Bank Stadium in preseason play over the past three years.

—The 2018 season marked the first time since 2012 that neither the Vikings nor Seahawks claimed a division title. In fact, the Vikings and Seahawks have never been champions of their respective divisions in the same season.

— Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has averaged 10-plus wins a season in his seven years as Seattle's starter, going 75-36-1 since 2012.


"[He's] an extremely talented punter, kicker, can hold and do kickoffs. He does a little bit of everything, so right now we are doing a little bit of refining all of those skills and most importantly working on his timing because he is new here."

— Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Marwan Maalouf on the addition of Vedvik