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10 Vikings-Falcons Numbers of Note: Teams to Meet in Season Opener for 5th Time

EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings will open their season against Atlanta for the fifth time in franchise history when they host the Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

Minnesota is 4-0 in season openers against Atlanta, dating back to a 47-7 defeat of the Falcons at Metropolitan Stadium on Sept. 14, 1968.

The Vikings edged out a 24-23 victory at the Old Met on Sept. 7, 1980; won 17-14 at the Georgia Dome in 1999; and won 24-3 at the Metrodome on Sept. 9, 2007.

This will be the third consecutive season that the Vikings have kicked off at U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened in 2016. Minnesota won in 2017 and 2018 at the state-of-the-art facility.

Here's a look at 10 numbers of note heading into the matchup:

1 — Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer spent one season in Atlanta as the Falcons defensive coordinator. Interestingly, that season was 2007, in which the two teams met in Week 1 and the Vikings were victorious.

49 — Over 111 career regular-season games, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has recorded 100 or more receiving yards 49 times, surpassing Randy Moss' NFL record of 45 such games through a player's first eight seasons. In 2018, Jones racked up 1,677 yards through the air.

69.5 — Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes has played the Falcons three times in his career and has been targeted with passes a total of 22 times. On those targets, Rhodes has limited the Falcons to a cumulative passer rating of 69.5.

122 — Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks enters Sunday's game having strung together four consecutive seasons as the team's leading tackler. According to coaches' tally, Kendricks notched 122 tackles over 14 games in 2018.

4 — The Falcons are slated to play four of their first six games on the road, beginning with Minnesota. They will return home to host the Eagles in Week 2 before heading to Indianapolis in Week 3.

29.5 — Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley has 29.5 career sacks since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2015. Beasley and Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter were draft classmates; Hunter, whom Minnesota snagged with the 88th pick, has totaled 40 career sacks.

9 — Together, Zimmer and Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn have nine years of head coaching experience. Zimmer assumed the role in Minnesota in 2014, and Quinn was hired by Atlanta the following season. Both spent time as defensive coordinators before making the transition to head honchos.

10 — Of the Vikings 12 draft picks of 2019, 10 are on the 53-man roster heading into Week 1. Minnesota also has two rookie undrafted free agents – Brandon Dillon and Mark Fields (acquired Saturday via trade).

30 — Minnesota ranked 30th overall in rushing yards per game in 2018 with 93.3. The Vikings have paid extra emphasis to the ground game throughout the offseason, and it will be interesting to see how a healthy Dalvin Cook will get things started in Week 1. The Vikings led the NFL in preseason rushing yards (168.3 per game) in 2019.

174 — Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has started all 174 games he's played since being drafted third overall by Atlanta in 2008. The 34-year-old has not missed a game since 2009. In 2018, the durable QB was 422-of-608 passing for 4,924 yards, 35 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. His passer rating was 108.1. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has started 64 consecutive games, dating to the 2015 opener with Washington.