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Vikings 2018 Schedule Icebreakers: Weeks 5-8 Include Pair of Playoff Rematches

The Vikings ****announced their 2018 schedule*** on Thursday. The crew will break down the 16-game slate into four quarters during this Icebreakers series that is presented by Ticketmaster.*

First Quarter | Second Quarter | Third Quarter | Fourth Quarter

Minnesota's second quarter of its schedule will start with a trip to Philadelphia for a Week 5 rematch of the NFC Championship game. The game is scheduled for a marquee, 3:25 p.m. (CT) time slot.

A quick historical aside about Week 6, the Cardinals franchise played two regular-season "home" games in Minnesota in 1959 before moving from Chicago to St. Louis in 1960 (they moved to Phoenix in 1988). The Cardinals claimed the first four victories in games hosted by the Vikings, but Minnesota has protected its home turf in 10 consecutive matchups.

In Week 7, the Vikings will visit the New York Jets before returning to the site of the Minneapolis Miracle and a rematch with the Saints in Week 8.

Week 5

Vikings at Eagles by**@LindseyMNSports**

3:25 p.m. (CT)| Oct. 7 | Lincoln Financial Field

Series results

Vikings W-L-T: 13-14-0 (includes 0-4 in postseason)

Home: 7-4-0; Away: 6-10-0 (includes three postseason road losses)

Last time in regular season:Vikings lost to Eagles 21-10 at Philadelphia on Oct. 23, 2016* *

Last time in regular season in Minnesota:Vikings defeated Eagles 48-30 at Mall of America Field on Dec. 15, 2013

Philadelphia's 2017 offensive rankings:

Total yards: 5,852 (7th in NFL); Rushing yards: 2,115 (3rd); Passing yards: 3,737 (13th); Points/game: 28.6 (3rd); Sacks allowed/pass attempt percentage: 6.38 percent (13th); Interception rate: 1.6 percent (6th); Average time of possession: 32:41 (1st)

Philadelphia's 2017 defensive rankings:

Total yards allowed/game: 306.5 (4th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 79.2 (1st); Passing yards allowed/game: 201.1 (5th); Points allowed/game: 18.4 (4th); Sacks/pass attempt: 6.32 percent (22nd); Interception rate: 3.16 percent (8th)

Icebreakers:This year's game will be a rematch of the 2017 NFC Championship game, in which the Vikings lost to the eventual Super Bowl LII champs. … The Vikings roster has maintained consistency while making significant additions in free agency that include QB Kirk Cousins and 3-technique Sheldon Richardson. … Former Bears WR Alshon Jeffery caught all five passes thrown his way for 85 yards and two touchdowns … Jeffery remains with Philadelphia and in 2017 totaled 57 catches for 789 yards and nine touchdowns. … In 2017, the Eagles ranked No. 4 in overall defense, compared to the Vikings who ranked No. 1. … The Eagles ranked first in the league for red zone percentage (65.45) and in average time of possession (32:41). … Eagles QB Nick Foles stepped up in Week 14 when Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending knee injury; Foles went on to receive Super Bowl MVP honors … The 2018 matchup at Philadelphia will mark the third consecutive season in which the Vikings have played the Eagles on the road. … In the 2017 NFC title game, Eagles CB Patrick Robinson intercepted Case Keenum and returned the pick 50 yards for a touchdown.

Week 6

Vikings vs. Cardinals by **@PCraigers**

Noon (CT) | Oct. 14 | U.S. Bank Stadium

Series results

Vikings W-L-T: 16-11-0 (includes 1-0 in NFC Divisional)

Home: 10-4; Away: 6-7

Last time in regular season:Vikings defeated Cardinals 30-24 on Nov. 20, 2016

Last time in regular season in Minnesota:Vikings defeated Cardinals 30-24 on Nov. 20, 2016

Arizona's 2017 offensive rankings:

Total yards: 5,026 (22nd in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,386 (30th); Passing yards: 3,640 (15th); Points/game: 18.4 (25th); Sacks allowed/pass attempt percentage: 8.70 percent (25th); Interception rate: 3.01 percent (25th); Average time of possession: 30:47 (8th)

Arizona's 2017 defensive rankings:

Total yards allowed/game: 310.9 (6th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 89.6 (6th); Passing yards allowed/game: 221.3 (14th); Points allowed/game: 22.6 (19th); Sacks/pass attempt: 6.56 percent (19th); Interception rate: 2.66 percent (12th)

Icebreakers:This will be the third meeting between the teams in four seasons. … Arizona hired Head Coach Steve Wilks this offseason after Bruce Arians retired. … The Cardinals had three quarterbacks (Carson Palmer, Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton) start four or more games and attempt at least 159 passes in 2017. The trio combined for a passer rating of 76.2. Arizona signed former Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford during free agency. Bradford will be able to target Minneapolis native Larry Fitzgerald, who is back for his 15th season. Fitzgerald ranks third in NFL history with 15,545 yards. He needs 390 to overtake Terrell Owens for second all-time but is 7,350 shy of Jerry Rice. The only two players older than Fitzgerald (34) on the Cardinals roster are P Andy Lee (35) and K Phil Dawson (43). … Arizona released former Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Cardinals 2013 third-round pick Tyrann Mathieu. … The Cardinals signed tackle Andre Smith, who played for Minnesota in 2016, and G Justin Pugh during free agency.

