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Vikings Featured in 4 Prime-time Games During 2018 Season

EAGAN, Minn. — There will be plenty of eyeballs on the Vikings during the 2018 season.

The NFL released Minnesota's schedule on Thursday, and a quarter of the Vikings games are scheduled for prime time.

The Vikings will play in four nationally televised contests, evenly split with two on the road and two at home at U.S. Bank Stadium.

"Two of them are at home, so that's good," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "And two of them are on the West Coast, so those will be tough ones. But hopefully we're on primetime a lot."

Minnesota's first chance to play in front of a national audience will come in Hollywood when the Vikings visit the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night in Week 4. Kickoff will be at 7:20 p.m. (CT) on FOX and NFL Network.

The Vikings and Rams each won their respective divisions in 2017 as both teams reached double-digit wins.

The teams met last year in Minnesota, with the Vikings walking away with a 24-7 victory at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Minnesota is 27-16-2 all-time against the Rams, which includes a 5-2 postseason record. Los Angeles had a splashy offseason as the Rams added a number of high-caliber free agents to their roster, including defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.

The Vikings will have a quick turnaround as they play Buffalo at home in Week 3 before playing in Los Angeles just four days later.

"Week 4, we're at the Rams on Thursday night so that's going to be a short week as well," Zimmer said. "So we're starting to think about how we can manipulate that short week and how we can do from there."

The Vikings first prime-time game at home in 2018 will be against an opponent the Vikings defeated twice at U.S. Bank Stadium during the 2017 season.

Minnesota will host the New Orleans Saints in Week 8 on NBC's* Sunday Night Football* at 7:20 p.m. (CT).

The Vikings opened the 2017 season with a 29-19 victory over New Orleans before topping the Saints again in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

That win was a little more memorable, as "The Minneapolis Miracle" unfolded when Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs scampered in for a game-winning, 61-yard touchdown catch on the game's final play.

New Orleans went 11-5 in 2017 to win the NFC South, as quarterback Drew Brees led another high-powered offense.

Brees 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.

The Vikings will see a familiar foe — and their most heated rival — at home in Week 12 when Minnesota hosts the Green Bay Packers on NBC's* Sunday Night Football* at 7:20 p.m. (CT).

Minnesota travels to Lambeau Field in Week 2, so this prime-time matchup will be the 117th Border Battle between the franchises.

The Vikings have won four of the past five matchups against the division rivals, including sweeping the series in 2017. The teams have combined for 10 of the past 11 NFC North titles.

Minnesota is 2-0 against the Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium since the venue opened in 2016. The Vikings inaugural game at the stadium was a 17-14 win over Green Bay in Week 2.

The Vikings will play their lone game on ESPN's Monday Night Football in Week 14 against the Seattle Seahawks at 7:15 p.m. (CT).

Minnesota and Seattle have never met before on Monday Night Football. The Vikings are 29-32 all-time on Mondays.

The game will feature familiar faces. The Vikings added former Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson in the offseason, and former Vikings defensive tackles Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen are now with Seattle.

Seattle went 9-7 in 2017 to finish in second place in the NFC West but was unable to extend a streak of six consecutive playoff appearances. The Vikings have lost four straight overall games against the Seahawks.

The Vikings played in three prime-time games in 2017, beating New Orleans and Chicago on ESPN's Monday Night Football and shutting out the Packers in Green Bay on a Saturday edition of Sunday Night Football on NBC.

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