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Vikings-Ravens Gameday Updates

After going 2-1 over a crucial three-game stretch against their NFC North counterparts, the Vikings now look ahead to a pair of games against AFC North foes, which could go a long way to determining the team's fate this season, starting with today's matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium with the 3-3 Baltimore Ravens. 

A playoff team in six of the last eight years, the Ravens have had an uneven start to the 2017 season, due in large part to a rash of injuries, which have taken a toll. They currently have 15 players on injured reserve, and as Vikings fans were witness to last year, it becomes increasingly difficult as the season moves along to withstand the losses of key pieces.

Baltimore has lost three of its last four games after going 2-0 to start the year, with the one win coming in Oakland against the Raiders who were without QB Derek Carr. Last Sunday they fell at home to the Bears in overtime by a 27-24 score. They lost the previous two games by a combined score of 70-16.

However, despite all of that, the Ravens have a championship pedigree, and this doesn't figure to be a team that will go quietly this season despite the injuries. QB Joe Flacco has some impressive weapons at wide receiver, including former Viking Mike Wallace, who is having a bounce back season, plus veteran Jeremy Maclin, who has a pair of touchdowns this season. Tight end Benjamin Watson, now his in 14th NFL season, leads the team with 24 catches.

Danny Woodhead is one of those players currently on injured reserve, but the Ravens, have found ways to run the ball, as they currently sit 7th in the NFL in rushing. Alex Williams has evolved into the team's primary ball carrier, and is averaging 6.4 yards per carry. With Minnesota's fans creating a raucous atmosphere and the Vikings' pass-rushers bearing down, look for Baltimore to try and establish the run early and often.

Not much more can be said about the Vikings' defense, as the unit has clearly established itself as one of the NFL's very best yet again. They are allowing just over 17 points per game and should give the team a chance to win every single week.

On offense, Case Keenum will again start and look to do what he's done over his previous outings this season: not turn the ball over, convert third downs and hit a handful of plays deep down the field. The team will again be without WR Stefon Diggs, who missed last week's game due to a groin injury. WR Michael Floyd is questionable with a hamstring injury as well.

Jerick McKinnon is coming off one of the best games of his career, and he has a chance to build on that in going against a Ravens defense that's 29th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed.  Ravens DT Brandon Williams, who has missed the last four games with a foot injury, is expected to return to their lineup however, which could make a major difference in their efforts to stop the run.

One injury to note for the Vikings: LT Riley Reiff injured his ankle during Friday's practice and is listed as questionable. He's been a rock so far this season, and an absence or even a slowed-down version of Reiff could disrupt the Vikings' plan on offense.

On the horizon for the Vikings after next week's game in London vs. the Browns and the bye week sits a stretch of four road games in five weeks, all against NFC playoff hopefuls. That grueling part of the schedule puts added importance on these next two weeks to build up some wins against teams they will be favored against.

Stay with Vikings.com and the Vikings App all day for game coverage, including live postgame press conferences following the contest.

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