Week 7

Vikings at Jets by**@LindseyMNSports**

Noon (CT) | Oct. 21 | MetLife Stadium

Series results

Vikings W-L-T: 2-8-0 (does not include any postseason games)

Home: 2-5-0; Away: 0-5-0

Last time in regular season:Vikings defeated Jets 30-24 in overtime at TCF Bank Stadium on Dec. 7, 2014

Last time in regular season in Minnesota:Vikings defeated Jets 30-24 in overtime at TCF Bank Stadium on Dec. 7, 2014

New York Jets 2017 offensive rankings:

Total yards: 4,884 (28th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,702 (19th); Passing yards: 3,182 (24th); Points/game: 18.6 (24th); Sacks allowed/pass attempt percentage: 9.22 percent (29th); Interception rate: 2.35 percent (tied for 16th); Average time of possession: 29:55 (16th)

New York Jets 2017 defensive rankings:

Total yards allowed/game: 352.3 (25th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 117.9 (24th); Passing yards allowed/game: 234.3 (21st); Points allowed/game: 23.9 (tied for 22nd); Sacks/pass attempt: 5.02 percent (28th); Interception rate: 1.97 percent (23rd)

Icebreakers:This year's matchup will be the first time Minnesota plays the Jets since 2014 and the first time on the road since 2010. … The Vikings roster looks quite different from that game, during which WR Jarius Wright and Charles Johnson each surpassed 100 receiving yards, and Wright scored a touchdown in overtime to give Minnesota the victory. … Former Vikings WR Percy Harvin had quite the outing for the Jets, racking up 124 yards and a touchdown. … Vikings punter Ryan Quigley played for the Jets in the teams' most recently meeting. … The Jets signed former Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater in free agency this offseason, in addition to adding Johnson to the receiving corps. … In 2016, the Jets ranked 29th in first downs per game (16.8) and last in the league for punt return average (4.5 yards), compared to the Vikings ranking sixth and seventh in those areas, respectively. … The Jets highest stat category was in fourth-down percentage, where they ranked eighth … Both teams will have different quarterbacks than they had in the 2014 matchup. … Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was in his first season at the helm in 2014, and the Jets were led by Rex Ryan, who was replaced by current Head Coach Todd Bowles following the 2014 season … In the Vikings last game against the Jets, Andrew Sendejo and Marcus Sherels each forced a fumble by New York.

Week 8

Vikings vs. Saintsby **@EricLSmith**

7:20 p.m. | Oct. 28 | U.S. Bank Stadium

Series results

Vikings W-L-T: 22-11 (includes four playoff games)

Home: 14-3; Away: 8-8

Last time in regular season:Vikings defeated Saints 29-19 on Sept. 21, 2017

Last time in regular season in Minnesota:Vikings defeated Saints 29-19 on Sept. 21, 2017

New Orleans' 2017 offensive rankings:

Total yards: 6,259 (2nd in NFL); Rushing yards: 2,070 (5th); Passing yards: 4,189 (5th); Points/game: 28.0 (4th); Sacks allowed/pass attempt percentage: 3.73 percent (2nd); Interception rate: 1.49 percent (4th); Average time of possession: 31:04 (7th)

New Orleans' 2017 defensive rankings:

Total yards allowed/game: 336.5 (17th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 111.7 (16th); Passing yards allowed/game: 224.8 (15th); Points allowed/game: 20.4 (10th); Sacks/pass attempt: 7.58 percent (8th); Interception rate: 3.61 percent (3rd)

Icebreakers:Fans surely remember what happened the last time the Vikings squared off with the Saints, as 'The Minneapolis Miracle' unfolded in the Divisional playoff game when Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs scampered in for a game-winning, 61-yard touchdown catch on the game's final play. … Saints quarterback Drew Brees is likely a first-ballot Hall of Famer who ranks third all-time with 70,445 yards and is tied for third [with Tom Brady] with 488 career touchdown passes. … Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara became the first running back tandem to each surpass 1,500 scrimmage yards in the same season in 2017. … New Orleans had the 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year in Kamara and the 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year in cornerback Marshon Lattimore … New Orleans went 11-5 in 2017 to win the NFC South … The Saints currently have the 27th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

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